On September 16th, 2023, the South Florida Bulls hosted legendary college football coach, Nick Saban, and his 10th ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.
Hey, Nick Saban. pic.twitter.com/3Qw0Aolrnw— Josh Katz (@jkatz0) September 17, 2023
In front of more than 65,000 fans, and under the beaming Tampa sun, the Bulls looked to defeat the Crimson Tide in what would have been the biggest upset this season in all of College Football.
Entering the game, Alabama was a 33.5-point favorite over the Bulls. Despite losing to the Texas Longhorns the week prior, most College Football Analysts expected the Tide to have an easy week in Tampa.
Though Alabama defeated the Bulls by a score of 17-3, the program that won six National Championships since 2009, struggled immensely.
“Moral victories are for losers. That’s what losers say. Winners win,” said Head Coach Alex Golesh in his postgame press conference.
To go without saying, Golesh wanted to beat his former SEC foe. With that being said, he believed his squad had everything within their power to do so.
In recent history, the Bulls have not had a competitive offense. After finishing last season with a record of 1-11, many had written off the Bulls before there matchup with Alabama had even kicked off.
Quarterback Byrum Brown, as relaxed as ever, tortured the Alabama defense the entire game. Brown completed 14-28 passes for 87 yards. He also carried the ball 23 times for a total of 92 yards.
Running Back Nay’Quan Wright pounded the rock 15 times for 62 yards, including one run where he lowered his shoulder in Alabama’s Freshman Defensive Back, Caleb Downs, sending him flying.
TRUCKED HIM 😱 pic.twitter.com/D1NeHceLnQ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 16, 2023
Though the Bulls, did not have the most success throwing the ball, Wide Receiver Sean Atkins lead the way hauling in six catches for 42 yards. Wide Receiver Naiem Simmons caught 3 passes for 20 yards as well.
Additionally, Tight End Weston Wolff caught two passes for 17 yards. Running Backs Michel Dukes, Kelley Joiner Jr., and K’Wan Powell also caught one ball each.
RGIII reacts to the hurdle from USF's Weston Wolff. 🏈🎙️ pic.twitter.com/es6a1Gc02Q— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 16, 2023
In a game where the Bulls did not win, it is genuinely tough to fathom that the defense played well. But in this case – yes, the defense performed quite well.
Defensive Back Daquan “Dae Dae” Evans put on quite the show. He ended the game with eight Total Tackles, four Tackles for Loss, three Sacks, and one Pass Deflection. In what had to be the best game of his career, he was an absolute menace for the Alabama offense.
Week 3 Performance— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) September 16, 2023
DB DaQuan Evans – USF
• 8 Tackles
• 4 Tackles for Loss
• 3 Sacks
Defensive Back Jaelen Stokes and Defensive End Jason Vaughn each recorded a Sack.
Alabama Quarterbacks, Tyler Buchner and Ty Simpson, struggled. To be honest the word “struggled” is an understatement. Combined, they completed 10-23 passes for 107 yards.
Next for the Bulls is the Rice Owls. In what will be USF’s 3rd straight home game, the Bulls will look to jumpstart their in-conference schedule with a win.
Kickoff is at 4:00PM EST at Raymond James Stadium.
See you all there!