Time of Possession: CIN- 31:02 USF- 28:58
Time of Game: 3 Hours, 52 minutes
Announced Attendance: 26,522
Next Game for Both Teams: Cincy- Saturday November 28th at East Carolina.
USF- Thursday November 26th at UCF (Thanksgiving, I-4 Corridor Clash).
Random Factoid: Moment of the game was a fired up Steven Bench “dabbing” in the endzone after a rushing TD.
Notable USF Stats/Outcomes:
-Bulls have won six out of the last seven contests. It’s the best stretch after October 1st since the program joined an FBS conference in 2003.
-Bulls have tied a program record for most conference wins in a season with 5.
-Most points scored in a single half in program history with 51 in the first.
-Gulf Coast Offense sets program record for most rushing yards in a season at 2,640.
-USF has four games of 540+ yards of total offense this season.
-Fourth game of the season where Bull Shark defense has forced at least three turnovers.
-Rodney Adams: 3 receptions, 85 yards, 1 TD. 28 yards rushing. Scored 67 yard TD pass on first play of game. Sets single season record for receiving TDs at USF.
-Marlon Mack: 11 carries, 106 yards. 2 TDs. Sets a single season record for most 100+ yard games at seven.
-Sean Price: 2 receptions, 52 yards, 2 TDs on Senior Night.
-Auggie Sanchez: 9 tackles
-Jamie Byrd: 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 Pass Break-up, 1 fumble recovery.
-Deatrick Nichols: 8 tackles, 2 INTS (1 Pick Six), 1 Pass Break-Up. Has team-high 4 INTs on the year. First career multi-interception game.
-Eric Lee: 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble.
-Bruce Hector: 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble.
Notable Cincy Stats/Outcomes:
-Bearcats turned the ball over six times, five of them coming in the first half.
-Most losses in a single season for Tommy Tuberville at Cincinnati.
-QB Gunner Kiel: 8/15, 84 yards, 2 INTs. Benched in 2nd quarter.
-QB Hayden Moore: 20/36, 249 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs.
-WR Chris Moore: 6 receptions, 131 yards, 1 TD.
-LB Zach Edwards: 6 tackles, 1 INT
From the very first play, it was total destruction in Raymond James Stadium. A slew of touchdowns and turnovers turned the Friday night contest into a rout as South Florida torched Cincinnati 65-27.
“Great win for the Bulls! I’m very proud of our guys, I’m proud of everyone associated with USF Football,” Willie Taggart said after the victory. “It was a great win for all of us. Our guys went out and put a complete game together. I shouldn’t say complete. We didn’t finish like we necessarily wanted to in the second half, we had some mishaps. But it was good for our guys to come out. We came out with that goal from the beginning, and our guys didn’t let up and that was good to see.”
Resembling the type of offenses seen from Baylor or Oregon, the newly dubbed “Gulf Coast Offense” orchestrated by Taggart has excelled in putting points on the board in swift manner and Friday was no different. The contest immediately opened with a 67 yard Quinton Flowers to Rodney Adams touchdown pass to give the Bulls a quick 7-0 lead and Adams the single season receiving touchdown record. On the ensuing Cincy drive, the Bull Sharks would force a fumble on the Bearcats’ own ten which would then set up a Flowers to Sean Price touchdown to grab a 14-0 advantage.
From there, South Florida avalanched a barrage of points and turnovers from all angles, scoring thirty-four unanswered points. While Marlon Mack, Sean Price, and Jordan Reed took turns shredding the Bearcat defense, Tom Allen’s Bull Shark’s put together their most dominant performance of the entire season, forcing a whopping five turnovers in the first half including a Deatrick Nichols twenty-nine yard pick six. By the time the second quarter ended after an Emilio Nadelman forty-nine yard field goal, the Bulls were up 51-3, setting a program record for most points in a single half.
Senior tight end Sean Price raved about the Bulls’ domination after the contest. “It was phenomenal. Guys came out on offense, defense, and special teams. We executed on all three areas of the game.”
Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville obviously had different sentiments after his team’s fifth loss of the season. “That wasn’t very pretty. We got hit pretty quick, the first play of the game. We panicked and didn’t do anything on either side of the ball. We’ve fell behind this year before and we’ve clawed back, but tonight there wasn’t much clawing- coaches or players.”
Winning six of their last seven contests, the previous two in smothering fashion over quality opponents, the Bulls are the hottest team in the AAC as the season draws to a close. For Jamie Byrd, who played his final game at Raymond James on Friday, that momentum began back in mid-September with their ugly loss at Maryland. “After the Maryland game, I felt that I had to call a meeting because I didn’t want us to get down on ourselves because we had been through that rodeo last year when we didn’t win too many and a lot of people got down. I had to step up as a leader, so I had to call that meeting and ever since the meeting things have turned around.”
The Bulls have clinched their first outright winning season since 2010 and are still in play to win the AAC East with help from some of their conference contemporaries. In the meantime, their focus turns to the grand finale of the regular, a Thanksgiving showdown with their 0-11 I-4 archrivals, Central Florida. Taggart emphasized the anticipation for that matchup.
“We have to beat UCF and I’m sure this football team will be highly motivated for that game.”