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Game Balls: South Florida Stomps Syracuse, Advances to 3-0

Bulls Daily presents game balls to the trio of USF players that left their mark during Saturday's 45-20 victory over the Syracuse Orange.

OFFENSE:

Marlon Mack was stellar during his time in the Carrier Dome with over 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns to show for it, but Rodney Adams gets the nod for the Bulls Daily offensive MVP.

The senior wide receiver out of nearby St. Petersburg was Mr. Do-It-All on Saturday afternoon, racking up 154 all-purpose yards and a trio of touchdowns, including two rushing scores. Adams has certainly proved his worth with 16 total touchdowns over the past dozen games.

Those three touchdowns are also a career-high for the senior transfer from Toledo.

DEFENSE:

Ronnie Hoggins, a pesky sophomore cornerback at 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, has been nothing short of consistent since stepping foot on the Bulls' campus nearly a year and a half ago. Not only did Hoggins get his nose dirty and chip in with an interception, but he also registered a career-high dozen tackles to fill up the stat sheet.

The South Florida native captured Freshman of the Year honors from his coaches and teammates after the 2015 season, and continues to put all of the pieces together with double-digit starts under his belt. This is a productive kid that does a nice job of having active hands and getting in the receiver's personal space.

Heck, Hoggins even recorded 12 interceptions during his senior campaign at Coconut Creek Monarch, so you can classify him as a pure gamer.

Special Teams:

D'Ernest Johnson is a young man that puts his head down and takes on his role with great pride. The junior tailback out of Immokalee could lace up the cleats as a starter for a number of different teams, but gladly accepted the invitation to be one half of USF's two-headed monster in the offensive backfield.

But on Saturday afternoon, it was Johnson's 83-yard punt return touchdown that catapulted him into the headlines. Not only did Johnson put on the final touches and rack up USF's final points of the game, but he also recorded the second-longest punt return in school history.

Johnson's touchdown was also USF's first punt-return score since Chris Dunkley torched SMU back in 2013.


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