The Bulls gave the fans what they have been so desperately hoping for on Saturday night: a big time win against a formidable opponent. The defense was all over the field racking up 13 tackles for loss and six sacks. Beyond that, BYU dominated time of possession, total yards and number of plays. If it weren’t for the defense, this game could have ended up very differently. Greg Reaves had a clutch sack on 3rd and 10 in the fourth quarter to force a BYU punt and give the Bulls the ball. Jordan Cronkrite was the lifeblood of the offense going for 158 yards on 26 attempts and two touchdowns.
“Well you know he (Cronkrite) is an outstanding player.” Head Coach Charlie Strong said postgame. “I think the first three games he had 25 total yards but in the last two games he has really had some breakout games. Once he gets behind his pads and he starts running… he said tonight, ‘Just give me the ball coach, give me the ball.’ I was just so happy for Jordan because he was able to put together two games back to back.”
Since the win against Georgia Tech in week two of the 2018 season, USF only beat UConn, East Carolina and South Carolina State at home. This win against BYU is pivotal for Bulls Country. A potent running attack and stifling defense gave fans a taste of the USF of old.
“Well that’s a great win for us,” Coach Strong said. “You know we talked before the game ever started, I don’t know when the last time that we beat a quality opponent at home, you know, not overlooking Georgia Tech from last season, but we had not won.”
This win against BYU will give some much-needed momentum headed into a two-game road trip against Navy and ECU. The schedule doesn’t get much easier for the Bulls as they get into a tough conference slate with games against Temple and UCF. If the Bulls are able to establish the running game with Cronkrite and Sands the way they did the last two games, this team might just be able to win some tough conference games.
“You look at a team that we beat,” Coach Strong said, “and you see one that came back and beat Tennessee. You see where guys battle getting down 13 at halftime and Jordan makes a big throw down there to Wilcox who makes it unbelievable catch and then our guys started feeling it.”