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  2. By Brad Meyer | Published 10/10/2020 | USF Football Tampa, FL - It is October 10 in the year nobody wanted and that won't end fast enough. The Bulls will compete in their first conference home game this season and the first home game with fans welcomed into a socially distanced Raymond James Stadium. The East Carolina Pirates sail into town after two convincing defeats. After three consecutive postponed contests to open the season, ECU welcomed UCF to Greenville and proceeded to get walloped 51-28. The next week, the Pride of Purple Pirates went to Atlanta to have Georgia State hang a 49-29 loss on them. Georgia State is a Sun Belt team with little on their resume to know if they are that good, or the Pirates are that bad. Most know the Pirates were picked just above the Bulls in the AAC coaches preseason poll. The Bulls, of course, were picked last. Yes, jokes could be made, but in this weird year and strange season dynamic, it's about getting better and preparing for future seasons (and NOT losing to ECU). The Bulls are 9-1 overall against ECU and 3-1 in Tampa. Last season the Bulls sank the Pirates 45-20 in Greenville's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. That was the work of one now departed Charlie Strong. So there is something on the line. They're the next worse. Historically, we've been better. Chuck beat them! In its two losses, ECU's opponents rolled up yards like Hav-a-Tampa once rolled up tobacco. In bunches. The Pirates have given up an average of 558 yards per game - 323 through the air. With South Florida's four headed-quarterback monster, there is plenty of opportunity for one if not two of them to establish themselves as pack leader(s). Leonard Parker The Pirates aren't much better defending the ground game. Bulls' mystery man and leading rusher last game, Leonard Parker, may find some fertile ground this evening. Parker, listed as a defensive back on the Bulls roster, carried the ball seven times for 51 yards against Cincinnati. The remaining rushing attack managed 26 carries for 31 yards. It was Parker's first action of the season, offensively or defensively. Too make it more interesting, the redshirt freshman DB also played wide receiver in addition to running back in high school. Cincinnati was allegedly the #15 best in the nation as the Bulls sputtered to a second consecutive loss. The Bearcats looked bad, but the Bulls looked worse. The Pirates bring an opportunity for the Bulls to restore their confidence after the offense committed five ugly turnovers last week. That starts with a quarterback (or two, if it must be) that can stay on the field and net positive yardage without turnovers. It needs a rushing attack that can average greater than 2.5 yards per carry. Average per rush has declined each game. Add the emergence of a solid receiver or two and the defense can get even better. Last week the Bulls defense spent 36 minutes on the field, even while collecting four turnovers, keeping it manageable for any competent offense. Granted the QB group faced allegedly #7 Notre Dame and Cincinnati. But the scoring drought lasted more than six full quarters before the Bulls scored with :49 left in the seventh. The offense has got to contribute tonight and each game going forward. It is for upcoming seasons that truly matter, but the Bulls need to get it started tonight. 7 p.m. - Raymond James Stadium (more info) TV: ESPN+ RADIO: 1250 AM WHNZAUDIO STREAM: iHeartRadio - Bulls Unlimited Brad Meyer is site founder of and writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
  3. By Brad Meyer | Published 09/15/2020 | USF Football Tampa, FL – New Head Coach Jeff Scott's South Florida Bulls corralled their first victory, a win over The Citadel in the first game of this long anticipated season. The Bulls topped the Bulldogs 27-6 on the strength of a ground game that averaged 7.7 yards per carry. Kelley Joiner Sophomores Kelley Joiner and Johnny Ford shared Offensive Player of the Game honors. Joiner led the Bulls with 87 yards on 8 carries (10.9 average) while Ford carried the ball 9 nines for 71 yards (7.9 average). Freshman Brain Battie gained 43 yards on three carries as the Bulls totaled 302 yards on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Jordan McCloud was one of three Bulls QBs featured. He tossed the Bulls first and only touchdown through the air. With 49 seconds remaining in the first period McCloud connected on a 10 yard back shoulder pass to Devontres Dukes to put the Bulls up 7-3. McCloud finished 11/16 for 68 yards and the Dukes touchdown. Noah Johnson Transfer quarterback Noah Johnson saw time, logging a 3/4, 24 yards passing line to go with seven carries for 49 yards. Freshman Katravis Marsh got in on the action completing four of five passes for ten yards. The Bulls defense amply handled The Citadel's