OCT. 2, 2021 – The South Florida Bulls (1-4, 0-1 AAC) traveled to Dallas to open the 2021 conference schedule against the red hot SMU Mustangs (5-0, 1-0 AAC). Despite being beatdown 41-17, largely due to the Mustangs 14-0 fourth quarter run, let’s dig into what transpired in the Bulls’ fourth loss in just five games this season.
QB Timmy McClain
Week after week, USF’s freshman Quarterback, Timmy McClain, always continues to make strides of improvement. In the game against the Southern Methodist Mustangs, McClain recorded his career high in passing yards with 223 (10.1 yards/pass) and also called his own number 13 times for a total of 25 yards on the ground (1.9 yards/carry). Though McClain did not throw any touchdowns against SMU, he completed 14-22 of his passes (64%) and ended the game with a Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 58.6.
Every time number nine takes the field for the Bulls’ offense, South Florida fans are always mesmerized by the young gunslinger’s playmaking capabilities.
And that’s why Timmy McClain is the future at USF
— SoFloBulls (@SoFloBulls_) September 26, 2021
Jimmy Horn Jr.
Freshman Wide Receiver, Jimmy Horn Jr., has seen more and more involvement in each game ever since he suited up for the Bulls for the first time on 9/2. With his insane amount of speed, agility, and toughness, Bulls fans had been waiting for a big game from Horn. And that is exactly what Horn did—put on a show.
Jimmy Horn JR. With a 100 yard reception game 5 games into his freshman year at USF.
Going to see the 9 to 5 connection for a long time in Tampa Bay!
— Sam Barrington (@Sam_Barrington_) October 2, 2021
Horn hauled in five passes from his former Sanford High School teammate, McClain, for a grand total of 102 receiving yards (20.4 yards/reception). His longest reception of the game was 37 yards.
— USF Football (@USFFootball) October 3, 2021
While watching Horn blow past defenders, there is one current NFL Wide Receiver that he reminds me of—Tyreek Hill (KC Chiefs). With a similarity in stature, all I see is Hill when I watch Horn play.
I expect to see very many games similar to this one in Horn’s career as a Bull.
Offensive Coordinator, Charlie Weis, Jr., has been rolling with a Running back Committee since the 2021 campaign began. In Saturday’s matchup with the Mustangs, USF’s Running Backs Brian Battie, Jaren Mangham, and Kelley Joiner, totaled 88 rushing yards.
— American Football (@American_FB) October 2, 2021
Battie carried the ball seven times for 46 yards (6.6 yards/carry), Mangham rushed 11 times for 21 yards (1.9 yards/carry) and two touchdowns, and Joiner rushed six times for 21 yards (3.5 yards/carry). The Bulls’ ball carriers have been continuously pounding the rock.
Brian Battie reverses field for a huge gain. Great vision by him
— The Daily Stampede (@StampedeSBN) October 2, 2021
Mangham’s two scores moved his season total up to nine touchdowns in five games. His nine touchdowns have him sitting with the third most rushing touchdowns for 2021 across the NCAA.
Rushing Touchdown Leaders
Rasheen Ali- 11
QB Malik Cunningham- 10
B.J. Baylor- 9
QB Adrian Martinez- 9
— CFB Home (@CFBHome) October 4, 2021
After watching Saturday’s beatdown, there is really only four defensive players that had a crucial impact for the Bulls’ defense.
Leading the way with a career-high in tackles was Safety Matthew Hill. Hill posted a stat line of 11 total tackles (9 solo), as well as one pass deflection.
Individually, Boyles had five solo tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and an interception off of SMU Quarterback, Tanner Mordecai. Grier additionally had three solo tackles and a single tackle for loss.
Tanner Mordecai gets hit has he's thrown and it's caught by Dwayne Boyles Jr. for an INT. Second Mordecai INT that would've been a fumble — or an incomplete pass — instead if it hit the ground.
USF takes over past midfield with a good chance before halftime. It's 17-3 SMU.
— Joseph Hoyt (@JoeJHoyt) October 2, 2021
Safety Vincent “Smoke” Davis totaled eight tackles (four solo) as well as 0.5 tackles for loss.
The South Florida defense has few bright spots. But those bright spots are some of the best playmakers this program has ever seen.
Additionally, on Offense, Wide Receiver Demarcus Gregory caught two passes for 40 yards (20.0 yards/reception) and Wide Receiver Xavier Weaver hauled in three catches for 34 yards (11.3 yards/reception).
TIMMY WITH A DART TO DEMARCUS GREGORY
— The Daily Stampede (@StampedeSBN) October 2, 2021
Head Coach Jeff Scott
Though Scott took over a team that had recently been torched into the ground by former Head Coach Charlie Strong, is Scott on the “Hot Seat”? In my opinion, the answer to the question is no, he is not. Turning an unsuccessful team into a contender is not an overnight process. It takes a lot of work and commitment. But, if the Bulls do not win another game this season (they probably will), my answer to the previous question might be different.
Since the start of the Jeff Scott Era (2020), the Bulls have won a total of two games (The Citadel & FAMU).
This week, the Bulls have a much-needed Bye Week. On Oct. 16, South Florida will face off against in-conference opponent, Tulsa.
🚨 KICK TIME SET
— USF Football (@USFFootball) October 4, 2021
Will Jeff Scott’s Staff get their first conference win? Make sure to tune in on 10/16 at 12PM on ESPNU to find out.