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  1. GAME 4 PLAYER TO WATCH: TYRE MCCANTS By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior WriterTAMPA, SEPT. 21, 2017 – No matter what the task entails, Tyre McCantswants to make it happen for 3-0 USF football.USF's junior receiver gained national attention with his crushing blocks in the season opener at San Jose State that sprung D'Ernest Johnson's electric 50-yard touchdown run. McCants followed that up with a 65-yard, go-ahead touchdown in game 2 and a 13-yard scoring catch last week against Illinois. McCants is averaging a team-best 26.2 yards per reception heading into Thursday's conference clash with Temple (2-1)."I just want to go out and make plays to help the team be successful," McCants said. "Whether it's running, blocking, catching, whatever it is to help the team, that's what I want to do."McCants' team-first approach turned the sturdy, slot receiver into a Twitter sensation after clearing the path for Johnson's sprint to the end zone with two blocks that got even more play in the team meeting room. Each week, head coach Charlie Strong shows the Bulls an "effort tape" of a player going to the extra mile on the field. McCants was an easy choise for the San Jose State game. "It was just two unbelievable blocks by him," Strong said. "I told D'Ernest when he scored, I said, 'You go over and thank Tyre because he's the one that really sprung you and got you going.'" "It was just two unbelievable blocks by him," Strong said. "I told D'Ernest when he scored, I said, 'You go over and thank Tyre because he's the one that really sprung you and got you going.'"McCants was a popular Bull on the sidelines against Stony Brook because of what he did with his soft hands and laser focus. With the game tied at 17 in the fourth quarter, McCants sprinted upfield and snagged a deep pass from Quinton Flowers with a defender in his face to put USF ahead for good in the 31-17 home win back on Sept. 2. more... Rest of Story
  2. View File 2017 USF Football Team Guide Submitter Brad Submitted 09/17/2017 Category 2017  
  3. USF ATHLETICS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Web Link: Ticket Link: Full Schedule: Follow USF Men’s Basketball on Twitter Like USF Men’s Basketball on Facebook The American Announces Men’s Basketball Conference Schedule 18-game conference slate includes home dates with Cincinnati, SMU, and UCF TAMPA, SEPT. 15, 2017 – First-year head coach Brian Gregory and the USF men’s basketball team finalized its 2017-18 schedule on Friday with the announcement of the 18-game American Athletic Conference schedule. The highlights have Bulls hosting 2017 NCAA Tournament teams Cincinnati (Jan. 13) and SMU (March 4) at the Sun Dome. USF will also renew its War on I-4 rivalry with UCF visiting Tampa on Saturday, Jan. 20. The Bulls will have 13 conference games on national television through the league’s partnership with CBS Sports Network and ESPN. Season tickets are now on sale. Click here for more information. USF will alternate home and road games for the first eight conference contests. The Bulls start at home against Houston on Thursday, Dec. 28 and complete the calendar year with a New Year’s Eve road game at SMU on Sunday, Dec. 31. Beginning 2018, the Bulls welcome East Carolina to Tampa on Wednesday, Jan. 3, then visit American Athletic Conference newcomer, Wichita State, on Sunday, Jan 7. It will be the first-ever meeting between USF and the Shockers. Back in the Bay Area, the Bulls will host Cincinnati on Saturday, Jan. 13, before traveling to ECU on Wednesday, Jan. 17. The War on I-4 rivalry continues with UCF coming to Tampa on Saturday, Jan. 20. The month wraps up with USF at Tulane (Thursday, Jan. 25), at Houston (Sunday, Jan. 28) and hosting Memphis (Wednesday, Jan. 31). February features six more conference tilts for the Bulls (three home, three road). USF will welcome Tulsa to the Sun Dome (Saturday, Feb. 4), take a trip up to UConn (Wednesday, Feb 7), and return home to play Temple (Saturday, Feb. 10). The Bulls then have back-to-back road games with a Valentine’s Day match-up at UCF (Wednesday, Feb. 14) and Tulsa (Sunday, Feb 18) before returning to host Tulane (Saturday, Feb. 24). USF will complete conference play in March with a road contest at Memphis (Thursday, March 1) and SMU at home (Sunday, March 4). The Bulls start practicing in two weeks on Friday, Sept. 29 in anticipation of the season opener against FAU on Friday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. The Bulls will have 10 newcomers on this year’s roster, including three graduate transfers in guard Stephan Jiggetts (Forestville, Md.), guard Terrence Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and wing Payton Banks (Orange, Calif.), who are all eligible to play immediately.
