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  1. USF SELECTED AS PRESEASON FAVORITE BY CONFERENCE COACHES January 09, 2019 PROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 9, 2019 – Following an American Athletic Conference regular season championship in 2019, USF was picked to finish first by the conference coaches in the 2019 preseason poll, the league announced Wednesday. USF received a total of 45 votes with four first place votes to clinch the top spot in the poll. USF will return to the diamond after the program's 14th trip to the NCAA tournament in 2018 with the reigning American Athletic Conference co-Pitcher and Rookie of the year Georgina Corrick. USF also boasts The American coaching staff of the year, head coach Ken Eriksen and assistant coaches Jessica Moore and Laura Ricciardone, who will continue to lead the program in 2019. Wichita State and Houston check in with the second and third spots in the poll. The Shockers earned three first place votes for a total of 43 points, and the Cougars had 41 points with one first place vote. Tulsa ranks fourth in the poll after winning its third-consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship last May. The 2019 softball season begins Thursday, Feb. 7 while conference play starts Friday, Mar. 22, at home for USF. The 2019 American Softball Championship will take place May 9-11 at Cougar Softball Stadium in Houston, Texas. Be sure to follow USF softball on social media (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram) and visit GoUSFBulls.com for the most up-to-date information. The USF softball program has been one of the most successful on campus, making 12 NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the Women's College World Series in 2012. – #GoBulls –
  2. Bulls' Seven-Game Win Streak Snapped at Tulsa in Dramatic Fashion By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior Writer TULSA, Okla., JAN. 5, 2019 – David Collins' clutch bucket from long range with 4.4 seconds left tied things up before Tulsa beat the buzzer with a three of its own to hand the rallying Bulls a 78-75 loss on Saturday night. USF (11-3, 1-1 in AAC) trailed by nine with 1:12 remaining and almost had a chance at extending its winning streak to eight for the first time since the 1982-83 season. Curran Scott's three-pointer helped Tulsa (11-4, 1-1) escape with a victory in a game that saw the Bulls outrebound the Golden Hurricane and dominate in points in the paint by a 42-18 margin. Making only nine field goals in the second half, Tulsa did its damage at the free throw line, going 30 for 37 overall and 19-for-26 after the break. Laquincy Rideau (West Palm Beach, Fla.) scored a team-high 19 points, dished out seven assists and totaled five steals in USF's first loss since Nov. 24. Collins (Youngstown, Ohio) scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half while redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna (Paris) produced his conference-leading seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Seeking its first-ever win over Tulsa, USF headed into the halftime trailing, 36-31, and kept things close by scoring 18 points in the paint through the first 20 minutes. USF used an 8-0 run to take the lead when T.J. Lang's three-pointer spotted the Bulls a 12-10 advantage just over five minutes into the action. Tulsa jumped ahead by 10 with 2:38 to play in the opening half before USF cut its deficit in half by making its final four field goals down the stretch. USF trailed by 11 with 6:20 remaining and mounted its furious comeback in the final 1:12 by sinking four of its final five shots from the field. That was on top of Collins and Rideau going a combined 4-for-4 at the free throw line. Quotable Head coach Brian Gregory's thoughts on the rallying Bulls' first loss in the past eight games: "It was obviously a great game. We did some things out of character a little bit for us, but the one thing that was in character was we just kept fighting. There were so things not going so well and some difficulty in terms of the foul situation in the first half – a lot of free throws. We just kind of hung in there and kept fighting, and did some really good things at the end, really good execution." Gregory on Tulsa's final sequence of the game: "Taplin is their guy that they go (to) to score that and we made him throw an extra pass to a 25 percent three-point shooter and he made it, to that kid's credit. There are no moral victories. Our team is getting better and we've got some things we need to improve on. We've got a day off and we've got to bounce back and get ready for Wednesday." Key Stats 42 – USF dominated in points in the paint by a 42-18 margin. 30 – Tulsa made its greatest impact at the free throw line, going 30-for-37 overall and 19-for-26 in the second half. 20 – USF scored 20 points off 16 Tulsa turnovers. Notable USF was shooting for its first eight-game winning streak since the 1982-83 season. The Bulls were in search of their first 2-0 start to league play since the 2001-02 season when USF was in Conference USA. Laquincy Rideau finished with five steals after heading into Saturday's game ranking seventh in the NCAA with 2.8 steals per outing. Up Next USF returns to the Yuengling Center to host Tulane on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com.
  3. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: Jan. 4, 2019 Web Release: http://bit.ly/2QmaFTG USF to Open Conference Play at Temple USF women’s basketball will begin conference play on Saturday at Temple in a 3 p.m. tip Matchup: USF Bulls (9-5) vs. Temple Owls (4-8) Date: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 Time: 3 p.m. ET Location: McGonigle Hall, Philadelphia Broadcast: CBS Sports Network (Darren Goldwater & Swin Cash) Radio: AM 1040, Bulls Unlimited (Darek Sharp) Live Stats: StatBroadcast Twitter Updates:@USFWBB TAMPA, Fla. Jan. 4, 2019 – USF women’s basketball will travel to Philadelphia to take on Temple in the American Athletic Conference opener on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET at McGonigle Hall. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. USF (9-5) takes wins over Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 opponents into conference play and a perfect 7-0 record at home in the Yuengling Center this season. The contest at Temple will be USF’s third true road game of the season, and USF is 1-1 in true road games in 2018-19. Laura Ferreira (Lisboa, Portugal), leads USF with 15.8 points per game this season and Alyssa Rader (Thornton, Colo.) leads the Bulls on the boards with 7.9 per contest. USF is without Beatriz Jordao (Pombal, Portugal) who will forego the rest of the 2018-19 season due to injury. But USF announced on Sunday 5-foot-11 freshman wing Luize Septe (Ventspils, Latvia) will join the Bulls in a mid-year roster addition. Harvey’s Hot from the Charity Stripe Sydni Harvey (Nashville, Tenn.) is hitting 90 percent of her shots from the free-throw line, a conference leading statistic. She has made 46-of-51 free throws in 14 games this season. Boards for the Bulls Rebounding has been the secret weapon for the Bulls, who are out-performing opponents on the boards by 12.4 per game, good enough for tenth nationally. USF is also sixth nationally in rebounding with 621 total rebounds on the year. The Opponent Temple Owls Temple is coming off of a one-point loss at Duquesne, a 53-54 setback on Wednesday night. The Owls have two scorers in double figures, Mia Davis with 19.3 points per game paces Temple while Aliya Butts is averaging 14.9 points per game. Davis also leads the Owls on the boards with 9.5 per game. Temple owns wins over Delaware State, Saint Joseph’s, Iona, and La Salle this season. The Owls have faced two ranked opponents in South Carolina and Miami and both delivered losses to Temple. In the all-time series against Temple, USF owns an 11-2 advantage. USF has won its conference opener for the last four years. Notable · Rebounding is a key for USF, who is out-performing opponents on the boards by 12.4, a good enough margin for tehth nationally. · USF is sixth in the nation in total rebounds with 621 this season. · Luize Septe joined the roster on Dec. 30, 2018, a 5-foot-11 freshma wing from Ventspils, Latvia. · USF has won its conference opener for the last four years. · USF sunk a season-high 12 three-pointers and scored a season-high 102 points against Vermont. USF is the first AAC team to reach the century mark this season. · Laura Ferreira is USF’s leading scorer this season with 15.8 points per game, boosted by her 34-point game over Oklahoma, which leads The American for a single-game point total by an individual. USF posted a perfect nonconference record of 7-0 at home in the Yuengling Center, and took down three opponents who advanced to the NCAA tournament last year Follow the Action The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network with Darren Goldwater on the call and Swin Cash adding color. Fans can follow the action with live radio on Bulls Unlimited and AM 1040 with Darek Sharp back on the call. Live stats will be available on StatBroadcast. Up Next USF will return home for the War on I-4 when the Bulls take on UCF on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in a white-out game where fans are invited to wear white.