triple option while collecting three turnovers, three sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Antonio Grier led the unit with ten tackles, one sack and a force fumble. The Bulls quickly got back to work to prepare for their second of three non-conference games to start the season. The Bulls travel to meet #7 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (USA Network). The Bulls defeated the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium in 2011, 23-20 in front of more than 80,000 fans. It will be quite different this time as this younger Bulls squad - undergoing a rebuild - arrive amid a pandemic and reduced crowd size. Still it is #7 Notre Dame, featuring graduate student quarterback Ian Book. Book was the Irish's Offensive Player of the Year last year starting all 13 games at QB, finishing the year 240-for-399 for 3,034 yards and 34 TDs with just six interceptions. Notre Dame defeated Duke in their season-opener, 27-13. Book was 19/31 for 263 yards with one TD, one INT. Leading rusher, Kyren Williams, ran 19 times for 122 yards (5.9 average). The Bulls will need to capitalize on mistakes as their predecessors did nine years ago. In the 2011 contest, Notre Dame had double the offensive yards of USF, but the Bulls gained the edge by forcing five Irish turnovers. The Bulls will have to move to more traditional defense after preparing for The Citadel's triple option. Likewise on the offensive side of the ball, a more balanced approach. Against the Bulldogs, the Bulls ran 39 rushing plays to 25 passing plays. This Saturday, especially with a far more potent Irish offense, the Bulls may find themselves less able to rely on the productive run game, especially if they find themselves trailing by a wide margin. It's another step for the program whose mantra is "BEST is the standard". You have to play the best to become the best. Jeff Scott and USF get the first look at "best" this weekend. Brad Meyer is site founder of and a writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
  4. By Brad Meyer | Published 08/28/2020 | USF Football The USF Bulls Football Online Auction got underway on August 26 and features more than 50 items of interest to Bulls fans. The silent auction is sponsored by the Fishman Family Foundation and is operated on the QTEGO platform. The platform allows for a quick signup and easy bidding on many different devices. Auction items range widely including from golf greens fees to a fishing trip with USF Head Coach Jeff Scott. In fact, there are auctions to fish, golf or dine with the head coach. If you're looking for an opportunity to get to know Coach Scott this is your chance while you help out the football program. There are autographed NFL helmets of former Bulls greats D'Ernest Johnson, Jason Pierre-Paul, Deadrin Senat and Austin Reiter. Also, former Bulls wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling has signed a white Bulls helmet with the oversize iconic U decal. In a related lot, there is an autographed USF Valdes-Scantling Bulls jersey with nameplate intact. USF Bulls jerseys and helmets are in good supply with many autographed by Coach Scott. If you have looked everywhere for a black USF SoFlo helmet, you have found it. In fact, there are five on the auction right now. Also in the helmet category is the USF Chrome version and the Salute to Service helmet, both in good quantity. As mentioned, its not just all USF Football gear. There are several golf and resort packages as well as restaurant and entertainment items. There are golf bags and Adidas sideline gear packages too. You can reach the auction platform by clicking here. The auction ends September 1. Don't delay. Find and bid on items with proceeds benefiting USF Bulls Football. Brad Meyer is site founder of and a writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
  5. By Brad Meyer | Published 08/08/2020 | USF Basketball Coming up this November is a date of significant importance, the opening of the Yuengling Center, nee Sun Dome. The Sun Dome was officially opened on November 29, 1980. The first event to be held there was a basketball game against Florida A&M in which the Bulls dropped a heart breaking 65-63 season opener. The grand opening would occur less than one week later when the Bulls hosted the Duke Blue Devils, losing 83-72. The Bulls went 18-11 and amassed 15 straight wins in the Sun Dome following the loss to the Blue Devils, making it a 15-2 regular season record under the inflated roof. The Bulls' final game in the Dome that season was against the Connecticut Huskies in a first round NIT game. The Bulls lost 65-55, ending with a 15-3 record in their new home. Prior to the construction of the Sun Dome, the Bulls played games across the area, including Curtis Hixon Hall, the Bayfront Center, the Lakeland Civic Center and the Fairgrounds. The 1980-81 squad featured many