USF Falls to SMU

USF Falls to SMU

Days after firing head coach Jeff Scott, USF would fall to the SMU Mustangs by a final score of 41-23. What looked to be a great first half for the Bulls, turned to disaster after a big second half from SMU. A tie game at halftime had USF fans hopeful, but a poor second-half showing crushed any possibility.

An Impressive First Half

Coming into this contest SMU’s high-powered offense looked to be hard to stop. However, the Bulls put a different message in everyone’s heads with a 4th down stop on the first drive of the game. Even though the Mustangs would get on the board a couple of times, USF’s defense showed a lot of heart in the first half only allowing 17 points.

In addition to a good defensive first half, the Bulls were also able to match SMU’s 17 points. The USF offense did a really good job of running the ball in the first half. Brian Battie led the Bulls in rushing yards for the day with 26 carries for 145 yards. USF was also able to incorporate the passing game in the first half. The Bulls were able to spread the ball to a variety of different receivers which made it harder for the SMU defense.

A Rough Second Half

Following a good first half for the Bulls, the team soon crumbled. SMU came out of the half and dominated USF on both sides of the football. USF’s first drive of the second half resulted in a punt and the Mustangs didn’t look back after. SMU scored points on four straight drives which ultimately put USF away.

The Bulls first and second-half performances looked the exact opposite in this game. USF did a lot of good things in the first half but was unable to replicate any of that in the second half. The Bulls’ defense struggled in the second half giving up big plays through the air and on the ground. USF’s defense was also unable to get any pressure on Tanner Mordecai. Mordecai was able to have his way against the Bulls’ defense for all of the second half.

When it came to the offense, the Bulls were just unable to get anything going. The running game wasn’t as effective in the second half as it was in the first half. On top of that, the Bulls were unable to throw the football well. Getting the ball to guys out in space was difficult for USF and SMU’s coverage stepped up big time. Sadly, for the Bulls, yet another thing that didn’t help their game was the loss of Katravis Marsh who had to be carted off.


Throughout this game, there were a couple of major things that you could take. The first takeaway was the performance of the USF defense in the first half. The USF defense might have given up 17 points in the first half, but ultimately played strong. The Bulls mustered up two stops on fourth down in the half which proved to be difference makers. For a defense that has struggled all year this was a good sign even though they collapsed hard in the second half.

The other major takeaway from this game was the injury to USF’s starting quarterback Katravis Marsh. Marsh who started this year as the backup came in for Gerry Bohanon who is out for the year with a shoulder injury. Now with Marsh being taken out, this could mean that Byrum Brown will get his opportunity. Brown who came into this season as the third-string did throw a touchdown pass on USF’s last drive of the game.

What’s to Come

As USF now extends their losing streak to eight games, the Bulls will head on the road for their last away game of the season. USF will play Tulsa next Friday night in hopes of ending their eight-game losing streak. Tulsa who has struggled so far this season as well will be a good challenge for USF.

The Bulls will need a strong effort if they want any chance of beating Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes only have two more wins on the season than USF, but that should be the least of the Bulls’ worries. USF has shown that they can even struggle against teams that might be on their “level” of play. For USF a hard-fought game with no turnovers would be ideal. The Bulls are hoping they can grab a win before they go home for the War on I-4.