  4. BEATRIZ JORDAO TO MISS REMAINDER OF 2018-19 SEASON WITH INJURY January 03, 2019 TAMPA, Fla. Jan. 3, 2019 – USF women's basketball freshman center Beatriz Jordao (Pombal, Portugal), a strong presence in the paint and efficient shooter for the Bulls, will miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season due to a leg injury. Jordao has battled the injury in her left leg since late in November and it previously caused her to miss games against Grambling State (Dec. 15) and Vermont (Dec. 17). The decision to forgo the remainder of the season was made this week when Jordao's injury progressed. "This has been difficult for Beatriz, who has been a major contributor to our program in her first season and has a very bright future," head coach Jose Fernandez said. "She will take the time she needs to recover and allow the injury to heal and we will support her through this process. Losing Beatriz is another tough blow for our team, but we remain resilient and focused on our goals this season." The 6-foot-3 center from Portugal averaged 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds through 12 games with the Bulls, and was named The American Freshman of the Week twice this season. She earned the honor once after posting a double-double in her debut in USF's win over Ohio State, and again when she scored a game-high 14 points in 17 minutes in USF's dominating win over George Washington. In her last contest against LSU, Jordao saw just nine minutes of action. USF has 10 healthy players for the remaining 16 American Athletic Conference games following the loss of Jordao and two-time honorable mention All-American Kitija Laksa. USF announced the addition of Luize Septe on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. The Bulls commence conference play on Saturday afternoon at Temple at 3 p.m.
  5. Bulls Welcome UConn To Open League Play December 31, 2018 Game Notes (PDF) Matchup: USF (10-2) vs. UConn (9-4)Date: Wednesday, Jan. 2Time: 8:30 p.m. ESTLocation: Tampa, Fla. | Yuengling CenterTV: CBS Sports Network (Ben Holden, Mike O'Donnell)Radio: AM 820 | USF Bulls Unlimited (Jim Lighthall, Joey Johnston)Follow: Listen | Watch | Live Stats | TwitterTAMPA, DEC. 31, 2018 – The USF men's basketball team closes a three-game homestand and begins American Athletic Conference play Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. when the Bulls welcome UConn to the Yuengling Center for a matchup on CBS Sports Network.The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive a free white t-shirt and all fans are encouraged to wear white.USF (10-2) ran its winning streak to six on Saturday following a 60-54 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson behind 16 points and 16 rebounds from redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna (Paris). Yetna leads The American and ranks seventh in the NCAA with 10.9 rebounds per game and has featured seven games with double digit rebounds. Yetna also paces the conference with seven double-doubles and leads in offensive rebounds with 3.8 per game. Sophomore Justin Brown (Birmingham, Ala.) added 12 points, six rebounds and make three 3-pointers against the Knights to continue a hot stretch of shooting. Brown, who has made a team-best 22 three-pointers, is shooting 71.4 percent (10-for-14) from down town over his last three games. Overall, Brown averages 9.3 points per game and shoots 43.1 percent from beyond the arc.David Collins (Youngstown, Ohio) scored 10 points to go along with a career-high eight rebounds on Saturday and continues to serve as the offensive catalyst for the USF offense with 13.9 points per game. Collins is also second in The American and 14th in the NCAA in steals with 2.6 per game.Redshirt junior Laquincy Rideau (West Palm Beach, Fla.) stands second on the team with 12.9 points per game and leads the conference in both assists (5.7 apg) and steals (2.8 spg). Additionally, Rideau ranks eighth in the NCAA in steals and 36th in assists.THE OPPONENTUConn (9-4) has won three of its last five games but suffered an 81-58 defeat to Villanova in its most recent game. The Huskies and Wildcats were tied 30-30 at halftime, but Villanova exploded for 51 points in the second half en route to the victory. Despite only scoring 58 points, UConn still ranks second in The American with 81.3 points per game and in field goal percentage by shooting 47.6 percent.AAC Preseason Player of the Year Jalen Adams leads UConn and ranks sixth in the league with 16.6 points per game. Fellow guard Christian Vital pulls down a team-high 5.2 rebounds per game and scores in double figures with 12.4 points per game.Notable• USF is aiming for its first seven-game winning streak since the 2007-08 season.• USF is looking for its 11th win of the season, which would be the most since the 2013-14 season.• USF is ranked 13th in the NCAA and first in The American with 14.3 offensive rebounds per game.• Justin Brown is shooting 71.4 percent (10-for-14) from three-point range over the last three games.• USF ranks 18th in the NCAA and second in The American in turnovers forced with 17.6 per game.• Alexis Yetna is first in the American Athletic Conference and 19th in the NCAA with six double-doubles.• Laquincy Rideau ranks eighth in the NCAA and first in The American with 2.8 steals per game.• Alexis Yetna leads The American and ranks seventh in the NCAA with 10.9 rebounds per game.• Laquincy Rideau stands first in The American and 36th in the NCAA with 5.7 assists per game. To stay up-to-date on the latest USF men's' basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).
  6. BULLS ADD LUIZE SEPTE TO ROSTER December 30, 2018 TAMPA, Fla. Dec. 30, 2018 – USF women's basketball has announced the addition of freshman wing Luize Septe out of Ventspils, Latvia, to the roster. The 5-foot-11 freshman is eligible to play and practice immediately. More
  7. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Web Link: http://bit.ly/2BGMN8c Genord and Phillips Earn Preseason All-Conference Honors Genord was named all-conference first base and Phillips as one of three all-conference outfielders; The tandem each hit better than .300 last year, combining for 75 RBI and 24 doubles TAMPA, DECEMBER 27, 2018 – Seniors Joe Genord and Kyle Phillips were recognized by the American Athletic Conference, both being named preseason all-conference, as voted on by the league head coaches. Genord (Lake Worth, Fla.) was named to the second team all-conference in 2018, and leads a great nucleus of returning veteran talent. The senior first baseman powered the Bulls with a team high 16 home runs last season. He hit .306 with 11 doubles, a .633 slugging percentage and 53 RBI. Phillips (Orlando) leads an experienced outfield returning in 2019. In his first season at USF, Phillips finished second on the team with a .333 average and was named to the DeLand Regional All-Tournament team. He had five homers, 13 doubles and 22 RBI. The Bulls were picked to finish fifth in the preseason poll. An extremely deep American Athletic Conference sent four teams to regionals last year, two of which hosted. Defending champions ECU were picked to repeat, receiving six of the nine first-place votes. The conference tournament runner up Houston was picked to finish second, followed by UConn, UCF and USF. Tulane, Wichita St., Cincinnati and Memphis round out the poll. The Bulls begin their quest at a third-straight NCAA tournament appearance on Feb. 15, as they open the 2019 season with a home series against Samford. USF officially announced an extremely challenging schedule on Dec. 14. The 2019 slate features 55 contests, 30 being played in Tampa. USF will meet schools from seven different conferences and play 22 games against teams that appeared in an NCAA regional last year. The full 2019 schedule can be found HERE. Tickets for the 2019 USF baseball season can be found HERE, or renewed HERE. Season tickets are $80 ($64 for USF Alumni, Faculty, or Staff), and there is a Flex Pack option that includes 10 tickets for $30. For the Florida (Feb. 19) and Florida State (Feb. 26) matchups, the single game ticket prices will be $10. All other single game tickets will be $7 for ages 12 and over, and $5 for children under the age of 12.