fan favorites including Tony Grier, Vince Reynolds, Willie Redden and Rob Rutledge. Grier led the group in scoring at 19.2 points per game. Each of these players averaged double figures with Reynolds at 13.7, Redden at 11.0 and Rutledge 10.7. The team was coached by Lee Rose in his first of six seasons at the helm of South Florida Basketball. It was an exciting time for South Florida Basketball. Many great moments occurred in those Sun Dome early years including the short lived Florida Four tournaments. Beginning in 1981, the Florida Four was a two day tournament between South Florida, Florida, Florida State and Jacksonville. In the inaugural Florida Four, the Bulls defeated the Gators (58-56) on Friday and the Seminoles (82-67) on Saturday. Both wins came at the Sun Dome. A year later the Bulls would again defeat the Seminoles (90-77) to start the Florida Four on Friday, then turn around and beat the Gators (77-73) on Saturday at the Sun Dome's slightly more attractive twin in Gainesville. The Florida Four experience ended with USF undefeated. The Sun Dome would later be referred to as the USF Sun Dome and then ultimately be renamed the Yuengling Center in 2018 after agreeing to a 10 year deal with D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. for the naming rights. Back to Tony Grier, a three year player from Port Chester, NY and the 87th overall pick in the 1982 NBA draft (Spurs). He scored his way onto the USF 1,000 point list with 1,465 points in his career (7th all time). Although he departed in 1982, USF never left Tony's heart. He returned in 1984 to complete his USF degree. Grier captured that grand era of South Florida Basketball and its incredible change beginning with an on campus arena, a Final Four experienced coach and a crazy student section that would come to be known as the Rose Garden. He is re-releasing his book A Raging Bull: Chasing the Big Time - the only comprehensive look at USF Basketball from the 1970s until date of original publishing (2007). Grier tells a fantastic story about his life, the Sun Dome, the boosters, the environment and the excitement of USF Basketball. Highly recommended, A Raging Bull, is in second release in 2020 to coincide with the 40th season in the Yuengling Center. You can grab a copy now for just $20 with free shipping. Visit ARagingBull.com for more information and to order your copy. Tony is a member of The Bulls Pen and will be aware of this posting should there be any questions for him. Brad Meyer is site founder of and writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
  6. By Brad Meyer | Published 07/11/2020 | College Football Tampa, FL – It started with the Big Ten’s announcement that member schools will only play a conference schedule this fall. While football is the major revenue driver, this statement applied to other fall sports including men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. The conference stated this is necessary to protect the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes. With most non-conference games being home games for the Big Ten but necessary operating income for the visiting team, is this really about protecting the health, safety and wellness of players? In support of this, I hope the Big Ten and the Pac-12 (that eagerly followed with similar announcement), soon post just how they are going to keep players healthier and safer by only playing conference mates. Especially, when conferences, like the Pac-12 currently have half of their membership located in states currently considered hotbeds for Covid-19. How could Arizona State showing up at Utah and make any sense when Utah might be better off with an in-community game vs BYU? Or even Montana State? In a Covid-19 impacted college football landscape, perhaps the Power Five Commissioners recognize the changing landscape and find that with each game above the mandated and self-enriching conference schedule there is a financial shortfall. Also, with the broad impact of the virus, the College Football Playoff will be making P5 friendly adjustments to selection criteria. And let’s not fail to mention the cost of “payday” games when current social distancing does not allow you to fill a stadium. The Bulls are drooling over a huge financial windfall of $1.9 million for a game that was negotiated to be played in September 5 as a result of Texas altering an earlier agreement. On the other coast FAU had a $1.2 million dollar payday game with Minnesota. Now, it’s likely both are in the hands of attorneys. Some Power Five programs are struggling financially. Minnesota is trying to work itself out of a $10 million coronavirus-caused budgetary shortfall. But if the very wealthy P5s are examining the path to survival, what is it like for USF, FAU and other non P5 schools? Without payday games many schools budgets can be turned upside down, especially as you look beyond the American Athletic and other Group of Five conferences. So is it budget cutting or is it health, safety and wellness? Or does that trio of heartwarming issues provide cover for the Power Five to continue on their path to complete independence and the quest to strip the remaining programs of any funding or relevance? I mean if it’s about health and safety, who would push back? Brad Meyer is site founder of and writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
