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

Turnovers Tarnish Ford’s Explosiveness in Temple Loss

The USF Bulls traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to take on the Temple Owls in an in-conference matchup. Though the Bulls had many costly turnovers, read to learn more about South Florida's game against the Owls.

The South Florida Bulls (1-4, 0-3) flew to Philadelphia to take on the Temple Owls (1-1, 1-1) with high hopes of a first conference victory of the season last Saturday. In a game where the Bulls held a lead as large as 11 points, the Owls fought back in order to defeat USF by a heart-breaking score of 37-39. To complete the comeback, the Temple offense scored 19 unanswered points.

Though Quarterback Jordan McCloud completed 15 of 26 passes through the air for 187 yards and three touchdowns, he also fumbled the football twice, giving the Temple offense stellar field position each time. The most-costly of the fumbles, via a miscommunication between McCloud and Running Back Kelley Joiner Jr., occurred at the USF 11-yard line. The play resulted in Temple Defensive End Arnold Ebiketie scooping and scoring a tailor made touchdown, giving the Owls a 32-31 lead with under 10 minutes remaining in the contest. 

The Bulls coughed up the rock four times, losing possession on three of them. Remove the fumbles and the Bulls leave Lincoln Financial Field with a victory, without question.

The Bulls’ most impactful player in the game was Running Back Johnny Ford.

Ford, a Redshirt Sophomore, carried the ball 15 times and racked up 68 yards (4.5 yards/carry). He also snagged 5 catches and totaled 54 yards receiving (10.8 yards/reception) with one touchdown.

Ford, who entered the 2020 season as the backup running back, has proven why he deserves to be trusted with the ball. Whether he is running the ball, catching the ball, or returning kickoffs, Ford is the Bulls’ deadliest weapon and opponents do not know how to stop him. Moving forward, Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis Jr., will have to look to Ford to move the offense down the field.

In addition to his rushing and receiving yards, Ford returned three kickoffs for a total of 84 yards (28.0 yards/return). His longest kick return of the game was 44 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Dwayne Boyles Jr. led the charge for the Bulls. After missing the three previous games due to an injury, Boyles Jr. amassed nine total tackles, six solo tackles, one pass deflection, and a tackle for loss. Clearly, Boyles Jr. has a major impact on Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer’s defense.

Defensive Backs Daquan Evans and Mekhi LaPointe each pulled down an interception as well. Evans returned his for 56 yards, redeeming his interception drop in the first quarter. 

To go along with Johnny Ford’s explosive game, the Bulls’ leading receiver was true freshman Omarion Dollison, who grabbed four catches for 64 yards (16.0 yards/catch). Dollison has been a bright spot as a true Freshman for the Bulls. 

When asked about his team’s disappointing loss, here is what Head Coach Jeff Scott had to say, “This one hurts. There’s a lot of guys hurting in that locker room right now. I just felt like our guys played their hearts out…We found a way to get up and unfortunately just made some critical mistakes that you cannot make in that type of close ballgame and expect to win.”

Next up for the USF Bulls is their matchup with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane as they face off on Friday, Oct.23, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium.

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