  8. KNOW THE GASPARILLA BOWL FOE: MARSHALL December 16, 2018 By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior WriterTAMPA, DEC. 16, 2018 – Now that finals are in the books, USF football is in full scouting mode as it prepares to face Marshall in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 20 at Raymond James Stadium.Led by head coach Doc Holliday, Marshall (8-4, 6-2 in C-USA) won three of its last four regular season games to build some momentum heading into the program's 14th bowl game appearance.Marshall is 11-2 all-time in bowl games and its .846 winning percentage in NCAA-sanctioned postseason contests is the highest mark nationally among programs that have made at least five appearances. USF is tied for fifth with a .667 winning percentage in bowl games (6-3) and looks to snap the Thundering Herd's six-game postseason winning streak.Get to know more about the Thundering Herd as the Bulls get ready to take on Marshall for the first time in program history.Season BreakdownIn his ninth season with the program, head coach Doc Holliday has led Marshall to an 8-4 overall record, including an impressive 6-2 run in Conference USA.The Thundering Herd finished one game behind Middle Tennessee in the C-USA's East Division with a first-year starting quarterback in redshirt freshman Isaiah Green. Fifty-one percent of Marshall's depth chart is made up of underclassmen, including 17 of 28 players on the offense's two-deep.Marshall started off the season with wins over Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Kentucky, scoring 30-plus points in both games before a 37-20 loss to NC State. The Thundering Herd went 3-1 from there with victories over Western Kentucky, Old Dominion and Florida Atlantic before a 26-24 setback at Southern Miss.During the stretch run, Marshall defeated Charlotte, UTSA and FIU prior to a 41-20 loss at Virginia Tech in the regular season finale.Fast starts are a norm for Marshall, which has outscored opponents, 80-32, in the first quarter this season. The Thundering Herd has won 17 consecutive games when scoring first and has won the past eight when leading after the opening quarter.The CoachDoc Holliday is 5-0 in bowl games with Marshall and he'll be looking to top an old friend in Charlie Strong in the Gasparilla Bowl.Both head coaches served on the same defensive coaching staff under Urban Meyer at the University of Florida from 2005-07. Strong was the assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator while Holliday was an associate head coach and in charge of the Gators' safeties. Together, Holliday and Strong helped Florida limit Ohio State to 82 total yards in the Gators' 2006 BCS National Championship Game victory."That was a great deal and to have an opportunity to win that national championship was special," Holliday said.After his three-season run at Florida, Holliday went back to his alma mater to serve multiple roles on the West Virginia staff from 2008-09 before getting his first head coaching opportunity at Marshall in December 2009.Holliday helped the Thundering Herd capture the program's first C-USA championship in 2014 in the midst of three straight 10-win seasons (2013-15). Marshall has won eight games in each of the past two seasons and Holliday accomplished the feat this year with many up-and-coming players playing prominent roles."I have a lot of respect for his team," Strong said. "He has a very young team also, but they've been very productive. They've won some really big games and they've played very well."For decades, Holliday has put a premium on recruiting the Sunshine State and his current roster has 30 players from Florida."He has a big-time name here," Strong said. "A lot of coaches really respect him because they know that when he comes in, he's going to recruit the right guys and he's going to have a really good football team."The Quarterback and Marshall's Top TargetIsaiah Green earned Conference USA Co-Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 248.7 passing yards per game in his first season as Marshall's starting quarterback."Anytime you're playing a freshman quarterback early on, you're going to go through some growing pains," head coach Doc Holliday said. "… Watching him grow as a player and watching him develop the intangibles needed to play that position, we were fortunate."Green has completed 55.7 percent of his 305 passing attempts this season for 2,238 yards and 15 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. The Fairburn, Ga., native has at least one touchdown toss to his credit in each of the nine games he's played (eight starts) and has produced five multi-TD performances.Fortunately for Green, he gets to throw to one of the top receivers in Conference USA. Tyre Brady leads Marshall this season with 66 catches for 914 yards (13.8 ypc) and nine touchdowns. Before heading to the Senior Bowl, Brady is on the verge of becoming Marshall's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2014 and he's on a 23-game catch streak.The Rushing AttackAveraging 155.8 yards per game, Marshall ranks 86th nationally in rushing offense but has plenty of playmakers in the ground attack.Sophomore back Tyler King (Fort Meade, Fla.) has a team-leading 655 rushing yards on 108 attempts (6.1 ypc) and four touchdowns despite missing five games with a knee injury.Redshirt freshman Brenden Knox generated all 485 of his yards in the final four games of the regular season on 83 attempts (5.8 ypc). Knox rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in the regular season finale at Virginia Tech."It's just great to see some young players, when your number is called and you have to step up and play, that get the job done," Holliday said. "Knox was one of them."Another player to keep an eye on is bruising back Anthony Anderson (6-2, 240), who leads the team with eight rushing touchdowns.The DefenseAveraging 202.1 rushing yards per game, USF will be tested by Marshall's stingy defense that ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense (103.9 ypg) and hasn't allowed an individual 100-yard rusher all year.Scoring is no easy task either with Marshall giving up just 22.0 points per game in a season that has included games against NC State and Virginia Tech.Nine starters have returned to Marshall's multiple defense, including first team all-conference safety Malik Gant (6-2, 200), who is the only player in C-USA with at least nine tackles for loss and two interceptions this season.Star power continues up front with second team all-conference tackle Ryan Bee (6-7, 280), who ranks 10th in Marshall history with 18.5 career tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Omari Cobb (6-4, 223) is one of only eight players in college football with at least 50 tackles, four sacks, an interception and a defensive touchdown this season. Senior linebacker Chase Hancock leads the team with 8.9 tackles per game and needs two more stops to reach 100 for the second straight season.Aside from being great against the run, Marshall ranks fifth nationally in sacks per game (3.25), sixth in three-and-out percentage (41.3), 10th in three-and-outs per game (5.17) and 15th in third down conversion percentage defense (31.89).Rest of story
  9. BULLS RETURN TO HARDWOOD SATURDAY AGAINST APPALACHIAN STATE December 14, 2018 Story Links Game Notes (PDF) Matchup: USF (6-2) vs. Appalachian State (4-5)Date: Saturday, Dec. 15Time: 1 p.m. ESTLocation: Tampa | Yuengling CenterTV: ESPN3 (Ari Shanok, Mike O'Donnell)Radio: AM 820 | USF Bulls Unlimited (Jim Lighthall, Joey Johnston)Follow: Listen | Watch | Live Stats | TwitterTAMPA, DEC. 14, 2018 – Following 14 days off from competition due to final exams and a cancelled game, the USF men's basketball team makes its highly-anticipated return to the court Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Bulls host Appalachian State at the Yuengling Center.USF was scheduled to play at Charlotte last Sunday in a reunion of former Conference USA rivals, but travel difficulties associated with Winter Storm Diego forced the cancellation. Both schools are looking at possible dates to reschedule the game. USF (6-2) last played on Nov. 30 and tied a school record for the most wins in the month of November when it registered its sixth after a 73-63 victory over the Raiders. David Collins(Youngstown, Ohio) scored 20 points and added four steals to record his fourth 20-point game of the season. Collins enters Saturday leading USF with 16.8 points per game while pacing the league and ranking fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 steals per game.Alexis Yetna (Paris) scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds, and stands first in The American with 9.1 rebounds per game and second with three double-doubles. Yetna is averaging 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 55.2 percent from the field over his last six games after combining for just three points in the first two games.Junior guard Laquincy Rideau (West Palm Beach, Fla.) ranks second on the team with 11.6 points per game and stands second in The American with 6.0 assists per game. Rideau has also shown his value on defense as well, ranking second in the conference and 19th in the nation with 2.5 steals per game. THE OPPONENTAppalachian State (4-5) arrives in Tampa having won three of its last four games following its 82-73 victory over North Carolina Central on Dec. 8. The Mountaineers opened the season with a lopsided win over Division II Mars Hill before losing four consecutive games. Saturday's game against the Bull will be the third this season for Appalachian State against the American Athletic Conference, as the Mountaineers have already played and lost to Wichita State (82-76) and ECU (83-81).Senior guard Ronshad Shabazz leads the Appalachian State offense with 18.2 points and 3.2 assists per game, while sophomore guard Justin Forrest adds 17.8 points per game and has made a team-high 16 three-pointers. Forward Isaac Johnson paces the Mountaineers with 8.3 rebounds per game to go along with 9.8 points per game. Quotable Head Coach Brian Gregory on facing Appalachian State:"They are going to have a heck of a year. I see this team as a team that can challenge to win the Sun Belt. Ronshad Shabazz is as good of a guard that we will face all year, and their other players have dramatically improved and can really impact the game as well. They beat us pretty good last year and it wasn't a game that I enjoyed then or when I watched it again this year. It will be a big challenge for us because I think they are a team that is very talented and explosive."Notable USF is 1-1 against Appalachian State in the all-time series that dates back to the 1994-95 season. USF is in search of its first 7-2 start to a season since the 2013-14 season. Alexis Yetna is averaging 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds over his past six games. USF ranks 18th in the NCAA and first in The American with 9.0 steals per game. Alexis Yetna leads The American in rebounding with 9.1 per game. USF has fewer than or equal to the number of turnovers of its opponents in all eight games this season. Junior Antun Maricevic is shooting 75.0 percent from the field this season and has only missed three shots. To stay up-to-date on the latest USF men's' basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).
