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2020 USF Football: #US2F The Jeff Scott Era USF Bulls Football

Bulls Bottled Up 28-7 by No. 15 Cincinnati

South Florida fell to the No. 15 Bearcats 28-7 for a second consecutive loss to a top 25 foe.
Bulls Bottled Up 28-7 by No. 15 Cincinnati
Photo courtesy of Phil Didion, Cincinnati.com

The South Florida Bulls (1-3, 0-1) marched into Nippert Stadium on Oct. 3rd to take on the No. 15 Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0, 1-0). The matchup with the Bearcats was the start of conference play for both squads.

True Freshman quarterback Katravis Marsh got the nod from Jeff Scott for his first career start. In his debut, Marsh completed six of 13 (46.2%) attempts through the air for 39 yards. Despite showing flashes of his high school greatness at Miami Central, Marsh threw three interceptions.

North Carolina transfer Cade Fortin finally made his USF debut after being unavailable for the Bullsโ€™ first two games of the season. Fortin completed two of six passing attempts for 14 yards, but showed the arm strength everyone was clamoring about during fall camp.

With 4:28 remaining in the First Quarter, Running Back Johnny Ford returned a kickoff 70 yards to give the Bulls promising field position at Cincinnatiโ€™s 30-yard line. The drive ultimately ended on a missed field goal by kicker, Jared Sackett. Despite Fordโ€™s explosive kick return, the South Florida offense could not find the End Zone.

By the end of the First Half, the Bullsโ€™ offense had turned the ball over three times. Though the offense could not gain enough momentum to drive down the field, the defense carried the load by taking the ball away from the Bearcats three times.

Cincinnati scored a touchdown inside the last minute of the Second Quarter. The Bulls faced a 14-0 deficit entering Halftime.

On the Bullsโ€™ second drive of the 3rd Quarter, Quarterback Jordan McCloud lead the offense down the field for the teamโ€™s first score of the game. The 65-yard drive ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Johnny Ford. Two plays prior to the score, Wide Receiver Randall St. Felix threw an 18-yard pass to Jordan McCloud during a trick play that caught the defense off-guard.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulls were electric. Freshmen Mac Harris and Chris Townsel, as well as Senior Brock Nichols, each pulled down their first career interception. Saturday was also Harris and Townselโ€™s first career start in green and gold.

When asked about his thoughts on the loss, here’s what Head Coach Jeff Scott had to say, “I really felt like our defense in the first half kept us in the game and continued to give the offense some good field position that maybe we haven’t had a lot this year. Unfortunately, we weren’t playing complementary football.”

Linebacker Antonio Grier recorded a sack, which was his team-leading second of the season. Wofford transfer Thad Mangum also recovered a Cincinnati fumble early in the game. Sophomore linebacker Brian Norris tallied 11 total tackles, a career high for the first-time starter. Vincent โ€œSmokeโ€ Davis also wrapped up 11 tackles, and cornerback Mike Hampton recorded a career-high nine tackles.

The defense was without LB Dwayne Boyles, LB Andrew Mims, DE Tyrone Barber, DT Kevin Kegler, DT Jabreel Stephens, FS Mekhi LaPointe, SS Bentlee Sanders, and DB Cody Gentry.

Offensively, South Florida completed 21 of 41 (51.2%) passes for 208 yards. Jordan McCloud accounted for 137 of the 208 total passing yards, finishing the contest 12 for 21 (57.1%) with two interceptions. Wide receiver DeVontres Odoms-Dukes hauled in three passes for 47 yards to lead the Bulls in receiving yards.

The Bearcats defense stymied the USF ground game, holding the Bulls to just 83 rushing yards on 33 attempts (2.5 yds/car). USFโ€™s leading rusher was Leonard Parker finished with 51 yards on seven carries.

Next, the South Florida Bulls will take on the East Carolina Pirates at Raymond James Stadium as they seek their first conference win of 2020.

Jeff Scott Cincinnati Post-Game Presser

Unavailable Players: Cincinnati 2020

USF Football Unavailable Players List vs. Cincinnati 2020
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