Bulls “Blackout” Knights

By on November 27, 2015

USFOn a night marketed as a “Blackout” by UCF, the only thing black in the stadium might as well have been the jerseys of the home team Central Florida Knights.

Before an announced crowd of 25,697, mostly green clad USF fans, the Bulls won their record sixth conference game and helped the Knights remain winless, finishing 0-12 for the 2015 season.

It was not the most dominating effort by the Bulls, who had put up over 500 yards each of their last two games. Thanks in large part to a relentless Knights defense, the Bulls had to fight and claw for every point and yard they got. In the end, the Bulls did what they have been doing since the Memphis game, overwhelming opponents both offensively and defensively.
“Our games came out, and they were in attack mode the entire football game,” said head coach Willie Taggart.

The Knights got out to a quick start, taking the opening drive to the USF 11 yard line before the drive stalled forcing the Knights to kick a 28 yard field goal. It would be the only lead and points scored by the Knights, because the Bulls would score on their opening drive and never look back.

After finding D’Ernest Johnson for a 28-yard gain on a fourth and 8, Flowers would hit Chris Barr for a 4-yard touchdown pass. It would be a 12 play, 75 yard drive, giving the Bulls a 7-3 lead and snapshot of what to expect as the Bulls would score on six of their first seven drives, scoring 44 unanswered points on their way to a 44-3 beat down of the Knights.

Flowers paced the Bulls going 14-of-21 for 176 yards and 5 TDs, setting the USF single-season total touchdown record with 31 (21 pass, 10 rush). The Bulls outgained the Knights 455-203 with Marlon Mack rushing for 102 yards on 18 carries, his record eight 100 yard rush game of the season. Emilio Nadelman converted three field goals of 40 plus yards.

The Bulls defense continued their outstanding play intercepting two UCF passes and holding the Knights to 2-for-12 on third down attempts. When asked about his defense, coach Willie Taggart said, “They came out with a workman mentality and they make sure that they’re competing day-in and day-out.” Auggie Sanchez led the defense with 10 tackles giving him 106 on the season. The first Bull since 2009 with 100 tackles in a season.

The Bulls finish the regular season 8-4 (6-2 conference), winning their last 7-of-8 games. The eight wins were the most by a Bulls team since 2010 while the six conference wins were the most in team history. The Bulls also finished the season with over 5,000 total yards, the fourth time in the school’s history.
It’s now a waiting game for the Bulls, who East Division championship aspirations rest on the shoulders of the UCONN Huskies who take on Temple Saturday at 7 pm. A Huskies win and the Bulls travel to Houston to take on the Houston Cougars who defeated Navy to win the AAC West Division championship.

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