  10. BULLS OPEN DECEMBER SUNDAY AT CHARLOTTE December 07, 2018 Story Links Game Notes (PDF) Matchup: USF (6-2) vs. Charlotte (2-5)Date: Sunday, Dec. 9Time: 2 p.m. ESTLocation: Charlotte | Halton ArenaTV: CUSA.tvRadio: AM 820 | USF Bulls Unlimited (Jim Lighthall, Joey Johnston)Follow: Listen | Watch | Live Stats | TwitterTAMPA, DEC. 7, 2018 – The USF men's basketball team takes its two-game winning streak into its first true road game of the season when the Bulls travel to Charlotte, N.C., for a Sunday matchup with Charlotte at 2 p.m. from Halton Arena.USF (6-2) tied a school record for the most wins in the month of November when it registered its sixth after a 73-63 victory over Colgate on Nov. 30. David Collins (Youngstown, Ohio) scored 20 points and added four steals to record his fourth 20-point game of the season. Collins enters Sunday leading USF with 16.8 points per game while pacing the league and ranking fourth in the NCAA with 2.9 steals per game.Alexis Yetna (Paris) scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds, and stands first in The American with 9.1 rebounds per game and second with three double-doubles. Yetna is averaging 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 55.2 percent from the field over his last six games after combining for just three points in the first two games.Junior guard Laquincy Rideau (West Palm Beach, Fla.) ranks second on the team with 11.6 points per game and stands first in The American with 6.0 assists per game. Rideau has also shown his value on defense as well, ranking second in the conference and 19th in the nation with 2.5 steals per game. THE OPPONENTCharlotte (2-5) suffered its third straight loss with a its 80-56 setback Thursday at Wake Forest. The 49ers have not won since turning in a 42-39 home victory over Longwood on Nov. 19. Charlotte also upset Oklahoma State 66-64 earlier this season at Halton Arena. The 49ers, however, average just 58.9 points per game and have failed to score 70 points in any game thus far this season. Senior guard Jon Davis serves as the catalyst of the Charlotte offense with 20.4 points and 3.9 assists per game. Davis has also made a team-high 11 three-pointers and 48 free throws. Freshman forward Dravon Mangum leads the 49ers with 5.3 rebounds per game and nine blocked shots. Quotable Head Coach Brian Gregory on facing Charlotte:"We played a very close game last year when we played them here. They run a new system, one of the best systems in the country. They are getting betting defensively with a young group and they have a prolific scorer in Jon Davis. They've had some big wins. They came back from a big deficit and beat Oklahoma State. The one thing you can see watching them on film is they are a very resilient group."Notable USF is 29-25 against Charlotte in the all-time series that dates back to the 1970-71 season. USF is in search of its first 7-2 start to a season since the 2013-14 season. Alexis Yetna is averaging 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds over his past six games. USF ranks 18th in the NCAA and first in The American with 9.0 steals per game. Alexis Yetna leads The American in rebounding with 9.1 per game. USF has fewer than or equal to the number of turnovers of its opponents in all eight games this season. Junior Antun Maricevic is shooting 75.0 percent from the field this season and has only missed three shots. To stay up-to-date on the latest USF men's' basketball news, follow the Bulls on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram).
  11. No. 21/20 Bulls’ Undefeated Run Ends in Houston HOUSTON, OCT. 27, 2018 – Freshman Johnny Ford registered his second straight 100-yard rushing game as No. 21/20 USF's undefeated run came to an end with a 57-36 loss at Houston on Saturday.USF (7-1, 3-1 in AAC) entered the weekend as one of five remaining unbeaten FBS teams and fell for the first time since Nov. 24, 2017.Ford (Miami) rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries to help the Bulls run for at least 200 yards for the sixth time this season. Ford found the end zone twice during USF's 21-point second quarter that started with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jordan Cronkrite (Miami). Seeking his sixth straight 100-yard game, Cronkrite finished with 73 rushing yards and needs 67 more yards to post USF's ninth 1,000 yard season.Quarterback Blake Barnett (Corona, Calif.) completed 26 of 39 passes for 263 yards. Barnett's 39-yard touchdown pass to Deangelo Antoine (Orlando) made it a one-score game late in the third quarter, but the Bulls couldn't put together their fourth double-digit fourth quarter comeback of the season.Two of the nation's top offenses took turns making plays during Saturday's first half that saw Houston (7-1, 4-0 in AAC) take a 28-21 lead and USF rush for 176 yards. The Bulls scored 21 points in the second quarter with two touchdown runs by Ford in the period.Scoring on its first two possessions, Houston jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first six minutes before USF tied things up with two touchdowns 13 seconds apart in the second quarter.The Bulls cut their deficit in half with a 15-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that was capped by Cronkrite's 1-yard run with 10:33 left in the half. Just two plays later, Ford sprinted to the end zone on a 32-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 14-14. The score was set-up by redshirt freshman safety Mekhi LaPointe's first-career interception.USF tied things back up at 21-21 after Antoine's backside block helped Ford zoom around the Houston defense on a 17-yard touchdown run with 3:50 remaining in the half. Ford was well on his way to his second straight 100-yard rushing game with 85 yards on 10 carries in the first two quarters.Key plays on defense and special teams helped the Bulls pull within two points of Houston in the first five minutes of the third quarter.After Trent Schneider's 62-yard punt to the Houston 1, defensive pressure in the end zone led to a safety on an intentional grounding call. Bentlee Sanders' 41-yard return on the ensuing kick helped set up a 23-yard field goal by Coby Weiss(Gainesville, Fla.) with 10:47 to go in the third quarter.Trailing 43-29, USF got back within a score of Houston on Barnett's 39-yard touchdown pass to Antoine with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.USF couldn't manage to mount its fourth double-digit, fourth quarter comeback of the season despite finishing with at least 30 points for the 32nd time in the past 36 games dating back to 2015.Greg Reaves (Bradenton, Fla.) led USF defensively with a career-high 12 tackles in his second straight start at middle linebacker. Senior linebacker Khalid McGee (Miami) finished with 11 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a sack in his third double-digit tackle effort of the season.QuotableHead coach Charlie Strong's thoughts on Saturday's game:"We just didn't play well and we didn't tackle, giving up touchdown throws. You just can't play like that and go win in an environment like this."Key Stats684 yards – Houston's yardage total after entering the game ranking third nationally in total offense (555.3 ypg).14-0 – Houston scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter after USF cut its deficit to 43-36 late in the third.13-for-18– Houston converted 13 of 18 third-down attempts.Notables USF was looking to extend the program's best-ever start to a season. The Bulls started the past two seasons at 7-0 and entered Saturday's game as one of only five remaining FBS teams. USF is now 35-7 (83.3 %) over its past 42 games. USF entered Saturday tied with Oklahoma (35-6) and Ohio State and bettered only by Alabama and Clemson for the best record in a team's past 41 games. USF has scored at least 20 points in 38 straight games, the longest streak in the nation. USF has scored at least 30 points 32 of its past 36 games dating back to the 2015 season. Up NextUSF returns to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 3 to host Tulane. The Bulls' Salute to Service game is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com.