  4. 2-0 BULLS EYE HOT START TO CONFERENCE PLAY By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior WriterTAMPA, SEPT. 4, 2017 – Charlie Strong's 19th-ranked Bulls are focused on putting together their most impressive showing of the season in the conference opener.Picked to win the league by conference media, USF (2-0) will look to click in all three phases of the game in Saturday's test at UConn (1-0) that's set for a noon start (TV: ESPNews). USF is 3-1 in American Athletic Conference openers and has won five straight games against the Huskies."It's good to get into conference play because now every game counts and you're going to have to play well," said Strong on Monday's conference coaches teleconference.Strong used part of his teleconference time slot to talk about a familiar foe.Back in 2010, Strong guided Louisville to a 26-0 win over head coach Randy Edsall's impressive UConn team that went on to win the Big East and play in a BCS bowl game. UConn football's all-time leader in wins returns to the Huskies after spending a season in the NFL as the Detroit Lions' Director of Research – Special Projects. Prior to that, Edsall was the head coach at the University of Maryland from 2011-15."I have a lot of respect for Randy," Strong said. "I went against him in the past, when I was at Louisville and when he was at Connecticut. We know it's going to be a big challenge for us."Ball-Hawking Defense No. 2 Nationally in PicksUSF's defense is reaping the benefits of Coach Strong's fast, physical and aggressive approach that's being driven home by new coordinator Brian Jean-Mary.USF is tied for second nationally with five total interceptions and only one pick behind national leader Central Michigan. Five picks in two games have USF already a third of the way to the Bulls' total of 15 interceptions in 2016.Senior safety Devin Abraham (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) and junior cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (Tampa) rank among ..... Rest of Story
  5. USF ATHLETICS Head coach Charlie Strong... On the win: “I just told our players congratulations on the win, but we played two games where we have yet to play four quarters. Last week, we didn’t wake up until the second quarter. This week, we didn’t really wake up until the fourth quarter.” On key plays: We had two key turnovers there late in the fourth quarter, but it’s rhythm on the offense and where we just, we have to get first downs, but in order to get first downs we had to be consistent. We have to take the ball, and you can’t score on every play. Sometimes we’re looking for the big play. Just take what the defense gives you.” On the defense: Defensively, we knew it was going to be this way in the game, knowing that they were going to come in and take the clock and just milk the clock as long as they possibly could, and then get a play or two. You know the long run, we are running an inside fire zone, the ball gets outside of us. A bad angle to the football.” On moving forward: But all things that happened today were all the issues that we had. They can all be corrected, and what’s good now is on the road it’s going to be tough. We’ll go play our first conference game on the road in connecticut...we know this...we can’t go out there and play like we did the last two weeks. We just have to get our minds right and stay focused, and the preparation has to be there. I told everybody, the coaches a lot of times you if they’re slopping around in practice, you’re going to slop around in the game. And that’s what we can’t do. WE’re too good of a football team.” On slow start: It’s just more of just the practice. Once you start the games it’s, like I said, just take what they give you, but go get first downs because you’re not going to score every game. They think that it’s third and ‘now I need a touchdown.’ No, get a first down. Let’s continue to drive it, then we’re going to eventually score.” On defense and the kicking game: “You know we go out there and we stall the first one, then we get the punt block and then we don’t get a first down. But the thing about it is, what’s happening with us now is that we’re playing better defense. So now, it’s not like it’s all on the offense’s shoulders, where you have to go score because you know we’re going to give up points or something from the defense. The plan is to go play great defense. That’s our plan to win. Go play great defense. Create turnover, play in the red zone, and win the kicking game which we have not done.” On if Stony Brook was a surprise: “No they didn’t surprise us, we knew what we were getting, and I told them I said that what’s going to happen is that you’re the number 19 ranked team in the country, they’re going to come in and they’re going to play. So don’t think that all of a sudden they’re just going to walk in there and sleep walk through this game. I said you’re going to get their best. We’re going to get everyone’s best because of what we have now, and where we’re ranked and everyone has expectations. That’s why I tell them it’s a one game season. Just focus on the opponent we’re playing, and don’t worry about what everyone else is saying.” On playing guys with expectations: “We have to prepare that for them every game because you’re going to get it. If you think about it, you’re a ranked team, so now that you’re a ranked team, everyone expects you to come in and play well and they’re going to play well.” On the team’s performance: “Well, I’m disappointed because I know we can play better than what we’re playing. It’s all about just trying to establish an tempo, and that’s where the disappointment comes because you know I don’t expect us to score every drive. But I expect us to go move the ball down there, and not looking up to see if it’s 14-10 or whatever the half time score was. Sometimes it’s hard to handle success. When you keep hearing it all the time, and I told my players ‘don’t put pressure on yourself. Just go relax and go play the game.You go out there and you do tighten up. We don’t have reason not to tighten up . It’s a 60 minute game. It’s this opponent. Let’s focus on this opponent.” On if Quinton Flower’s was frustrated: “He is such a competitor. Every time he walks out he expects to be perfect, which I told him isn’t going to happen for you. When you have that competitive edge like he has, it’s what happens to you.” On the slow start of the game and looking past the opponent: “ I don’t think that we are looking past the opponent, it’s just whenever you are placed in this position, it’s tough. It’s not that it is a tough position as a player, but you are going to get their best. You go 3,000 miles away the first game and you kinda got off to a slow start. I think the game was at seven and we didn’t wake up till seven-thirty. In this game here I don’t know what time we woke up, but we didn’t wake up early. This is where the guys just have to relax. Things are going to happen for you, you just have to relax. On the lack of explosiveness from the offensive line in the first quarter: “The game is always fundamentals and technique. It’s things that can be corrected. You gotta move people on the line of scrimmage. You have to play physical at the point of attack. On defensive leaders: “ We have a lot of leaders on this team. You look at our defense and we have three seniors up front, Senat and Hector and Auggie, then you look at the play Abraham just made in the back end. But you have enough guys there that can make plays for you and that’s what you look for when you look for that leadership. On offensive leaders: “When you go to the offensive side, you have Quinton but you still have Valdes out there and two running backs with Tice and D’Ernest and Ruff up front so you are going to have enough seniors around. I said to them at the start of the second half that we have to get going because the leadership has to take over. So when the leadership takes over then this team is really going to explode. The coach’s job is to coach, to motivate you and teach you. But also we have enough guys that have played a lot of football to go and take the game over. On playing the whole 60 minutes: “You do not have a right not to go play hard because you are playing for a team, representing a team. It’s your job to out there and play hard and work hard. You have no right not to. If you do, then you are at the wrong place, and you're playing for the wrong coach and the wrong team. On Quinton being named as a possible Heisman candidate: “ I