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

#WarOnI4 Three Yards Short: USF Falls to UCF 17-13

The Bulls faced off with the Central Florida Knights in the 2021 War on I-4. Despite the outcome not falling in favor of USF, read more to check out what went down in Orlando.

Friday, November 26th, 2021 featured the 13th Edition of the USF vs. UCF War on I-4 football series.

Despite falling to the Knights by a score of 17 – 13, let’s take a look at what went down across the state in Orlando at “The Bounce House”.

Offense

In a game that did not feature a whole lot of offense (for either team), the way the Bulls moved the ball was quite nice to see. Freshman Quarterback Timmy McClain completed 18-29 passes for 222 yards (7.7 yards/completion) and one rushing touchdown in his first ever War on I-4 appearance. McClain, originally from Sanford, Florida, put on a very respectful game in his return home.

The First Quarter was a little rough to watch, but as the game progressed, it gradually became quite the competition between the in-conference rivals.

Star Running Back, Jaren Mangham, rushed for 93 yards on 21 carries (4.4 yards/rush). Handing the ball off to Mangham was a nice change of pace for the South Florida offense. The bruising Running Back became an issue for the Knights’ defense. His longest run of the game was 18 yards. Mangham also caught one pass for 30 yards.

The Bulls’ leader in receiving yards was Wide Receiver Xavier Weaver. He caught four passes for 75 yards (18.8 yards/catch) including a crucial late 4th Quarter catch over two Central Florida defenders.

Freshman Wide Receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. also hauled in three catches for 55 yards (18.3 yards/catch).

Defense

Just a few days prior to this game, the Bulls parted ways with Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer. USF’s defensive play-callers for this game were Linebackers Coach Ernie Sims and Special Teams Coordinator Daniel Da Prato. The defensive plays were very different to say the least. To watch the South Florida Defense actually make great stops was more than relieving.

Safety Vincent Davis was the team’s leading tackler. He recorded 10 total tackles (7 solo), one Tackle for Loss, and one Quarterback Hurry.

Linebacker Antonio Grier recorded nine total tackles (5 solo), 1.5 Tackle for Loss, and one Quarterback Hurry.

The Bulls’ defense was swarming to the ball.

Special Teams

On Special Teams, Kicker Spencer Shrader made 2-3 of his field goals. His longest make of the game was 41 yards.

Punter Andrew Stokes punted five times for a grand total of 181 yards (36.2 yards/punt). His longest punt was 48 yards.

Running Back Brian Battie recorded two Kick Returns for a total of 53 yards (26.5 yards/return). Battie’s longest Kick Return against the Knights was 27 yards.

Late Game Antics

With under 10 seconds remaining in the game, the USF Offense was on the Knights’ 3-yard line. McClain scrambled around the pocket and the UCF Defense thought they intercepted the wild pass made by the young Quarterback. Thinking the game had concluded, all of the UCF team stormed the field.

After a review on the play made by the Referees, McClain’s knee was down prior to the pass being thrown. Therefore, there was no interception. UCF should have also been accessed a penalty for delay of game by running with the ball following the “interception”.

The Bulls should have been awarded one more play, with the play clock starting on the snap. I am not saying South Florida would have won the game had they been given the appropriate opportunity to do so. The Referees determined the game was over, though.

The Bulls were cheated out of a chance to win the game.

Moving Forward

December 6th, 2021: USF hired their new Defensive Coordinator, Bob Shoop. Shoop most recently served at the University of Miami’s Defensive Analyst under Head Coach Manny Diaz.

Shoop has been a coach since 1989 as Yale’s Graduate Assistant. He has also recently served as Penn State’s Defensive Coordinator/Safety’s Coach (2014-2015), Tennessee’s Defensive Coordinator (2016-2017), Mississippi State’s Defensive Coordinator/Safety’s Coach (2018-2019), and Michigan’s Safety’s Coach (2020).

He has also coached at Northeastern, Villanova, Army, Boston College, Columbia, UMass, William & Mary, and Vanderbilt. Shoop will bring a wealth of knowledge to the South Florida Staff.

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