One of the simple givens in college football is that a multitude of untimely turnovers and mishaps will spell doom for a team’s chances for a win, especially on the road. That was the case for USF (3-5, 2-2) as they fell 34-17 to Cincinnati (4-3, 2-1) Friday night at Paul Brown Stadium.
An interesting theme for Friday’s AAC contest was both squads utilizing two quarterbacks throughout the game, but for entirely different reasons.
South Florida QB Mike White took a major step back during this contest, especially after orchestrating a brilliant 2nd half comeback over Tulsa the week prior. The sophomore QB went 11 of 19 for 92 yards, but his turnovers proved disastrous for the Bulls offense in the first half.
Two Interceptions and a fumble in the first half directly led to 10 points for the opposition, while a fumbled snap on the first offensive play in the 3rd quarter prompted coach Willie Taggart to bench White in favor of Steven Bench. Bench would rally for 147 yards passing and 2 TDs in a too little too late effort.
Meanwhile, a rib injury forced highly touted QB Gunner Kiel out of the game and for former starting QB Munchie Legaux to take snaps in the 2nd half. Both Cincy QB’s played well enough to secure a Bearcat victory, each throwing for over 100 yards and running for a TD themselves.
Even more unexpected was the diversity and various weapons Cincinnati utilized to slash the Bulls’ defense. RB Mike Boone had 212 rushing yards and a TD, while WR Shaq Washington had a career day of 163 yards on 12 receptions.
With questions of whether or not this Bulls squad can become bowl eligible arising, they will look to find answers as they return home next week to face Houston.