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

Dominant Performance by USF Leads to 34-14 Victory Over Temple

The South Florida Bulls defeated the Temple Owls in what will go down as Head Coach Jeff Scott's first win against an FBS school.

The South Florida Bulls’ game on Oct.23, 2021 against conference foe, Temple, was one for the ages. Under the lights at Raymond James Stadium, the Bulls entered the 7:00pm game in desperate need for a win. Not only was the team looking for a win, but their first FBS victory under Head Coach Jeff Scott.

In a game with very few errors by the Bulls, they ended the game with a 34-14 victory over the Temple Owls.

Excluding a botched snap on a field goal attempt which resulted in Tight End Chris Carter hawking down an Owls’ player 80+ yards down the field, I cannot name another error caused by South Florida.

Here’s what Head Coach Jeff Scott had to say regarding Carter’s heroic play, “The play of the game to me was early in the First Quarter by Chris Carter. That was just the play of the game right there. Again, it’s a great example of an event happening, and what your response is going to be… This is the heart of this team right here.”

Carter’s great play set the tone for the rest of the game.

The Run Game

In my lifetime, I have never seen a better running performance by a committee of Running Backs & Co. Whether it be College Football or at the highest level in the NFL, the USF Running Backs performance Saturday night was nothing short of elite.

The Running Back committee of Jaren Mangham, Kelley Joiner, Brian Battie, Darrian Felix, Yasias Young, and Mychael Hamilton with Quarterbacks Timmy McClain and Cade Fortin racked up a program record 421 rushing yards.

Mangham carried the ball 26 times for a grand total of 152 yards (5.8 yards/carry) and two touchdowns. The Colorado transfer is now up to 12 touchdowns this season.

Here are some comments from Mangham following his explosive performance, “We knew what we had to do. It was a tough loss [last week]. We got sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Joiner was fed the ball 14 times and he flew around the field for 126 yards (9.0 yards/carry) and a touchdown. His touchdown was the first of the 2021 season for the man out of Clermont, Fla.

Following the game, here is what Jaren Mangham had to say about teammate, Kelley Joiner, “I love Kelley [Joiner], man. I’m happy he went in there and did the things he did. He’s a special [Running] Back for us. When he came in the game, he just changed the pace of the game. He’s a very explosive runner. He had very good, explosive runs today and that showed. I think he averaged like nine yards per carry. He had a tremendous game.”

Battie was handed the ball 12 times and racked up 77 rushing yards (6.4 yards/carry).

Quarterbacks 

Against the Owls, the South Florida Quarterbacks only attempted 21 passes all game. Well, if you read the section on the team’s run game, you might be able to figure out why.

Starter Timmy McClain completed 10-13 passes for 71 yards (5.5 yards/comp.) and one touchdown to Wide Receiver Demarcus Gregory.

McClain tweaked his ankle in the First Half of the game. Though he could have returned (per Head Coach Jeff Scott), he was replaced by Katravis Marsh.

Marsh completed 4-7 passes for 25 yards (3.6 yards/comp.). Towards the end of the game, Cade Fortin came in to relieve him.

Fortin  completed his only pass for nine yards. He ended the game with a QBR of 99.4.

Defense

The South Florida Defense was HOT straight out of the gate.

During Temple’s opening drive, Defensive Back Mekhi LaPointe intercepted the Owls’ Quarterback in the end zone. From there on out, the Bulls’ Defense put on their game faces and never let their foot off the break.

The team’s leading tackler was Linebacker Dwayne Boyles with six total tackles and four solo tackles. He also registered a tackle for loss.

Defensive Back Mekhi Lapointe, Linebacker Antonio Grier, and Safety Matthew Hill each recorded three total tackles.

Grier also recorded a tackle for loss and a late-game interception.

After a phenomenal performance, here is what Antonio Grier had to say, “We came back hungry [from last week]. There’s no going back for us, I don’t see it. It’s not in our blood. Every day we show up, we fight. We fight for each other… It’s in my heart. I’m fighting for my guys.”

Following last week’s heartbreaking loss to Tulsa, Grier and the rest of the Defense knew what had to be done.

Special Teams

Kicker Spencer Shrader is easily the best at his position that this program has seen in the last 3-4 years. He simply cannot miss and has a cannon for a leg. In the Bulls’ winning performance, Shrader attempted two Field Goals and made them both. His longest of the game was 52 yards which had the stadium buzzing. He also went 4-4 on Extra Points.

With the team’s outstanding performance, Punter Andrew Stokes never saw the field. The great game rewarded him with the night off.

Moving Forward

The Bulls have to use this win as motivation. With this rhythm they currently have, anything is possible. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing each and every player smiling after the game, especially Center Brad Cecil, who quite literally could not stop smiling if you asked him to.

Here are some remarks from Brad Cecil: “I love this team and I’m fired up. I can’t stop smiling and I was smiling in the shower. I’m juiced up.”

Brad Cecil: Juiced Up!!

Go Bulls! #BeatECU

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