  12. USF Women’s Basketball Announces AAC Schedule September 20, 2018 TAMPA, Fla. Sept. 20, 2018 – USF women's basketball announced its complete American Athletic Conference slate, rounding out the 2018-19 schedule following the release of the composite schedule from the conference on Thursday afternoon. The Bulls will be featured on national television in nine of its 18 conference contests through the league's partnership with ESPN and CBS Sports Network, including a Sunday afternoon contest against UCONN on Jan. 13, 2019. Rest of story
  13. USF Announces AAC Basketball Schedule September 19, 2018 TAMPA, SEPT. 19, 2018 – Second-year head coach Brian Gregory and the USF men's basketball team finalized the 2018-19 schedule on Wednesday with the announcement of an 18-game American Athletic Conference schedule. The Bulls will be featured on national television in all 18 games during conference play through the league's partnership with ESPN and CBS Sports Network. Rest of story
  14. 3-0 Bulls Erase 12-Point Fourth Quarter Deficit to Defeat Illinois CHICAGO, SEPT. 15, 2018 – USF (3-0) erased a 12-point fourth quarter deficit with 18 unanswered points and extended its winning streak against Power Five foes to five straight with a 25-19 victory over Illinois at Soldier Field on Saturday.Darnell Salomon (Miami) completed the comeback with a 50-yard touchdown catch on a pass from Blake Barnett (Corona, Calif.) with 2:24 remaining after starting the fourth quarter with a 14-yard touchdown reception. USF's defense came up huge with three sacks on the final drive of the game and didn't allow a touchdown for the final 55 minutes, 6 seconds.Barnett threw both his touchdown passes to Salomon in the fourth quarter, completing 23 of 40 attempts for 411 yards, good for the second-best performance in the USF single-game record book. Salomon finished with five catches for 95 yards as the Bulls came from behind in the fourth quarter for the second straight week.Defensively, linebackers Khalid McGee (Miami) and Nico Sawtelle (Jensen Beach, Fla.) had career-high tackle days with 14 and 13 stops, respectively. Ronnie Hoggins (Coconut Creek, Fla.) added 11 tackles while Kevin Kegler (Madison, Fla.) finished with a career-high 1.5 sacks.Mitchell Wilcox (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) set a new USF game record for a tight end with eight catches for 109 yards, both career highs. Barnett also completed six passes to Randall St. Felix (Miami), who finished his second 100-yard game with 120 receiving yards and hauled in a career long 55-yard catch in the fourth quarter.Jordan Cronkrite (Miami) rushed for a career-high 136 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries to help the Bulls register their fourth 600-plus yard outing under offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. The Bulls finished with 626 yards, outgaining Illinois, which finished with 380, by 246 yards on the day.USF faced its first halftime deficit this season despite leading Illinois in offensive yards by a 267-231 margin in the first two quarters.Illinois (2-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead just over four minutes into the first quarter. USF bounced right back with Cronkrite's first touchdown run as a Bull from 3 yards out that capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive in 3:02. The sequence was kept alive by a gutsy 7-yard reception by Wilcox on fourth-and-5 from the Illinois 26.USF trailed, 16-7, at the break after preventing more points with a clutch takeaway on defense. Down, 13-7, in the second quarter, senior cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (Tampa) recovered an Illinois fumble at the USF 31 with 5:26 to go before halftime. McGee had a standout first half with nine tackles (seven solo).USF cut into its 12-point fourth quarter deficit with Barnett's 14-yard touchdown pass to Salomon on the first play of the period. Wilcox posted four catches for 53 yards on the 11-play, 75-yard drive.Coby Weiss' 26-yard field goal made it a two-point game with 7:47 remaining. The score was set up by a leaping, career long 55-yard catch by St. Felix down to the Illinois 12.USF's defense forced a punt with 3:47 left to give coordinator Gilbert's offense a chance at a go-ahead score. USF needed just 1:17 to grab its first lead, capping off a six-play, 85-yard drive with Barnett's 50-yard touchdown pass to Salomon. Barnett increased the lead to 25-19 with a two-point conversion pass to St. Felix.Sacks by Kirk Livingstone (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Kegler and Tyrone Barber (Venice, Fla.) helped stall the final Illinois drive that ended with an incomplete pass in the end zone with no time remaining.Key Stats411 – In just his third USF game, Blake Barnett threw for 411 yards, good for second in the USF single-game record books.18 – USF scored 18 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally back from a 12-point deficit.8 – The number of catches by Mitchell Wilcox, who set a new USF game record for a tight ends on the way to a career-high 109 receiving yards.5 – The Bulls registered five sacks, including three on the final drive.5 – The number of consecutive victories by USF over Power Five foes.QuotableHead coach Charlie Strong's thoughts on USF's comeback victory:"We're a better football team than what we showed today, but we come out with a win. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you win the game.""We have a bunch of talent. You look at us on offense, Mitch had eight catches. St. Felix had five and he had the really big one down there. (Salomon) had two touchdowns and Cronkrite rushed for 136, so you've got enough weapons. It's all about just getting the ball and making the plays."Notables USF won its fifth straight game against a Power Five opponent and improved to 2-0 in its all-time series with Illinois. USF has won seven of its past eight games against P5 teams, including a pair of bowl victories. USF has gone 24-4 since the start of 2016 and 11-1 in non-conference games during the span. The Bulls are in the midst of the program's most successful era (32-9 since 2015, 31-6 in past 37 games). The Bulls totaled 626 yards and passed the 600-yard mark for the fourth time under offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. It marked USF's 12th straight game posting at least 400 yards. Blake Barnett threw for a career-high 411 passing yards, which rank second on the USF single-game chart behind Quinton Flowers' 503 yards against UCF on Nov. 24, 2017. Up NextThe Bulls are back at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22 for a conference clash with East Carolina. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNews. Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com.
  15. USF ATHLETICS GoUSFBulls.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Web Link: https://bit.ly/2oSHNaG Bulls Win Blackbird Invitational with Straight-Sets Defeat of Holy Cross USF off to its best start since 1996 BROOKLYN, N.Y., SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 – The USF volleyball team put it all together on Saturday morning with its first straight-sets victory of the year, defeating Holy Cross to go a perfect 3-0 at this weekend’s Blackbird Invitational, hosted by LIU Brooklyn. The Bulls (8-1) and Crusaders (1-9) were in a battle in the opening set, as consecutive kills from redshirt senior middle blocker Clara Payne (Osteen, Fla.) and junior outside hitter Jac’cara Walker (Gainesville, Fla.) tilted the score to 25-23. USF owned the second set, 25-14, then faced a 8-4 deficit in the third set. The Bulls turned things around and eventually grabbed a 14-8 lead in the set, never looking back. Walker led the way with 11 kills. Senior setter Briana Stowell (Orlando) had her second double-double of the weekend with 32 assists and 10 digs. She also added three more aces and totaled seven at the tournament. Quotables Head coach Courtney Draper talking about the 3-0 weekend: "I’m really proud of the team effort this weekend. Everyone has a silent confidence about them right now and going 3-0 this weekend feels great. Our opponents continue to challenge us in difference ways, yet this team keeps rising to the occasion.” Notables The 8-1 start to the year is the best for the program since 1996. USF began that season 11-1 before suffering its second loss. Payne led USF with 36 kills in Brooklyn, swinging .357. Sophomore middle blocker Jaeden Brown (Hollywood, Fla.) had 31 kills and 20 total blocks at Blackbird Invitational. She recorded seven in each of the final two matches. Stowell had 115 assists and 31 digs at the tournament. Walker had 28 kills and 23 digs in the three matches. Key Stats 98 – Head coach Courtney Draper sits at career 98 wins at USF. 1 – The Bulls are one of just two teams in The American with only one loss. Houston is 9-1, followed by Cincinnati with a 7-2 record. Up Next The Bulls return home for the final tournament of the year, as they host the Tiger Classic Sept. 14-15. USF will face North Dakota, UNC Charlotte and the University of New Orleans.