feel good about my quarterback and he is one of our top leaders, very explosive and a really good football player.” USF Players: Quinton Flowers on the start of the game: “We got off to a slow start but at the end of the day, I had to keep talking to my guys and stay within ourselves. Just go out there and play the game of football.” Quinton Flowers on whether or not the game was frustrating to him: “At the end of the day you are going to have ups and downs, but it is all about staying close to your team. That’s what we did out there, and that is why we came away with the W.” Quinton Flowers on Putting Pressure on himself: “I just have to go out and make the right reads. I missed a lot of reads tonight and at the end of the day, I put the burden on me.” Quinton Flowers on Coach’s Halftime Comments: “Stay together as a team. We didn’t really change anything. They ran me a little more, but at the end of the day I had to make my right reads.” Quinton Flowers on if SBU’s Defense surprised him: “No. Not at all. Like I said, we started slow. They had a lot of plays on defense that they did. At the second half I talked to the guys about what they were doing, slowing it down a little bit, saw who was coming and who was not coming. That’s what we did after the half, and we came out with the W.” Quinton Flowers on if there is a different mindset this year as opposed to last: “No. At the end of the day, you just tell the guys to just take it one game at a time.and do not worry about anyone else but ourselves and we will be fine.” Quinton Flowers on if we will see his rushing attack like last season: “I just let the game come to me. Whatever my coach tells me to do, I just go out and I play the game and try to make the best for the team.” Quinton Flowers on talking with former High School Opponent Teddy Bridgewater: “ Me and Teddy played against each other in High School. I talked to Teddy this past weekend and tried to see what he did to be successful. He gave me a couple of pointers and I am just trying to go off of that.” Deangelo Antoine on contributing to the first scoring drive to get them into the game: “It’s always an unbelievable feeling to be apart of this offense and be apart of this team. The whole offense has electric players that are capable of making plays at any point in the game.” Mazzi Wilkins on what changed for the team in the second half: “We knew that everyone had to step up whether it be the offense, defense, special teams. We’re just out there playing for each other and no matter the score all we can control is ourselves.” Mazzi Wilkins on the defenses mentality when it’s a low scoring game: “This game is four quarters and we know that the offense will get it going at some point. Even when the offense starts slow, the defense always feels like it has something to prove. Tyre McCants on his Touchdown: “Coach called the play and I just looked at my read, and when Q threw the ball I thought to myself ‘I have to make a play, I have to give my best effort.’ He trusted me to go get it, and that is all I could do for him was go get it and fortunately I stayed on my feet and made a play.” Tyre McCants on his blocking and the block from last week: “We take pride in blocking and being the best teammate you can be. The recognition I got didn’t spark anything for me, it was just me being a good teammate which we all take pride in.” Tyre McCants on if the game was tougher than expected: “It was a tough game. We expected them to come in and play as hard as they could, and that is what they did. They are a physical football team. At the end of the day, there are 11 people on the field at a time so we always have to go play football no matter who the opponent is.That is something that we learned today, no matter who it is we just have to play our game and be physical and tough.” Tyre McCants on if there was discouragement in the second half: “No. Going into halftime, we were still calm. We were still cool. Everybody knew we were playing bad, but we could pick it up and we could get back into our zone. That’s what we talked about in the locker room. We call it getting back to playing Bull Football. Get back to being us and energetic.” Tyre McCants on his big play swinging momentum: “I think momentum definitely switched on that play. Momentum is a big factor in the game and it added a lot of energy to us, and that helped spark a little extra in us.” Tyre McCants on if the slow start added pressure: “It’s not putting pressure on us, it’s just we know what we are doing wrong. We know what we can build on in the future. So we just have to execute.” Tyre McCants on the learning process from the first two games: “I think it can help us because it is something we can learn from. It is a long season and coach Strong is telling us to take it one game at a time. Take these first two games and learn from it. That’s all we can do is build on what we have done so far.” Tyre McCants on comfort in this offense compared to last year: “I think we are still finding the offense. The pieces are still there. It is early in the season so we are still trying to build on stuff. Eventually, we will be able to find what is clicking and get back to what we do.” Tyre McCants on SBU’s defense: “We expected everything that happened. We saw it all in film from last year. They came to play. That is something we expected from them. They are amped up and excited but they didn’t really do anything that we didn’t expect.” Tyre McCants on what Quinton Flowers said after he dropped the pass: “He didn’t pull me aside. He just told me to keep my head in the game. I was a little bit discouraged but he told me to keep my head in the game, because the team still needs me to contribute. That is all he said. Next play mentality.” Stony Brook Head Coach Chuck Priore On the end of the game: “They’re (USF) really talented, they are ranked 19th in the country, we’re an FCS school so I think you know we were a little worn down but I don’t know if it really got away from us. It was 17-17, they got one pass and that’s how they got up 24-17. I told our punt returner, if you need to take a chance, take a chance, he caught it deep and that lead to their last touchdown. To be within a 24-17 game and that’s what we’ll settle it at.” Keys to players coming in with confidence against a top division one program: “Well, I think it’s their preparation, coaches preparing them correctly. There’s always on the other side that they’re a little bit not respectful of who we are when you come out, but we’re a physical program, we always have been. If you play the game physical and don’t try to ‘foo-foo’ it, and play physical you’ll always have a chance to make them wake up, and I think they woke up.” What stood out defensively: “Well, whether you know this or not, two years ago we were number one in the country in total defense, and last year we were number three. We play good, we play it physical and that did not surprise me. On if the game closer than it appears: “I think so. I think it’s 24-17, we’ve got the ball moving, we’ve got a chance to be in position and they made a play and I give them credit. Their kids kept on playing and they had to keep on playing, we made them keep on playing.” On even though it’s a loss, it will give the players confidence moving on: “Yeah I think you view it a few different ways, what I preached to our team and I told anybody that asked is that I want them to have to coach in the 4th quarter. When you go into these types of games, you want them to coach in the 4th quarter. In the 4th quarter I looked up and it was 17-17, and they were coaching. They had to make some decisions and so I think that is certainly something that we played for but we played for a win also. We didn’t get the win, so I think at the end of the day, we didn’t succeed in our total goal.” Stony Brook Players: Quarterback Joe Carbone on the 4th quarter interception: “You know, we started off, not in great field position, and I made some bad decisions and it ended up costing us the game.” Quarterback Joe Carbone on staying with USF late in the game: “I mean, coming into the game we know that we can play with anybody, compete with anybody and it’s it just comes down to execution, and we couldn’t execute at the end of the game.” Quarterback Joe Carbone on continuing to play with confidence: “That’s the thing I’ve been working on all year is mental toughness, but like coach said, you can’t just talk about it, you gotta be about it so…we’ll be ready for next week.”
