Heading into their first road matchup of the season against #19 Wisconsin (3-1), the South Florida Bulls (2-3, 1-0) were considerable 34-point underdogs to a Badger team coming off a record-setting rushing output from the week prior. So while losing Saturday afternoon’s matchup 27-10 is a disappointing result, several positives can be taken away from the game for the young Bulls to build upon as they move forward.
Knowing the capabilities of the two-headed monster rushing attack of Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement, Chuck Bresnahan’s defense came out the gate really aggressive in the first half, bringing blitzes and applying pressure to Wisconsin’s offensive line in spite of the absence of Todd Chandler due to an eye injury.
The story was different in the second half as the Bulls experienced firsthand the punishing attack Wisconsin brings to the table. Back to back drives ending in Melvin Gordon (32 attempts, 181 yards) touchdown runs gave Wisconsin a comfortable lead, while a late fourth quarter Tanner McEvoy touchdown pass to Sam Arneson sealed the victory.
Offensively, the Bulls weren’t spectacular, but showed some signs of life late in the game. Late into the third quarter, a Rodney Adams sweep that turned into a 26-yard touchdown brought the Bulls back to within seven. Unfortunately, a Kennard Swanson fumble on a 52-yard pass from Mike White would ultimately prove costly and seal the Bulls’ fate.
At 2-3 with non-conference games in their rearview mirror, the Bulls now head into a bye week to rest up and reflect before hosting East Carolina for the Homecoming game.