  16. Bulls Erase 10-Point Fourth-Quarter Deficit to Down Georgia Tech September 08, 2018 TAMPA, SEPT. 8, 2018 – USF used a 21-point outburst to rally back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to post a 49-38 victory over ACC foe Georgia Tech Saturday before a nationally televised crowd of 34,182 at Raymond James Stadium.Quarterback Blake Barnett (Corona, Calif.) led the comeback with two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns and used his feet to produce the go-ahead score from 19 yards out with 5:08 to play. Barnett helped seal the victory with a 5-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes remaining and his second straight four-score game included a pair of touchdown passes.USF (2-0) secured its fourth straight victory over a Power Five conference foe after freshman Terrence Horne (Miramar, Fla.) tied an NCAA game record and set new USF and American Athletic Conference marks with two kickoff returns for touchdowns on consecutive returns of 98 and 97 yards. Horne set a new USF game record with 264 kickoff return yards. He added his third touchdown of the day when his 3-yard touchdown reception ignited the Bulls' rally early in the fourth quarter.Linebacker Nico Sawtelle (Jensen Beach, Fla.) also played a pivotal role in the comeback, recovering a fumble at the USF 12 with the Bulls trailing, 38-35, and intercepting a pass late in the game to protect a 42-38 lead.USF headed into halftime of its first-ever game against Georgia Tech (1-1) with a 21-17 advantage after two huge special teams plays and the first touchdown toss of the day by Barnett.Horne's highlight-reel performance began with consecutive kickoff returns for touchdowns in the first quarter. His 98-yarder helped give the Bulls a 7-3 lead and was the third-longest in program history. Horne followed that up with a 97-yarder, which gave him the new USF game record for kickoff return yards and tied him for tops on the USF season and career charts with two scores.USF took a 21-17 lead less than five minutes into the second quarter with an 18-yard scoring catch by Darnell Salomon (Miami), Barnett's fourth of five different touchdown targets already this season.Georgia Tech took the lead back on the opening drive of the second half after a 69-yard drive and USF answered right back with a 74-yard drive capped by a 14-yard touchdown run by Duran Bell Jr. (Tampa) near the midpoint of the third quarter.Down, 38-28, early in the fourth quarter, USF cut into its deficit with Horne's third score, a 3-yard touchdown catch with 12:11 to play. Sawtelle recovered a fumble on the next drive at the USF 12 and the Bulls cashed in on their second takeaway of the game.Barnett capped off a 10-play, 88-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown run that helped give USF a 42-38 lead with 5:08 remaining. USF's defense prevented a Georgia Tech comeback attempt with Sawtelle's interception inside Yellow Jackets territory. Barnett's 5-yard touchdown run put the game away with 2:56 remaining.USF's offense finished with 426 total yards, its 11th straight 400-plus yard outing, while Barnett completed 21 of 31 passes for 202 yards. Tyre McCants (Niceville, Fla.) posted a career-high 10 catches for 99 yards. Defensively, Ronnie Hoggins (Coconut Creek, Fla.) led the way with 10 tackles.Key Stats264 – The kick return yards total by Terrence Horne Jr.21 – The amount of unanswered points by USF in the fourth quarter.4 – The number of consecutive victories USF has totaled against Power Five opponents.4 – Touchdowns produced by quarterback Blake Barnett (two rushing, two passing).Notables Freshman Terrence Horne Jr. tied the NCAA game record and set new USF, American Athletic Conference top marks with two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Horne set the new USF game record with 264 kickoff return yards after taking consecutive kickoffs to the end zone from 98 and 97 yards out. USF has won four straight games against Power Five opponents and improved to 6-1 against P5 foes in the past seven games. USF has won 30 of its past 36 games and is 23-4 since the start of the 2016 season, including a 10-1 mark in non-conference games. USF has won 18 of its past 21 games at Raymond James Stadium. Saturday marked USF's first-ever meeting with Georgia Tech. The series continues next season with a game on Sept. 7, 2019 in Atlanta. Up Next USF travels to Chicago to take on Big Ten foe Illinois at Soldier Field on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:30 p.m.The Bulls are back at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22 for a conference clash with East Carolina (game time TBD). Reserve your seats at USFBullsTix.com (emphasis added). Link
  17. A good story from the official site, recommend read all BULLS MUST MAKE MOST OF DRIVES AGAINST RUN-HEAVY GEORGIA TECH September 05, 2018 By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior WriterTAMPA, SEPT. 5, 2018 – USF's high-powered offense knows it must make the most of opportunities Saturday because there might not be many against a triple-option Georgia Tech team that wants to keep the ball away from opponents."Anytime you play an offense like this, you just know and understand you average probably about six or seven possessions per game," offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert said Wednesday. "We know the importance of when we've got the ball in our hands, we've got to go put points on the board."USF (1-0) did that often early in the season opener, jumping out to a 24-0 halftime lead against Elon before utilizing its depth after the break. The challenge gets much tougher this week against Georgia Tech's defense, which surrendered 146 total yards (69 passing) in a 41-0 victory over Alcorn State last week.Georgia Tech allowed just two of 11 third-down conversions in the first game under new defensive coordinator Nate Woody. Using his effective 3-4 scheme, Woody previously helped Appalachian State lead the Sun Belt Conference in total defense three times in his five seasons with the program (2013-17)."It's a little different scheme from what we saw last weekend, but (we'll) just put a solid plan together," Gilbert said. "It's just trying to go out and execute at a high level and be efficient with what we're doing."USF wasn't wasteful with its possessions in the first half of the season opener, scoring on four of six drives with three touchdowns. Blake Barnett threw all three of his touchdown passes before the break and turned in the top scoring debut by a USF quarterback in less than three quarters of action.Despite Barnett and many of his teammates seeing their first action as Bulls, USF produced its third straight game with 500-plus yards. Under Gilbert, the Bulls have accomplished the feat in eight of the past 13 games."It really just sets a platform," Gilbert said. "… There were a lot of unknowns going into (Elon). You go back, evaluate, assess and look at, and just continue to trend upward is the goal and what we have in mind."Jean-Mary to Face Former Mentor Second-year USF defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary will be taking a trip down memory lane Saturday at Raymond James Stadium.Also USF's assistant head coach, Jean-Mary was the linebackers coach at Georgia Tech from 2004-09 and served under head coach Paul Johnson in Jean-Mary's final two seasons with the Yellow Jackets. Jean-Mary was a part of Georgia Tech's ACC Championship team in his last run with the program."I have the upmost respect for (Johnson). He gave me an opportunity to stay at Georgia Tech after being there for four years and he really didn't have to," Jean-Mary said. "I was a young coach. He didn't know much about me and he took a chance on me. I'll always be grateful to him for allowing me to go work under him. I learned a lot of things from him."Rest of report
  18. GAME 2 PLAYER TO WATCH: KHALID MCGEE September 07, 2018 By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior WriterTAMPA, SEPT. 7, 2018 – Khalid McGee was an instant hit in his first-career start at linebacker to open the 2018 season and the senior wants to bring the noise even more Saturday on the national stage.The tough-tackling playmaker and USF's swarming defense will try to slow down Georgia Tech's triple-option offense that produced 543 yards in its opening act of the season. Households across the country can catch the action from Raymond James Stadium on ABC or ESPN2 starting at noon on Saturday."I can show my physicality off and I'll be ready," McGee said.The former all-state honorable mention from Miami Northwestern High School certainly was up to the task last week. McGee totaled a career-high 11 tackles from the weak-side linebacker spot against Elon and impressed defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary in the process."For his first time really being a true linebacker, going through spring and preseason practice, I was very, very happy for Khalid," Jean-Mary said. "He was one of our players of the game."McGee started the switch from safety to linebacker late last season and he's made his coordinator proud ever since with his dedication to preparation. Up nearly 20 pounds to 213 this fall, McGee's mission of molding into a mean linebacker goes well beyond the weight room."He's a kid that is always in your office. He's always trying to get better," Jean-Mary said. "He's always asking questions and he's trying to learn the game more and more every day."The learning process has steadily sped up thanks in part to McGee knowing what's going on behind and around him."For a kid that played in the secondary and moved up to linebacker, he probably has a little bit more knowledge as far as schemes go and how people try to attack you," Jean-Mary said. "He asks questions regarding coverages and run fits that some other linebackers don't ask because he's been in the back end."At this point, McGee said he knows Jean-Mary's defense "like the back of his hand" and being able to think fast will come in handy in sweltering conditions Saturday. Georgia Tech (1-0) wore down Alcorn State last week with its triple-option attack that racked up 439 rushing yards on 54 attempts."We know they're going to come at your legs," said McGee of triple-option cut blocks. "Effort is a big thing and tackling is a big thing. You have to have eye discipline because they feed off big plays. That's where the get you."No matter which way the Yellow Jackets decide to pitch the ball, expect an all-out performance from USF's relentless run-stopper."We always know he's going to run to the ball," said Jean-Mary of McGee. "He's going to have a little attitude when he gets there and he's going to play with max effort."USF also is happy to have an athletic linebacker like McGee, who has the speed to patrol the field for passes. Georgia Tech threw the ball only 18 times last week, but former Yellow Jackets linebackers coach Jean-Mary (2004-09) knows his former team isn't afraid to take to the air when opportunities present themselves.Expect McGee to be ready."You can always see his mind working," Jean-Mary said. "He's always trying to see what the next step is with how people are going to attack us and what we're going to do to stop them."Learn more about McGee's football history, family and career plans for the future HERE.