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  7. Bulls Improve to 2-0 With Win in Home Opener TAMPA, SEPT. 2, 2017 – Powered by a 24-point second half, 19th-ranked USF improved to 20-1 in home openers with a 31-17 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday.Tyre McCants (Niceville, Fla.) put USF (2-0) ahead for the final time with a 65-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter and led the team with 74 receiving yards. Darius Tice's second touchdown of the day extended the Bulls' nation-leading streak of 30-plus point games to 19.Senior quarterback Quinton Flowers (Miami) threw two touchdown passes and led the Bulls' rushing attack with 67 yards to move into a tie for second on USF's career rushing list with 2,731 yards. Marquez Valdes-Scantling (St. Petersburg) gave USF its first lead with a 6-yard TD catch in the third quarter and led the Bulls with four receptions.USF's defense limited Stony Brook to 229 yards (137 passing) and posted five sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss. The Bulls also collected at least two takeaways for the second straight outing. Mazzi Wilkins (Tampa) set up USF's final score with an interception deep in Stony Brook territory and Devin Abraham (Tarpon Springs) hauled in his second pick of the season in the final minute.Auggie Sanchez (St. Petersburg) posted a team-high 12 tackles and had one of USF's 12 tackles for loss. Fellow linebacker Nico Sawtelle (Jensen Beach, Fla.) recorded a career-high 10 tackles and registered one of the Bulls' five total sacks.Down, 7-0, USF evened up the score on its third drive of the game with a 1-yard touchdown run by Tice (Miami). USF's nine-play, 73-yard drive was highlighted by Flowers' 14-yard run and a 17-yard catch by Elkanah Dillon (Ocala, Fla.) that set the Bulls up at the Stony Brook 6-yard line.Stony Brook (0-1) took a 10-7 lead to the halftime locker room before the Bulls got things rolling on offense late in the third quarter. Valdes-Scantling's acrobatic 6-yard touchdown catch gave USF its first lead with 2:43 left in the quarter and capped an 18-play, 80-play drive. Mitchell Wilcox's 20-yard reception got the Bulls into Seawolves territory and Temi Alaka's 15-yard catch set USF up for the score.Tajee Fullwood's 46-yard punt return on the ensuing drive put the Bulls back in the red zone, where USF was 4-of-4 on the day, and Emilio Nadelman (Miami) extended the lead to 17-10 with a 33-yard field goal with 32 seconds left in the third quarter. Fullwood (Tampa) finished with a career-high 85 punt return yards and just three returns (28.3 ypr).After Stony Brook tied things up at 17-17, USF jumped back ahead in explosive fashion with McCants' 65-yard touchdown reception with 11:23 remaining.Wilkins' second pick of the season set USF up at the Stony Brook 25 and Tice put the game away four plays later with a 14-yard touchdown run with 1:40 remaining.QuotableHead coach Charlie Strong on the ranked Bulls' having to prepare for opponents' best shot:"We're going to get everyone's best because of what we have now, and where we're ranked and everyone has expectations. That's why I tell them it's a one game season. Just focus on the opponent we're playing, and don't worry about what everyone else is saying."Quarterback Quinton Flowers on USF's ability to step things up in the second half:"We got off to a slow start, but at the end of the day I had to keep talking to my guys, stay within ourselves and just go out there and play the game of football. At the end of the day, you're going to have ups and downs. You're going to have rollercoaster rides, but it's about staying together with your team."Key Stats2 – Interceptions by Mazzi Wilkins and Devin Abraham helped the Bulls hold off Stony Brook in the second half. USF has intercepted at least two passes in each of the first two games of the season.12.0 – USF's defense racked up 12.0 tackles for loss and finished with five sacks.24 – The number of points USF scored in the second half to extend its nation-leading streak of 30-plus point games to 19.Notables USF extended its win streak to seven games, dating back to a victory over No. 22 Navy (52-45) on Oct. 28, 2016. USF's longest winning streak over two seasons is eight, set last in 2006-07. USF improved to 20-1 in home openers and 2-0 in its all-time series with Stony Brook. USF extended its nation-leading streak to 19 consecutive games with 30-plus points. USF has now won 12 of its past 14 home games with 11 wins coming by two touchdowns or more. QB Quinton Flowers moved into a tie for second on USF's career rushing list with Andre Hall (2,731 yards, 2004-05). LB Nico Sawtelle posted a career-high 10 tackles and a sack after tying his previous career high with six stops in the first half. Up NextPicked to win the league, USF begins its American Athletic Conference run at UConn on Saturday, Sept. 9 at noon (TV: ESPNews). USF is 3-1 in AAC openers and has won five straight games against the Huskies.USF's next home game is against Illinois on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. The programs' first-ever clash will be televised nationally on ESPN. Reserve your seats at or by calling 1-800-GoBulls.
