By: Brian Alward
The Bulls’ lack of offense is evident again in the 16-6 loss to SMU Saturday.
The offensive woes would continue right from the start for the Bulls. USF goes three-and-out and is forced to punt on its first possession. SMU, however, scored on its first drive. The USF defense is able to hold SMU to only a field goal but it was a score nonetheless. The teams had a punt battle for the next three possessions.
The second quarter had a better vibe for the Bulls. On SMU’s third possession of the night, DB Hassan Childs intercepts QB Garrett Gilbert on first down. The Bulls are unable to take advantage of the INT though because Marvin Kloss slips while attempting a 51-yard field goal. At the end of the first half, SMU goes into the locker room with a 3-0 lead over USF.
SMU comes out in the second half firing on just about all cylinders. They go 75 yards on 11 plays with Prescott Line ending the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. Chase Hover misses the ensuing extra point. SMU leads USF 9-0. The Bulls get another pick by Hassan Childs, his second of the night. This gives the Bulls the ball on their own 2-yard line with 3:08 left in the third quarter. But again, USF is unable to take advantage or even move the ball very far. They get the ball to the 8-yard line and have to punt on fourth down. SMU marches right down on the ensuing drive and scores. Neal Burcham hits Der'rikk Thompson for a 37 yards touchdown. The third quarter would end with SMU leading USF 16-0.
Mike White would start the fourth quarter by being intercepted by Jay Scott. SMU would take over at the Bulls’ 34-yard line. The USF defense would force SMU to punt on 4th-and-21. The Bulls will start their next drive from their own 20-yard line with 12:15 remaining being shut out 16-0. They must get some kind of points on this drive to even have a chance. Jay Scott intercepts Mike White for the second time in the fourth quarter. SMU takes over at the USF 37-yard line. SMU goes three-and-out and is forced to punt. The Bulls take over at their own 10-yard line with 7:54 left. The drive started off well with a 73-yard pitch and catch from White to Andre Davis. Davis has now has three 100-yard receiving games to set a USF record. That’s the silver lining. The bad news? The drive ended like the rest of the USF drives – with no points. The Bulls got the ball into the red zone, but couldn’t punch it in on four downs. The Bulls finally get on the board with 50-yard punt return for a touchdown by Chris Dunkley. The shutout is avoided, but it may be too little too late. It was. SMU defeats USF 16-6.
USF will take on No. 18 UCF on Friday at 8 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.