  19. BULLS ON BOTH SIDES OF BALL EAGER TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION AGAINST ELON August 29, 2018 By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior WriterTAMPA, AUG. 29, 2018 – Saturday's season opener at Raymond James Stadium marks a new start for USF and a continuation of an up-tempo offensive attack that produced eye-catching results in 2017.Second-year USF offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert's group features six returning starters who helped last year's Bulls rank in the top 25 nationally in eight categories, including sixth in total offense (513.0 ypg), eighth in rushing (264.1 ypg) and 10th in scoring (38.3 ppg)."In year two, there's a lot of things that play in your favor," Gilbert said Wednesday. "Just really an understanding of the scheme, the knowledge of the scheme. Just knowing our players and knowing really their abilities, who and what they are, and just being able to go out and utilize those every Saturday."USF also has plenty of potential on offense with 15 talented underclassmen on the opening-week depth chart(PDF)and two key, veteran newcomers – juniors Blake Barnett and Jordan Cronkrite.Gilbert said Barnett, a graduate transfer from Corona, Calif., won the starting QB job with consistency throughout fall camp after gaining seven games of experience at Alabama and Arizona State."He's a really intelligent guy, really talented guy," said Gilbert of the former five-star prospect. "I'm just excited about being able to go forward with him."Cronkrite (Miami) earned first-team status at running back in fall camp and brings a solid understanding of the system after sitting out last year as a transfer from Florida, where he played in 24 games from 2015-16."It's been over a year since he's been here and sat, and now it's his time," Gilbert said. "He's excited about that."Barnett, Cronkrite and USF's offense that's packed with playmakers will be looking to make a great first impression 6 p.m. Saturday against what Gilbert calls a "feisty" Elon defense."The way they play, their scheme (3-3-5), gives people issues," he said. "That's something we'll have to attack on Saturday."On the flip side, Elon has nine returning defensive starters looking to bring it to the Bulls and one is an All-American. Senior linebacker Warren Messer racked up 114 tackles last season and helped Elon limit opponents to less than 25 points per game. The Phoenix as a whole reached No. 7 in the FCS rankings last season and finished a playoff run with an 8-4 record."They had a really good, successful season last year," Gilbert said. "They've got a lot of guys back. They have an All-American linebacker that runs around, makes plays, creates havoc and creates turnovers."Regardless of how the Elon defense attacks USF, the Bulls are focused on executing their offense that has been progressing throughout the fall."You get to the end of camp and those guys feel and see the light at the end of the tunnel," Gilbert said. "… You feel that level raise up this week, a little bit of intensity raise up. Those guys have been good. They understand that it all counts now and what's at stake Saturday." New-Look Defense to Face 'Unique' Elon OffenseUSF returns five starters, including three in the secondary, from its 2017 defense that led The American in seven different stat categories.The Bulls also are excited about their fresh talent that made a big impact in fall camp. USF's week 1 depth chart features 11 true or redshirt freshmen anxious to make an impact."We're hoping they're going to rise to the occasion," second-year USF defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary said.Redshirt freshman Mekhi LaPointe(Seffner, Fla.), listed as a first-team safety, did rise to the occasion often in fall camp along with many other underclassmen on the depth chart."We base our defense on effort and ... Rest of story
  20. YOUNG BULLS IMPRESS AS SATURDAY'S OPENER NEARS August 26, 2018 PURCHASE SEASON TICKETS By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior Writer TAMPA, AUG. 26, 2018 – One day after USF's productive 21-practice fall camp run came to an end, the Bulls geared up for game week at a fitting place - Raymond James Stadium.Head coach Charlie Strong's Bulls covered all their game day routines, from entering the personalized USF locker room to hitting the perfect turf for a team walkthrough below the massive digital videoboards.For several Bulls, it was the first time suited up on the turf at Raymond James Stadium and many young players will likely see action in the season-opening test against Elon on Saturday, Sept. 1.With that in mind, let's take a look at some breakout, underclassman Bulls who made a great impression on coaches during USF's fall camp action.Bulls' Lines Have DepthUSF lost two defensive line anchors from 2017 with tackles Deadrin Senat and Bruce Hector now playing for the Falcons and Eagles in the NFL.This fall, senior Kevin Bronson (Delray Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Kevin Kegler(Madison, Fla.) made a major impact as tackles in camp while freshmen Tyrone Barber (Venice, Fla.), Stacy Kirby Jr.(Orlando) and Rashawn Yates (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) provided solid depth inside.Talented youth adds more physicality to the defensive line that returns Kirk Livingstone (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Greg Reaves (Bradenton, Fla.), Vincent Jackson (Tampa), Josh Black (Tampa), Juwuan Brown (Tampa) and Kelvin Pinkney Jr. (Sarasota). All those seasoned Bulls helped the 2017 USF defense rank in the top 25 nationally in six different stat categories, including tackles for loss (8.4 per game, fifth nationally) and sacks (3.0 per game, 11thnationally)."We have a lot of numbers there, so we'll be able to rotate guys and keep them fresh as we rotate them in and out," said Strong of his defensive line.On the offensive line, freshman Ethan Watson (Pensacola, Fla.) may have worked himself into the two-deep with his consistent production at right tackle. Other impressive performances by freshmen during camp included showings from center Brad Cecil(Jacksonville, Fla.), guard Sebastian Sainterling (Hollywood, Fla.) and left tackle Donovan Jennings (Tampa).All of those young offensive linemen were a part of USF's 26-player signing class in 2018 (11 offense, 14 defense, 1 special teams) that was ranked No. 2 in The American by Rivals and 247Sports."When we went out and we recruited, we wanted to find O-linemen that were hard-nosed O-line junkies, trench life guys that want to get in and battle, and love everything about it," offensive line coach Matt Mattox said.Tons of Talent at Tight EndHeading into camp, Bulls fans knew Mackey Award candidate Mitchell Wilcox (Tarpon Springs, Fla.) could do damage at tight end, but the mystery was what USF had behind him.The question was answered in a big way by the emergence of redshirt freshman Frederick Lloyd Jr. (Tifton, Ga.), freshman Chris Carter (Homestead, Fla.) and the big addition of Ole Miss transfer Jacob Mathis, a sophomore from Tampa who is eligible to play this season.Young Bulls in Ball-Hawking SecondaryUSF ranked second nationally with 20 interceptions in 2017 and the Bulls found more young players with takeaway skills to help replenish secondary depth this fall.Playing both safety and corner, redshirt freshman Bentlee Sanders (Tampa) shined all over the field and used his ball skills to make numerous acrobatic interceptions."I just love how he comes out here each and every day, he goes to work," said Strong of Sanders. "He's been fun to watch."Another redshirt freshman who caught the attention of coaches at camp was cornerback Nick Roberts (Jacksonville, Fla.) who broke up a pass in the red zone during USF's final scrimmage of the fall.Fans also should keep an eye on redshirt freshman Mekhi LaPointe (Seffner, Fla.) who got a boatload of snaps as a first-team safety in camp. Freshman Vincent Davis (Jacksonville, Fla.) certainly looked smooth in the nickel corner spot behind senior Ronnie Hoggins (Coconut Creek, Fla) after picking off seven passes in the previous three seasons at Robert E. Lee High School. Much More on McGee, St. Felix, Bell and Sawtelle