  8. Tom Zebold did a nice write up on Sawtelle: GAME 2 PLAYER TO WATCH: NICO SAWTELLE By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior WriterTAMPA, SEPT. 1, 2017 – USF's Nico Sawtelle is the prime example of a player getting rewarded for patiently putting in the work.Just a redshirt sophomore, Sawtelle has steadily gone from the scout team, to a reserve player mainly on special teams, to being the Bulls' starting weak-side linebacker that seized his opportunity in the 2017 season opener. Sawtelle made his first-career start count with a momentum-swinging interception in the second quarter and tied for second on the team with six tackles in 19th-ranked USF's 42-22 road win on Aug. 26."For a first-time starter, I thought he did some good things," defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary said. "The thing with Nico is he's a very athletic kid. If he's playing fast and he's confident in what he's doing, he's going to always make plays."Confidence is growing for a player that's just scratching the surface when it comes to his college football potential.Two years ago, the all-state selection out of Jensen Beach High School got acclimated to USF's winning ways while serving on the scout team."Everyone has to work their way up the totem pole," Sawtelle said.Scout team duties helped Sawtelle become USF's backup at weak-side linebacker last season behind current L.A. Charger Nigel Harris. Mainly playing on special teams, Sawtelle posted 16 tackles in 11 games and recovered his first fumble in the season opener.Harris signing as an undrafted free agent with the Chargers opened the door for someone else to step up at linebacker and Sawtelle moved quickly. After tying for the team lead with seven stops in the spring game, Sawtelle became the clear-cut starter at the WILL position coming out of camp because of his consistent play."He does a great job in blitzing and he does a really good job in coverage, which is what we ask, especially that weak-side linebacker to do," said Jean-Mary during camp. "He's been a pleasant surprise."Sawtelle didn't let his coordinator down last Saturday and delivered just what USF needed early in the second quarter. Sawtelle's high school experience as a tight end paid off, when he used his soft hands to snag a tipped pass for an interception at USF's 31-yard line with the Bulls trailing, 16-7.USF's offense scored on the next drive in what proved to be the middle of a 28-point run that flipped the script on San Jose State's hot start."I went for it and ended up coming up with the ball to help the team," Sawtelle said. "We had momentum from the interception and ended up winning the game, so it felt good."Now Jean-Mary is looking for that kind of game out of Sawtelle the remainder of the season, which is a totally different situation than his initial year on the practice field."I don't think most, if any, freshmen are ready to play when they first get here. Scout team helps them," Jean-Mary said. "First of all, it humbles them. Secondly, I think they get a chance to learn the game and that's showing for him. I hope that's an example for all the freshmen, even the ones traveling but not playing a lot. It's still going to take hard work to become a starter and get on the field."Let's see what USF's man in the middle, wearing No. 54, can do in game 2 on Saturday afternoon."We have an opportunity to be a great team here. I'm proud I can be part of it," Sawtelle said. Link
  9. #BULLSTRONG: INSIDE USF FOOTBALL DEBUTS THURSDAY August 31, 2017 Award-winning USF Football television show enters fourth season with a new name, but same production TAMPA, AUG. 31, 2017 – USF's award-winning football coaches show, #BULLSTRONG: Inside USF Football, debuts Thursday on FOX Sports Florida (CH 39 & 1149 on Spectrum; CH 77 & 577 on Verizon FiOS) at 2:30 p.m. The USF Football television show returns for a fourth season with a new name but under the same production that earned the program the Outstanding Program Series award among more than 100 national entries at the 2017 SVG/NACDA College Sports Media Awards in June. The 30-minute program – produced by the Emmy Award winning production team of Awesome Films – takes fans up-close inside the USF program with NFL Films style camera work, sound and unprecedented access to practice, locker room, game day and daily Bulls life. Compelling video, narration and sound from the Bulls themselves gives viewers a taste of what it is like to be in the huddle and on the field with the Bulls. #BULLSTRONG: Inside USF Football will air 13 episodes on Thursdays this fall following each of the Bulls' games. The program airs on FOX Sports Florida (which is also available on DirecTV (654) and Dish Network (423 & 373). Check local listings for show times. Every episode can also be viewed on and the USF Athletics Youtube channel throughout the season. Follow @USFFootball on twitter for all the latest information concerning the USF Football program. - #GoBulls -
  10. USF ATHLETICS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Web Link: Bulls Hit Mississippi for the Bulldog Invitational This is USF’s first trip to Mississippi State since 1984 Tournament Schedule Match 1: Friday, Sept. 1 | 11 a.m. | USF vs. Stephen F. Austin Match 2: Friday, Sept. 1 | 3 p.m. | USF vs. Mississippi State Match 3: Saturday, Sept. 2 | Noon | USF vs. Grambling State TAMPA, Sept. 24, 2017 – The University of South Florida volleyball team travels to Starkville Ms., for the Bulldog Invitational, hosted by Mississippi State. The Bulls (1-2) will take on Stephen F. Austin and the host Bulldogs on Friday, followed by Grambling State on Saturday. The matchup against the Bulldogs (2-1) on Friday at 3 p.m. can be seen on SECNetwork+. USF opened the season at home for the first time since 2013 last weekend, hosting Northwestern, LSU and UAPB for the USF Invitational. The Bulls went 1-2, battling the Wildcats in the opening match on Friday night before falling in four close sets. USF rolled to a straight-sets victory against UAPB in the opening match Saturday and dropped the final match to tournament champs LSU. Senior outside hitter Priscilla Ehieze (Houston, Texas) led the Bulls with 29 kills over the weekend and led the tournament with a .520 attack percentage. She recorded a career-best 13 kills against LSU. Junior libero Maria McLamb (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) led the USF Invitational with 4.50 digs per set while adding six assists. Redshirt-junior middle blocker Clara Payne (Osteen, Fla.) totaled 17 points on 13 kills and two assists over the weekend with six blocks. Ehieze and Payne were named to the all-tournament team. The Field Stephen F. Austin: Coming off a 20-11 season, the Ladyjacks shook off a season-opening defeat and have won three-straight. Junior outside hitter Haley Coleman leads Stephen F. Austin with 41 kills. Sophomore setter Ann Hollas has recorded no fewer than 16 assists in each of the first four matches. She leads the Southland Conference with 93 assists. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs opened the season winning two of three at the SMU Invitational in Dallas last weekend. Junior setter Morgan Kath was involved in nearly every point, assisting on 149 kills to rank 25th in the country. Senior right-side hitter Jelena Vujcin was on the receiving end of 55 of those assists to lead the team. Collectively, the Bulldogs rank 25th nationally with 24 service aces. Grambling State: The Tigers are coming off a four-sets victory on Tuesday after dropping a pair of matches at the ISTAP Tournament in Montgomery, Ala. Grambling State has five players with double-digit kills, led by sophomore outside hitter Chasity Nicks (19) and junior right-side hitter Kevreion Ward (16). Senior setter Diemend Richardson leads the Tigers with 37 assists. Notables • Ehieze sits 15th in the country with her .520 attack percentage. • The Bulls have fared well against this weekend’s opponents, posting a combined 9-2 record. • USF holds an 8-2 series edge against Mississippi State, last meeting in 2010. The Bulls defeated Grambling State in the only encounter in 2008.