  7. By Brad Meyer | Published 08/07/2020 | USF Football It was just a few months ago when ESPN's Phil Steele came out with his ranking of college football schedules (visit thread here). The South Florida Bulls were named as having the second toughest strength of schedule in college football. In a rebuilding year, that may not sound so exciting. But for fans, playing a strong schedule is so much more entertaining than beating up on undermanned teams. Surely it limits your chances for the "undefeated season" and a claim for a "national championship", but we'll leave that phoniness for others to strive for. The Bulls non-conference opponents have slowly walked away from the agreed upon schedule. Starting with Bethune-Cookman in July, the schedule is slowly being unwound. The Wildcats, members of the MEAC, came off the schedule as the conference canceled all fall sports. B-C would have been the Bulls home opener falling a season-opener at Texas. Yes, Texas. The one-game road trip that started as a three game series featuring the new Charlie Strong against his former team, the Longhorns. After a shortening to one game in Austin, it appears the Bulls will not be the selected non-con game on the Longhorns Covid-adjusted schedule, despite GoUSFBulls.com still listing it as happening on September 5. Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope, still. Also on that GoUSFBulls.com schedule is a home game against the Nevada Wolf Pack, on September 19. However, on the official Wolf Pack site, the game at South Florida has been erased. The Mountain West allows its members to play two non-conference opponents in 2020. The Bulls apparently did not make the cut. In recent days, the American Athletic announced its conference football plan. The Bulls will play a conference schedule (hopefully) of eight games while granted the permission to schedule up to four non-conference games. The Bulls still have in-state FAU on the schedule. It was originally to be played in Boca Raton on September 26. As far as it is known, the game is still on. This game has an intrigue factor as the Owls are currently coached by two former USF head coaches Willie Taggart (Head Coach) and Jim Leavitt (Defensive Coordinator) along with other familiar names like Raymond Woodie and Kevin Patrick. With Bethune-Cookman a solid out and Texas and Nevada inching closer to the door each day, what are the Bulls options? Differing opinions on non-conference opponents abound. Some believe we should stay regional and reduce costs. Traveling to a top program likely would not result in the typical pay day game either. So, who to schedule? At this point we're not even sure of how fans will be involved, regarding seating, tailgating, etc. At this point, it really is a "what's best for the team" situation. And what is best for the team is low-cost games. The more the better. As coach Jeff Scott begins his rebuild, the Bulls cannot go without games. Certainly practices can take the team a long way, but competition will help to build the team and shape its camaraderie for next season and beyond. So please, let's let not negatively criticize the new schedule as it comes about. Yes we had the second best schedule in the country - now we just need games. After all, we should all be grateful for a program willing to play and ready to get student-athletes and fans back to some form of normalcy. For a look at potential new opponents, please visit this link. It will take you to the main forum and a current discussion on available teams by date. Brad Meyer is site founder of and writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
  8. By Brad Meyer | Published 07/05/2020 | USF Football Tampa, FL - With just over two months remaining before the first potential 2020 football game for the South Florida Bulls, there is little doubt the game itself may be at risk. The September 5 game, to be played at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium, would be a difficult debut game for Bulls new head coach Jeff Scott. Add to that the erasure of spring football and the Covid-19 impact to fall practice. The Bulls returned to campus, tested and readied for voluntary athletic activities beginning June 10. By June 17, however, two USF players were declared positive for coronavirus. Workouts continued in groups of 10 or less as the program also worked to better sanitize and social distance prior to