Bulls Make a Statement

By on September 7, 2015

 

Auggie Sanchez focuses like Mike Singletary (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Auggie Sanchez focuses like Mike Singletary (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Willie Taggert was looking for a statement from his team in the season opener against Florida A & M.  He found that statement in the 2nd Quarter.  With a third-and goal from the FAMU 22 yard line, Quinton Flowers scrambled around the backfield and found D’Ernest Johnson wide open in the end zone for a 22 yard pass and the Bulls first touchdown of the season.  Flowers followed that up with another touchdown a short time later when he found Johnson again, this time for a 45 yard pass.  The route was on from there.

Freshman tight end Elkanah Dillon led the team with 126 receiving yards on just four catches. He became the first player other than Andre Davis to record a 100-plus yard receiving game since Deonte Welch had 130 yards vs. Cincinnati on Oct. 22, 2011. -Dillon made his first-career catch, a 14-yard reception, on the last play of the first half. -	Dillion hauled in his first-career touchdown catch with a 62-yard reception in the third quarter. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Freshman tight end Elkanah Dillon led the team with 126 receiving yards on just four catches. He became the first player other than Andre Davis to record a 100-plus yard receiving game since Deonte Welch had 130 yards vs. Cincinnati on Oct. 22, 2011. – Dillon made his first-career catch, a 14-yard reception, on the last play of the first half.
– Dillion hauled in his first-career touchdown catch with a 62-yard reception in the third quarter.
(photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

It wasn’t a smooth ride for the Bulls at first.  In fact, you could say the emergency brakes were still on.  The Bulls had their first 3 touchdowns of the season called back due to penalties.  “We just needed to settle down,” said Taggert.  “It wasn’t anything they were doing.  It was what we were doing.”  After settling down, the Bulls found their rhythm.  They finished the 1st half with 273 yards.

The Bulls continued to roll in the 2nd half.  After receiving the ball to start the second half, Flowers scored on a 29 yard run, capping off a 3 play 66 yard drive that saw the Bulls score in 51 seconds.  The very next series saw second string quarterback Steven Branch, making his 2015 season debut, hit Freshman TE Elkanah Dillon 62 yards for the Bulls 4th TD of the season and Dillon’s first TD of the year.

Marlon Mack also contributed to the Bulls offensive explosion.  The reigning American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year and Maxwell Award Watch list nominee, finished the night with 131 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown.

Marlon Mack (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

Marlon Mack (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

It wasn’t just the offense that made a statement.  The defense did as well.  Tom Allen’s new 4-2-5 defensive scheme held FAMU to 182 total yards of offense including 23 yards in the first half.  Defensively, the Bulls were led by Sophomore Auggie Sanchez, who had 10 tackles helping the Bulls set a program record for tackles for a loss with 15.  Sanchez was quick to credit the defense: “Just having 11 guys flying to the ball, that’s key in any good defensive team…I think today we accomplished that and that was big-time in our victory.”

Coach Taggert was complimentary of the team as well: “They took all the things we were talking about this week and they literally took it to the game. That was good to see…”

The Bulls gave Willie Taggert a big reason to smile Saturday night. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

The Bulls gave Willie Taggert a big reason to smile Saturday night. (photo Travis Failey / RSEN)

The Bulls offense ended the night scoring 51 points and 556 yards.  The 51 points were the most points scored under Willie Taggert at USF and the most points scored in a season opener since scoring 56 points against UT-Martin in 2008.  The 556 yards gained rank seventh in USF program history.

The Bulls travel to Tallahassee this weekend to take on the # 10 ranked Florida State Seminoles.  This will be the first test for a Bulls team that is looking to make a name for themselves and continue making statements with their play.

 

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