  11. USF Football game day is back at Ray Jay tomorrow! The #19 Bulls (1-0) kickoff their home schedule against the Stony Brook Seawolves (0-0) and we want you to know everything to look forward this weekend. REMINDER // The Stampede has a new location. The team will now arrive on Tom McEwen Blvd. on the south side of the stadium. Stony Brook (0-0) vs. #19 USF Football (1-0) Saturday, September 2nd @ 4:00pm Raymond James Stadium Game Day Timeline 11:00am// Parking lots and the Raymond James Stadium Ticket Office open. Click HERE for a map of Raymond James Stadium and its surrounding lots. 1:00pm// The Bulls Zone is open and is the premier destination to begin your game day experience. Located on the south end of Raymond James Stadium, there is plenty of fun and games for fans of all ages and don't miss out on a live music performance. 1:30pm// Be a part of The Stampede and welcome the USF Football team as they arrive to the stadium. Be sure to get there early to catch a glimpse of the Bulls as they make their way into the stadium. **NEW** The Stampede has a new location. The team will now arrive on Tom McEwen Blvd. on the south side of the stadium. 2:30pm// Gates open! 2:45pm// Catch the Herd of Thunder Road Show on Tom McEwen Blvd. over on the south side of the stadium. 3:59pm// Team Entrance on to the field 4:00pm// Kickoff...#GoBulls Other Helpful Information // The Clear Bag Policy is in effect for all USF home games in 2017. To ensure that you are prepared for game day, click HERE to read more about the policy. // Click HERE for the Raymond James Stadium A-Z Fan Guide. // Do you know of any family, friends and/or neighbors who support USF but haven't yet joined the thousands of Bulls fans who will be at Raymond James Stadium this fall? If so, click HERE to check out the new USF Football Ticket Referral Program and the awesome prizes and game day experiences that you can choose from when you refer new Bulls fans in 2016. Questions? Phone// 1-800-Go-Bulls (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) Email// Twitter //@USFAthletics / @USFBullsTix Website//
  12. BULLS GETTING READY FOR 'SMASH-MOUTH' STONY BROOK By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior WriterTAMPA, AUG. 30, 2017 – USF Football isn't taking Stony Brook lightly heading into the Bulls' home opener, especially on the defensive side of the ball.Defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary broke down the Seawolves' offense after Wednesday's practice at the Morsani Complex and said the "old school" FCS team won't be shy about bringing the battle to the Bulls on Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium. Reserve your seats for the 4 p.m. kickoff at"It's going to be a big-time challenge for our front seven," Jean-Mary said. "We don't look at classification, as far as level of football, where they're from, or any accolades. All we know is when we turn on the film, they try to maul people."Using multiple sets, Stony Brook likes to bring big personnel onto the field to accompany an offensive line that features four 6-feet-5 players on the depth chart and a first-team group that weighs in at an average of 312 pounds."They have some big guys and they want to play some smash-mouth football," Jean-Mary said. "They'll put three tight ends on the field and they're going to try to test you to see if you can go stop the run and if you're going to be disciplined with your eyes in the pass game. I think it's going to be a good challenge for us."Jean-Mary's defense is using this week's practices to prepare for a totally different style the Bulls saw against San Jose State in the season opener. All those tackling drills during head coach Charlie Strong's grueling fall camp should come in handy."It's good for our players because now you go from one type of offense that's going to spread you from sideline to sideline and go up-tempo, to an old school offense that's going to line up, get their knuckles in the ground and they're going to try to see how tough you are up front," Jean-Mary said. Minus two veteran tackles at SJSU, Jean-Mary was happy with ... Rest of Story
  13. USF ATHLETICS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Web Link: Bulls Split Saturday of USF Invitational; Two Named All-Tournament Priscilla Ehieze and Clara Payne were named to the all-tournament team TAMPA, Aug. 26, 2017 – The University of South Florida volleyball team split the USF Invitational on Saturday, defeating UAPB in straight sets to start the day (25-8, 25-14, 25-20) before falling to the tournament champs LSU in three sets (17-25, 15-25, 21-25). UAPB MATCH The Bulls (1-2) were dominant in the opening match of the day, jumping out to a lead as high as 19 in the first set against the Golden Lions (0-3). After an efficient second set in which the Bulls never trailed, UAPB made things interesting in the third set, cutting the deficit to just two. But USF finished the match with the final three points on a pair of kills and an Alex Mendoza (Minneola, Fla.) ace. LSU MATCH The Bulls kept things close in the opening set against the Tigers (3-0), but ultimately dropped the frame 17-25. With the second set reading 9-8 in favor of LSU, the eventual tournament champs went on a 9-0 run to create separation and take it 25-15. The Bulls showed great grit and fire in the third set. Facing match point, down 17-24, USF kept balls alive on the defensive end and forced the Tigers