Tonight, the USF Bulls made a statement to the American Athletic Conference (AAC) that they are going for it all, as they came out ready to play. The Bulls lost the previous week to the Seminoles 55-35, and they did not make the easy plays when it came to tackling and executing plays. Now, they worked hard in practice leading up to this game to fix those mistakes for this road game and it paid off, as they won 45-20.
Overall, the team stood out, but a certain amount of players that contributed all game or by making some key plays includes Quinton Flowers, Marlon Mack, Rodney Adams, and others.
First off, Marlon Mack punched his way into the Bulls record books by becoming the Bulls all-time leading rusher on a 49-yard touchdown run. He will continue to push the record books, but that record will be untouched for a long time, as he will move that number upward. Mack finished the game with 20 carries for 118 yards with two scores to contribute to the victory.
Next, Quinton Flowers continues to impress people all over the country, as he finds a way to win and to pick up first downs. Once again, Flowers finds the end zone with his legs by scoring twice on 13 carries for 74 yards. Last week, Flowers could not complete many passes against Florida State, but against the Bearcats, he threw the ball around for 196 yards on 26 attempts and completing 16 of those passes. His ball security was key in this game.
Furthermore, Flowers favorite passing option, Rodney Adams continues to put his name out there for the nation to see, as he is trying to win the Biletnikoff Award. He finished today’s game with six catches for 66 hard fought yards. He averaged 11 yards per catch and he also factored on kick returns by returning two of them for 64 yards.
Emilio Nadelman is one of the AAC’s and nation’s best kickers. Entering the game, he was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts and by making all of his 25 extra point attempts. Tonight, he increases his total to 4-for-4 on the year and converting an impressive total of 31 extra point attempts.
Now, the defense played much better by making the easy tackles and stopping both Cincinnati quarterbacks (Trail and Kiel). They gave up 263 passing yards, but capitalized on four Bearcat mistakes that resulted in three interceptions and one fumble. The Bulls players that recorded interceptions were Ronnie Hoggins, Khalid McGee, and Johnny Ward, which Ward’s pick was returned for a touchdown. Also, Hoggins was making some key tackles on special teams.
In addition to that list, Kirk Livingstone recorded his first career sack in his collegiate career. It was actually a big sack that helped turn the tide in the game. He is a Redshirt Freshman, who has played in every game so far this season. Expect the Fort Lauderdale native to produce more sacks as the season progresses.
Finally, the Bulls improved their overall record to 4-1. They will return back to Tampa next week to take on the East Carolina Pirates. This is the Bulls homecoming game and expect it to be loud and tons of green and gold in the student section.