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2021 USF Football: #TNSF The New South Florida USF Bulls Football

Fought ‘Till The End: Bulls Fall to No. 15 BYU 35-27

In the final out of conference game, the Bulls go down swinging to No. 15 BYU as USF falls 35-27. Check out our postgame write-up down below!

On Sept. 25th, 2021, the Bulls entered LaVell Edwards Stadium for their second road game this season as they took on the BYU Cougars. The first time that the Bulls faced off against the Cougars was in 2019 where USF pulled off the victory 27-23 in one of the best games that we have seen over the past few years.

Rocking the all whites (top and bottoms) in Provo, the Bulls fought the Cougars tooth and nail until the end, falling 35-27 to BYU.

Covering several Bulls that stood out during the game along with my thoughts/opinions on each side of the ball, check out the game analysis down below!

Injury News and Notes

RB Darrian Felix did not make the trip due to injury. Mekhi LaPointe, Darrien Grant, and Bryce Miller were all question marks heading into Provo with Darrien Grant and Mekhi LaPointe being the two Bulls who saw the field with Bryce Miller being held out of action. I saw Miller warming up with the receivers before the game and would assume that he will be good to go next week against SMU (based on warmups).

BYU backup QB Baylor Romney got the start for the Cougars with Jaren Hall being out with an injury that he sustained last week during the Arizona State game. Romney saw action against the Bulls in 2019.

Timmy McClain 

We said it last week and we’ll say it again: Timmy McClain is the future at QB for the Bulls. Coach Jeff Scott cemented that fact after the game confirming as much with the media as #9 is set to lead the Bulls into conference play next week against SMU in Dallas.

On the night, McClain threw for 186 passing yards with 55 rushing yards on the ground (241 total yards). McClain extended a handful of plays early in the first half (giving the BYU defense fits anytime that he escaped from defenders) and started to throw from the pocket more when the Bulls went on their scoring run in the second half. All in all, you saw the true freshman quarterback look comfortable and poised back there in a hostile environment where over the course of time, the game begins to slow down for someone who just won the state championship for Seminole High School last December.

We said it with Q and we’ll say it with Timmy. LET. HIM. COOK!

 

Jaren Mangham

Jaren Mangham ATE tonight folks. On 26 carries, the Colorado transfer ran for 86 yards and scored two more touchdowns in Provo, totaling seven rushing TDs on the year through 4 games. Jaren had some fantastic runs throughout the night, wearing down a BYU defense that wasn’t expecting the USF offense to be on the field for 35:37. The Bulls dominated time of possession (TOP) and it started to show with BYU’s defense late in the 4th quarter. Look for Mangham to be the ‘Bull’ at the running back position moving forward as the coaching staff looks comfortable using the big back in all situations on offense.

 

Something to note… Brian Battie did not see the field at RB after the fumble in the second quarter. Battie was active in the return game after the potential turnover, but was replaced by Kelley Joiner who proved to be a nice change-of-pace to Jaren Mangham with 34 all-purpose yards on the game.

Offense

In the first half, it took a little while for the offense to get going, but once it did, we saw some solid drives from the USF offense that stalled just as the Bulls were close to the end-zone. The offensive line was solid in pass protection and did their part to keep the pocket clean for McClain for most of the night. McClain did his part in getting out of trouble (which will always favor an offensive line in pass protection) and the running game had its moments once the offense started clicking throughout the game.

The passing game came alive in the second half with Xavier Weaver totaling 5 catches on the game for 76 yards. (And no we are not forgetting about the genius play call by OC Charlie Weis Jr. on 4th down where Weaver ran it in for 3 yards on the reverse!) Demarcus Gregory saw his first four catches on the year for 54 yards, looking the part of a WR that McClain should count on with WR Latrell Williams being done for the year with a knee injury. Nonetheless, this offense came alive in the second half and put together some scoring drives that I haven’t seen from a USF team in quite some time.

Defense

It was a rough first half for the defense against the Cougs, especially in the first quarter where the team gave up 21 points to start the game. With the USF offense not in sync yet, this put pressure on the defense to find a stop and what really hurt this unit as a whole throughout the game was giving up chunk running plays and big passing plays. The defense stuck with a four man front for most of the game, but would occasionally switch back to the 3-3-5 scheme that has become commonplace under DC Glenn Spencer.

The second half was a much different story as the Bulls defense was able to stop the bleeding as USF’s offense started to get moving. USF dominated TOP on offense which helped the defense settle down, only allowing 7 points in the second half on a four play BYU drive that resulted in a 47 yard TD pass. T.J. Robinson left the game with an injury in the second half with true freshman Jalen Herring stepping up in his place opposite of Daquan Evans.

Special Teams

Darrien Grant with the blocked kick at the beginning of the fourth quarter (see photo above) was one of the better special teams plays that I have seen from this program in a long time. This gave the Bulls an opportunity to keep the game close in the final quarter of action.

Kicker Spencer Shrader had two field goal attempts that were good from 29 and 42 yards respectively. Punter Andrew Stokes punted twice for a total of 96 yards (48 yards/punt) with his longest being 53 yards. Both specialists have been absolute MONEY on the year so far and credit goes to this group and how they have performed through the first four games.

Next Up…

The Bulls’ next game will be its first conference game and will take place against the SMU Mustangs on 10/2 at 4:00 PM EST in Dallas.

LET’S GET THIS WIN AGAINST THE MUSTANGS FOR OUR FIRST CONFERENCE GAME OF THE YEAR!

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