USF Suffers Heartbreaking Loss To Tulsa At Raymond James Stadium

By on October 17, 2021
Photo-Travis Failey

What seemed like it was going to be a victory Saturday for the USF Bulls turned to heartbreak as Tulsa defeated USF 32-31 at a steamy Raymond James Stadium

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USf turned Tulsa over three times and had a special teams touchdown but in the end it wasn’t enough as the defense gave up a 99 yard drive in third quarter and the go ahead td late in the forth. But you can’t lay all of this loss on the hands of the defense.

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This was a team loss with some fingers being pointed at Head Coach Jeff Scott who went for a controversial 4th down and short play on the Bulls own 42 yard line with 4 minutes to go. The Bulls didn’t convert and Tulsa scored to go ahead and the young Bulls offense couldn’t counter and get into field goal range for a chance to win the game.

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Coach Scott on the loss:

“It was a gut-wrenching loss. The reason it hurts is not because we were up and let it go or any of that, it hurts because our guys played their tails off.

I’m obviously disappointed in the result. I take a lot of responsibility on me. There were a lot of plays that we had where we could’ve won the game, maybe 8-10 of those plays. We didn’t get it done and at the end of the day that falls on me. The one thing I am very proud of is how hard our guys played. Our guys did not play like a 1-4 football team that have been through what they’ve been through in five games.

They played their hearts out. At the end of the day, we didn’t get it done at the very end when we had some opportunities. It was a big difference from when we played these guys a year ago with pretty much the same team. We were in position. We’ve got to find a way to win the game.

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“Obviously, the call everyone wants to talk about is understandable, the fourth-and-one, and at the end of the day, I’m going to go down believing in our guys. That’s what it was all about. Jaren Mangham and that offensive line have been dang-good this year. It was four minutes to go. You get the first down, I feel like you win the game. Yeah, we could’ve punted it and this, that and the other, but we said we’re going to attack, we’re going to be aggressive and we felt like we had the right call.”

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The Bulls were ahead most of the game by using a combination of running and passing plays by freshman QB Timmy McClain and RB Jared Mangum but the big plays on defense, most notably the three turnovers and special teams return were huge for the Bulls.

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Brian Battie ran back 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and would have had another td if there wasnt a bad roughing the punter penalty that really hurt the Bulls momentum and I believe led to Tulsa’s comeback victory. Even though they didnt score after the penalty, Tulsa shifted the field in their favor.

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Antonio Grier’s 69-yard interception return for a touchdown was one of the three turnovers the Bulls defense got and really got the crowd into the game in the second quarter.

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Tulsa dominated the the time of possesion and the amount of plays ran from scrimmage. They out-gained the Bulls 535 to 268 yards, ran 31 more plays (88-57) and recorded 31 first downs to the Bulls 13. The Golden Hurricanes running backs also had big days as Deneric Prince and Shamari Brooks each went over 100 yards rushing.

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Quarter back Davis Brin also had a big day going 22-39-2 for 266 yards and also had 2 rushes for 37 yards. One of these tds happened as Brin connected with Sam Crawford Jr. for 37 yards after a USF fumble on a kickoff after a Tulsa field goal. It was a beautiful strike that got Tulsa within 4 at the half at 24-20

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At the conclusion of the game the fans and the team hung their heads wondering what happened. It will be interesting to see if this team goes into a shell or continues to play hard as they did on Saturday. For the fans and the teams sake, I hope its the latter and not the former

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