  21. August 24, 2018 By TOM ZEBOLD USF Senior WriterTAMPA, AUG. 24, 2018 – USF fans know Eric Mayes as a trusty, left tackle who is preparing for a super senior season with the Bulls.But there's much more to No. 55, a "big kid" who loves to make his teammates laugh and put a smile on children's faces. One day, Mayes might even be protecting you as a SWAT team member and he'll most certainly be watching cartoons when his shift is done.Learn more about one of USF's most interesting men below.Mayes Wants His 'Presence to Be Known'Eric Mayes is a shining example of a dedicated player who made a successful position switch in college.Back in 2016, Mayes officially moved from the defensive line to offensive line and saw action in three games as the Bulls' No. 2 right tackle."As days went on, I gradually improved, which made me be like, 'You know what, I'm going to stick with it because I got good in such a short amount of time," said Mayes, who used to meet with former USF head coach Willie Taggart every day to learn the plays.Mayes earned USF's top left tackle spot in 2017, starting all 12 games and helping the Bulls rank sixth nationally in total offense (513.0 ypc) and eighth in rushing offense (264.1 ypg)."Last season was a great experience," he said. "I really enjoyed that season, but this year I want my presence to be known. I want to play nastier, more dominant. I want to be more physical."Mayes Didn't Find Playing On The O-Line 'Cool' Before Becoming An Offensive TackleMayes headed to USF as a defensive-minded player who didn't think much of offensive linemen after racking up 24 sacks in two seasons at Booker High School in Sarasota."Growing up, I thought if you played on the offensive line you're not cool," he said. "Your name isn't mentioned on the jumbotron. They're not saying, 'Mayes on the tackle,' or anything like that. I figured offensive line is a bunch of nobodies."Mayes' mindset changed quite a bit in spring 2015 when he saw an opportunity to play on USF's tough offensive line and volunteered for duty."After practice, I hollered at Coach T and he was like, 'I've been waiting for you to tell me this for a long time,'" he said.Mayes was totally sold on the switch by the end of the 2016 season after playing a role in the Bulls' up-tempo attack that set school records with 77 touchdowns, 47 rushing touchdowns (third in the FBS), 3,709 rushing yards and 6,650 yards of total offense.Now Mayes thinks it's pretty cool that he's able to play offensive tackle with the same aggressive approach he used to become an all-state defensive lineman at Booker High School."To be a good offensive lineman, you must have to be like a dog – nasty on the field, no one will beat me, no one will get my quarterback," he said. "Being nice on the offensive line will get you nowhere. I'm a nasty guy. You can't make it up. You either have it or you don't."Late Start in PadsMayes' earliest memory on the gridiron was when he was 6 years old playing all positions in flag football, especially quarterback."Those were my skinny days," said Mayes, now 6-feet-4 and 296 pounds.Mayes didn't get to continue his football career until high school because he couldn't make weight limits in padded youth leagues."I hated football just for that," he said. "When I got introduced to basketball, they didn't have any weight limits. I was like, 'Man, this is the sport for me.'"Mayes eventually ended his NBA dreams when he realized he was too short to become a dominating center. A football coach came calling during his 11th grade year, when Mayes agreed to give offensive line a try.Mayes said he got ran over during his first practice and didn't return to the field for a month."I told them I'm never going back out there, then my momma (Michele Butler) made me go out there," he said. "I went out there again, but this time (coach) tried me at D-line. I played D-end and that's when it was over with. I fell in love with it."The Joker Likes to UpliftMayes' tough-guy persona is limited to the football field because he's a fun-loving guy on the sidelines, definitely in the locker room and off campus, where he likes to go bowling and play paintball with teammates."People think I'm the funniest guy on the team, I just like to make people smile," he said. "My thing is if I can make at least five people smile a day, I feel good about myself. I feel like I made somebody else's day."Growing up, Mayes would always enjoy making his friends laugh outside the house and away from his four sisters."They'd always gang up on me," he said with a smile.Mayes Loves the KidsMayes' mission of making people smile is ... Continued
  22. 7 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RONNIE HOGGINS By TOM ZEBOLDUSF Senior WriterTAMPA, AUG. 20, 2018 – Ronnie Hoggins is a name USF fans know well because of his playmaking ways the past three seasons in the Bulls' swarming secondary.Learn more about Hoggins by checking out seven things to know about the senior who loves to tackle, lead Bulls and cook for them as well.New NicknameHeading into his senior year, Hoggins has been the vocal leader of the secondary at fall camp after starting 28 of 36 games the past three seasons.When Hoggins speaks, younger players listen and they respond to him with his new, catchy title."Ronnie is kind of the grandfather back there. That's major, we refer to him as major," defensive backs coach Blue Adams said. "Major is doing his thing."Hoggins said he embraces his new nickname and growing leadership role heading into 2018."Being the voice of the secondary and on defense is something I take pride in," he said. "I like to tell guys what's coming and what to expect. I love when those guys make plays."New Position, Same ToughnessLast season, current Arizona Cardinal Deatrick Nichols made noise as a Bull, going from playing an outside corner spot to the nickel position.Hoggins has moved into Nichols' USF nickel role and he's got the skills to get the job done inside. Playing much bigger than his size (5-8, 177), Hoggins uses a fearless mentality that's helped him rack up 132 tackles the past three seasons in addition to six interceptions and 23 pass breakups.Hoggins said he developed his toughness as a kid while gearing up for seasons with older family members."I remember we would run into trees when we were little, just getting hyped for the first day of practice," Hoggins said. "It's just a tradition we did back at home because everybody back home is good."A Love for DefenseGrowing up in Coconut Creek, Fla., Hoggins had the speed to play offense but didn't want to stay on that side of the ball.Sticking with his first football love – defense – proved to be prosperous as Hoggins was named Broward 8A-7A-6A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior after picking off 15 passes in 12 games at Monarch High School."I didn't really like it too much," said Hoggins of offense. "I kind of stuck to the defensive side of the ball. I made more plays there and just found my home."At Monarch, Hoggins sharpened his skills in practice by covering teammate and standout receiver Calvin Ridley, who was drafted 26th overall by Atlanta in 2018."It was a very high level," said Hoggins of his high school career. "We were in college before college. We learned time management and being accountable for everything you do."Hoggins Comes From a Football FamilyGrowing up with three brothers and two sisters, Hoggins was a middle child who took after two football players in the family.Hoggins' older brother, Darius, was a running back for University of Louisiana at Lafayette from 2014-17.Hoggins' cousin, Chris Morley, played defensive back for the University of Memphis from 2013-16 and made 20 starts in 48 career games.Credit Mom for Keeping Him in FootballWhen Hoggins was a kid, football was a thing he grew to love after having second thoughts about the sport."I remember my mother signed me up for football and said, 'You better play if I'm signing you up,'" Hoggins remembered. "After one practice, I wanted to quit. I was young, then I found my love for the game."Hoggins said he'll never forget his mom Alison's tough love that helped keep him in the game. Hoggins still calls Alison his "backbone" and the two talk almost every day."She's a big part of what I do on and off the field," he said. "She's my everything."Hoggins also credits his father, Ronnie Sr., for being another inspiring role model in his life.Hoggins Pondering Post-Football Plans and more Link
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