into four-straight attack errors to trim the margin to 21-24. But LSU was able to seal the match during the next rally and win in straight-sets despite a contest-high 13 kills from senior Priscilla Ehieze (Houston, Texas). TOURNAMENT NOTABLES Tournament Champs: LSU Tournament MVP: Anna Zwiebel, LSU All-Tournament Team: Anna Zweibel, LSU Raigan Cianciulli, LSU Taylor Bannister, LSU Priscilla Ehieze, USF Clara Payne, USF Gabby Hazen, Northwestern Symone Abbott, Northwestern Taylor Sheppy, UAPB QUOTABLES: Head coach Courtney Draper on the weekend as a whole: “We played some really talented teams this weekend from some very good conferences which is great to have in these early season tournaments. We could have been more efficient at times, but we played at a quick pace and were still able to execute very well throughout the weekend.” Head coach Courtney Draper on the strong start against UAPB: “We were very sharp to start the day especially that opening set. We had 15 girls play which great to see everyone get experience. Some of our younger players getting that playing time early on in the year is what’s going to make us deeper and better down the road.” Head coach Courtney Draper on Priscilla Ehieze’s performance: “I couldn’t be more proud of Priscilla and the effort she has been putting in. She can be a dominant player and has found that consistency we always knew she was capable of playing with. So far the hard work she put in is paying off.” Senior outside hitter Priscilla Ehieze on the experience of hosting the season’s first tournament: “It was a great experience seeing everyone come together for the first time with so many new girls this year. We showed a lot of potential and executed some things very well in all three matches. Senior outside hitter Priscilla Ehieze on the team’s passion and energy: “We all have an awesome mentality this year and will do anything to win. We’re trying to play with a chip on our shoulder and it’s giving us a ton of confidence no matter who we play or what the scoreboard says.” KEY STATS Ehieze led the USF Invitational with a .520 attack percentage (29 kills). Redshirt-junior middle blocker Clara Payne(Osteen, Fla.) tallied 13 kills and six blocks. Senior middle blocker Joli Holland (Dublin, Calif.) led the tournament with 0.80 blocks per set. Junior libero Maria McLamb (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) led the Invitational with 4.50 digs per set. Mendoza led the Bulls with 61 assists over the weekend. NOTABLES Ehieze’s 13 kills against LSU were a career-high. Freshmen Doris Carter (Lexington, Ky.) and Nikkia Benitez (Miami) had strong opening weekends with a combined 31 kills. UP NEXT The Bulls travel to Starkville, Ms. for the Bulldog Invitational September 1-2. USF will face Stephen F. Austin, Mississippi State and Grambling State.
  14. USF ATHLETICS WEB LINK: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Aug. 25, 2017 Follow @USFAthletics On Twitter Like USF Athletics on Facebook Gulf Coast Showcase Field Set USF will face Washington State in the first round TAMPA, AUG. 25, 2017 – The University of South Florida women’s basketball team will face elite competition in the 2017 Gulf Coast Showcase over Thanksgiving. In the opening round of the tournament, USF will face Washington State with a chance to take on defending National Champion South Carolina and former Big East foe Notre Dame. USF will open play against Washington State Nov. 24and will face Notre Dame or East Tennessee State Nov. 25. The full tournament field includes Rutgers, South Carolina, St. John’s, Washington State and Western Michigan. The eight-team showcase is headlined by the Gamecoks and the Irish but ESPN analyst and women’s tournament director, Debbie Antonelli, says this is the best field in the tournament’s five-year history. “Germain Arena will feel like an NCAA Regional on Thanksgiving weekend,” said Antonelli. “South Carolina and Notre Dame may garner most of the attention but this field may be deeper than any other in the five-year history of the Gulf Coast Showcase. The quality of coaching is off the charts with two Hall of Fame coaches in Muffet McGraw and Vivian Stringer, as well as Dawn Staley who was enshrined as a player. South Florida returns nearly its entire team and is battle-tested while Western Michigan and ETSU will contend for league titles this year.” The tournament will support the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The hospital is the only children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami and provides vital health care for the region’s sick and injured children and their families. Ticket and Fan Travel Information Tickets for the 2017 Gulf Coast Showcase go on public sale on Monday, Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. ET at or through Ticketmaster. All-Tournament passes for either the men’s tournament or women’s tournament are available for $74, $99 or $149 per tournament. Single session tickets, ranging from $10 General Admission to $45 Courtside for each two-game session, will go on-sale later this summer. Each day of the tournament will feature an afternoon session (starting at 11 a.m.) and evening session (5 p.m.) and tickets will be good for both games of a given session. Fan travel information, including preferred hotel rates at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, is available on Full bd Global release can be found here.