being put on extended hold. Meanwhile, the state of Texas has witnessed an increase in Covid-19 cases. The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has mandated face covers statewide beginning with the 4th of July weekend. Austin Mayor Steve Adler also banned gatherings over groups greater than 10 participants. Prior to the recent outbreak, the Texas governor had approved an order to allow sports facilities to operate at 25%. That order was followed by a statement that colleges in the Lone Star State should not expect capacity greater than 50%. With the current increase in cases, we may see yet another restatement of expectations before long. The Daily Caller reported local Florida sports personality, Chris Torello, reported that USF informed its donors and season ticket holders to not to book trips to Austin for the the season opener. With a potential reduction in stadium capacity, it appears the visitor allotment may be the first to go. Individually, Bulls fans are finding ways to acquire tickets separately from the USF entourage. Early predictions for the 2020 opener have been unsurprisingly lopsided in favor of the Longhorns. Texas fan site, Longhorns Wire, expects a 45-13 Texas victory. The Bulls have a lot of questions to answer as head coach Jeff Scott transforms the program and its culture. The first question mark starts with the quarterback position where the Bulls return 2019 starter Jordan McCloud, but also adds sophomore Cade Fortin and grad transfer Noah Johnson, formerly of Alcorn State. With increasing Covid-19 cases in the state of Florida, it's difficult to tell when the Bulls might return in numbers to the practice fields, but Scott is preparing for a return in the short term. There will be much yet to do in order to prepare for the season. Brad Meyer is site founder of and writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
  9. Looking to become part of a solution? Bulls fans everywhere are seeking more media coverage on the Bulls. TheBullsPen.com is considering re-entering coverage as part of the community offering. We are looking for a few good pens. Now is a great time to assist in the rebuilding of USF Athletics by creating engaging content that, like our community, helps build year-round support for the Bulls. If you would like to be a part of the user-driven content experience as a writer, photographer or editor email me today. We are looking for amateurs and experienced contributors. Developing and productive writers, as well as experienced contributors, will receive appropriate compensation. If you are passionate about the Bulls and want to help deliver a great experience to Bulls fans online, reply today. Should you have any questions, please use the email link above to contact me. Thank you, Brad Meyer
  10. Nice article. I wonder if all other college Baseball teams are going to suffer similar talent attrition due to these times.
  11. By Brad Meyer | Published 04/24/2019 | USF Football Tampa, Fl - Today the University of South Florida announced a deal to play a home and home with the Boise State Broncos. The first game of the short series will take place in Tampa, Florida in 2025. The return game to Boise, Idaho will take place in 2027. The 2025 game is on August 30, clearly a season opener for the Bulls. Also that season, the Bulls meet out of conference foes the University of Florida (away) and San Jose State University (home). Boise State has finished ranked in the last two seasons, and boasts a 52-15 record under current coach Bryan Harsin. The Broncos play in the well publicized Abertson's Stadium, featuring the shockingly blue artificial grass surface. Boise State also plays South Florida conference mate Cincinnati in 2025. Brad Meyer is site founder of and writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
  12. By Brad Meyer | Published 07/06/2020 | Site Information Gilbert, AZ - Looking to become part of a solution? Bulls fans everywhere are seeking more media coverage on the USF Bulls. TheBullsPen.com is re-entering coverage as part of the community offering. We are looking for a few good pens, or keyboards. Now is a great time to help drive the resurgence of USF Athletics by creating engaging content that, like our community, builds year-round support for the Bulls. If you would like to be a part of the user-driven content experience as a writer, photographer or editor email me today. We are looking for amateurs and experienced contributors. More information and application can be found at this link. If you are passionate about the Bulls and want to help deliver a great online experience to Bulls fans, apply today. Should you have any questions, please use the email link above to contact me. Brad Meyer is site founder of and writer for TheBullsPen.com. He can be contacted at admin@thebullspen.net.
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