  15. USF ATHLETICS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Web Link: Bulls Begin Season Hosting USF Invitational The Bulls welcome Northwestern, LSU and UAPB; open season at home for the first time since 2013 Tournament Schedule Match 1: Friday, Aug. 25 | 4 p.m. | LSU vs. UAPB Match 2: Friday, Aug. 25 | 7 p.m. | USF vs. Northwestern Match 3: Saturday, Aug. 26 | Noon | USF vs. UAPB Match 4: Saturday, Aug. 26 | 2 p.m. | LSU vs. Northwestern Match 5: Saturday, Aug. 26 | 5 p.m. | Northwestern vs. UAPB Match 6: Saturday, Aug. 26 | 7 p.m. | USF vs. LSU TAMPA, Aug. 24, 2017 – Primed and ready to get the 2017 campaign under way, the University of South Florida volleyball team hosts the USF Invitational Aug. 25-26 inside The Corral. Opening its season at home for the first time since 2013, the Bulls welcome LSU, Northwestern and UAPB for this weekend’s six-match tournament which begins Friday at 4:00 p.m. USF faces Northwestern in the night cap at 7:00 p.m. for its season opener. All three USF matches can be seen free of charge on Facebook Live. The Bulls are coming off a 19-win season, the most victories for the program since 2007. USF returns seven members from last year’s squad, led by senior setter Alex Mendoza (Minneola, Fla.), who finished third in the American Athletic Conference in 2016 with over 10 assists per set. She eclipsed 2,000 career assists last year, becoming just the ninth player in program history to reach the milestone. Redshirt-junior middle blocker Clara Payne (Osteen, Fla.) is back after recording 340 points a season ago and a team-high 124 total blocks, which ranked third in the conference. She was the lead point getter amongst all league middle blockers. Senior middle blocker Joli Holland (Dublin, Calif.) is back for her final campaign after leading the Bulls with a .337 hitting percentage in 2016. She tallied 202 kills and 78 total blocks. Sixth-year head coach Courtney Draper will unveil 10 newcomers this weekend and all are expected to have a spot in the rotation. The group consists of five transfers and five freshmen who have impressed throughout the preseason. The Field Northwestern: With eight teams in the AVCA preseason top-25 and four in the top-10, the Wildcats hail from one of the best conferences in the country. Chicago’s Big Ten school is led by second-year head coach Shane Davis. Northwestern returns 11 players, three starters and its libero. The Wildcats are guided by a pair of seniors in setter Taylor Tashima and outside hitter Symone Abbot. Tashima tallied 1,008 assists and 238 digs in 2016 and Abbot registered 459 kills. LSU: The Tigers are steered by Fran Flory, who is in her 20th season as head coach. LSU returns five of its top six point producers from 2016 and both liberos. Senior outside hitter Gina Tillis tallied a team-high 333 kills in 2016. Senior liberos Cheyenne Wood and Kelly Quinn combined for 670 digs last season. UAPB: The Golden Lions return their top three attackers from 2016. Third-year head coach Dustin Sahlmann has talent and youth back in the fold, as sophomore outside hitter Kendalle Howard leads the returners after posting 198 kills, 240 points, 116 digs and 26 aces in 2016. Senior outside hitter Lauren Corby notched 165 kills, 65 total blocks and 222 digs last season while junior middle blocker Taylor Burrall recorded 142 kills and a team-high 77 total blocks. Notables • The Bulls have gone 5-1 in opening tournaments over the last two years, dropping a total of four sets. • The Bulls have faced this weekend’s opponents a combined three times. USF dropped the only meeting against Northwestern, has yet to play UAPB and is tied with LSU 1-1. About USF Volleyball In addition to 10 newcomers, USF returns a slew of talent for 2017, led by senior setter Alex Mendoza, who surpassed the 2,000 assist total in 2016 and led the Bulls with 1,125 helpers. Redshirt-junior middle blocker Clara Payne finished second on the team with 340 points and senior middle blocker Joli Holland finished fourth with 251.5. The Bulls are guided by sixth-year head coach Courtney Draper. Follow the volleyball team on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram) and visit for the most up-to-date information.
  18. Physical Defense Ready to Step UpSeven starters return to USF's up-tempo offense that shattered nearly 40 program records in 2016, Meanwhile, the Bulls' defense is ready for redemption."We talk about it every day on the defensive side of the ball," said senior defensive tackle Bruce Hector (Tampa). "We have great guys on the offensive side, but this year we're just going to show everybody that we're one of the top defenses and people should be worried about us also."USF definitely has the talent to get the job done.Hector is one of nine returning starters on a refocused defense that's dialed into what new coordinator Brian Jean-Mary and Strong want this season."There's just so many things when we talk about our game plan to win, you want to go play great defense," Strong said. "In order to play great defense, you have to tackle and you can't give up explosive plays and be able to create some turnovers."Through 21 fall camp practices, USF's defense showed it can do all of the above in what turned out to be the most grueling preseason run any Bull on the roster has experienced. A gritty, old-school approach is all Strong knows and the battle-tested Bulls have taken on his style in all phases of the game."I told them I want us to be a physical aggressive team on offense, a physical, aggressive team on defense and even in the kicking game," Strong said. "It's just the way we practiced, but the players enjoyed it." More/Link..
  19. Joey Johnston, a senior writer for the Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times sports sections for 36 years, will join the radio team as sideline reporter. I like him better in that role than Riley ... Good to have another USF alum on team.
  20. BULLS WRAP UP FALL CAMP AT RAY JAY By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior WriterTAMPA, AUG. 19, 2017 – USF Football's grueling 21-practice run through fall camp came to a close at a glorious, game day location on Saturday.Massive digital video boards were once again emblazoned with green and gold as head coach Charlie Strong guided the Bulls through a walk-through game preparation on the perfect turf at Raymond James Stadium."Some of these younger guys have never played here, seen these boards or been on this field," linebacker Auggie Sanchez said. "That's pretty cool for them to see for the first time."Saturday started with an exciting first, even for veteran players like Sanchez, a redshirt senior from St. Petersburg.Once the buses rolled into Ray Jay, the team got a chance to check out USF's new, personalized locker room that will be finished in time for the home opener on Saturday, Sept. 2. Stay tuned for a sneak peek at the finished product on during the week of the Bulls' home opener with Stony Brook."You go in there and it's green and gold stuff, and on the wall it's USF," Sanchez said. "It's cool, we haven't had it since I've been here and it's nice to kind of have something that's our own."After the locker room tour, USF hit the field for a run-through of all types of game situations the Bulls may see once the season kicks off at San Jose State next Saturday."Once we get out on the field, coaches make sure we go hard and they want us to work while we're tired because in the games, it will get easier for you," quarterback Quinton Flowers said. "If you start fast and just continue that momentum, everything will be easy for you." Rest of Story