Jordan Cronkrite Makes History As Bulls Take Down Minutemen in Amherst

by Tyler McConnell

AMHERST- What started as a potential upset turned into a historic night for USF in a 58-42 victory over the University of Massachusetts in Amherst Saturday afternoon. UMass, under acting head coach Ed Pinkham, was unable to contain the USF ground attack, which racked up 365 yards. USF running back Jordan Cronkrite etched his name in program and conference record books, breaking the USF and American Athletic Conference single game rushing record. He finished the night with 302 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23 carries. For a part of the night however, the Bulls were hoping to survive an upset.

The Bulls got the scoring going on just their second play of the game when quarterback Blake Barnett found Tyre McCants down the middle for a 72-yard score. UMass would respond to that score on their first possession, when redshirt senior quarterback Andrew Ford found Brennon Dingle for a 31-yard touchdown. After a USF turnover and a UMass punt, the Bulls would grab the lead with a 29-yard field goal from Coby Weiss to make it 10-7. The teams combined for nine offensive drives in the first quarter. The score would stay locked at 10-7 until Blake Barnett threw an interception to UMass linebacker Bryton Barr. Barr, who only had one career interception coming in to Saturday, returned the pick 53 yards to the USF 13-yard line. The Minutemen would take advantage when Ford found Samuel Emilus for a 13-yard touchdown on a trick play to put UMass in front 14-10. On the ensuing kickoff, a scary moment occurred when Trevon Sands hit Michael Nesmith while trying to make a block. The UMass linebacker had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Sands would be ejected from the game. After this, neither team would get on the board for the next 12 minutes until the Bulls converted a 25-yard field goal to make the score 14-13. The game changed on the next kickoff.

Marquis Young, the senior running back for UMass, was hit hard on the return and lost the football, allowing Tony Grier to recover it in UMass territory. On the very next play, the Bulls jumped out in front with a 19-yard run by freshman running back Johnny Ford, one of his two touchdowns on the day. The teams would head to the locker room with the Bulls ahead 20-14, but the game shifted in the Bulls’ favor from there on out. The Bulls would score five times in the 3rd quarter, including Jordan Cronkrite’s three touchdown runs. UMass, despite making it a 20-point game with just under three and a half to play in the third, could not close the gap, as the Bulls put 10 points up in the 4th quarter and held on to win 58-42. Jordan Cronkrite’s historic night highlighted what was an up and down affair for the Bulls.

Cronkrite became the new USF and AAC single game rushing yard record holder with 302 yards on the ground. He also added three scores of 77, 30 and 76 respectively. Croknrite’s performance was a difference maker, as 365 of the Bulls’ 574 total yards came on the ground. Jordan Cronkrite was quick to give his offensive line credit for his performance.

“They made big holes, I saw it and I just went, they did a great job getting the push up front and getting movement,” Cronkrite said.

The offensive line redeemed themselves in some ways on Saturday, after giving up six sacks two weeks ago against ECU, only two sacks were allowed on quarterback Blake Barnett. The blocking allowed Jordan Cronkrite to burst up the middle untouched for long runs. Despite the success, USF head coach Charlie Strong says the Bulls need to play cleaner football.

“I know this we’re going to have to play much better than what we played, too many penalties,” Strong said. “We’re just going to have to come out and play smarter and be a disciplined football team.”

The Bulls committed 11 penalties for 100 yards, something they have struggled with throughout the season. Despite this, the Bulls made enough plays on both sides of the ball to improve to 5-0 for the second straight year and the sixth time in program history. UMass drops to 2-5 on the season and suffers their first loss at home. The Minutemen remain winless against AAC competition.

TAKEAWAYS

The Bulls needed all the momentum they could get in the first half thanks to turnovers, but otherwise played a sloppy half. Once again, the defense did enough to give the offense a chance to make plays, and this time they were able to deliver. USF continues to show how much of a second half team they are, scoring 38 points, including 28 in the third quarter alone. Jordan Cronkrite has proven he will be a force to be reckoned with in the AAC, and the Bulls will continue to rely on his production in the future. With a shorty week, the Bulls will have to clean up their miscues.

The Minutemen proved their air attack can be difficult to stop, but their offense became one-dimensional for most of the game. UMass did not crack the 100-yard rush mark and had to rely on the arms of quarterbacks Andrew Ford and Ross Comis. While they managed to put up 42 points, they could not overcome the struggles of their defense, which ranks near the bottom of the NCAA in major statistical categories. The bye week will provide a chance for the Minutemen to regroup and prepare for Coastal Carolina.

 

WHATS NEXT

The USF Bulls (5-0) will travel to H.A. Chapman stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma to take on the University of Tulsa on October 12.

The UMass Minutemen (2-5) will have the week off before returning to action on October 20 to take on Coastal Carolina at home.  

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The USF Bulls Travel to Amherst to Take on the Minutemen of Massachussets

By Scott Baker

This weekend, the USF Bulls (4-0, 1-0 AAC) will face off against the UMASS Minutemen (2-4) for the first time. The two teams were scheduled to play for the first time last season, but the game was pushed back to 2022 as a result of Hurricane Irma.

The Minutemen will be without Head Coach Mark Whipple this weekend as a result of his comments following a 58-42 loss to Ohio last week. Whipple likened a no-call in the game to one of his players getting “raped” by the officials. The university went on to suspend Whipple without pay for the game against the Bulls this weekend.

Looking at the two teams, the Bulls will look to improve to 5-0 on the season as well as 12-2 in games outside of Tampa. Just as impressive, a win would give the Bulls their sixth straight win over a non conference opponent. For the Minutemen, with a win, would improve to 3-4 on the season. A win for the Minutemen would be their first over an AAC opponent since the conference started play in 2014 in their fourth attempt. The Minutemen played Tulane in 2016 and have played Temple twice,in 2015 and 2017.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Bulls rank 37th in the NCAA in total offense, averaging 465.8 yards per game. The Minutemen on the other hand come in at 73rd on in the country averaging 402.7 yards per game. In terms of time of possession, the Bulls and the Minutemen average 25 minutes of possession per game, which ranks 124th and 125th respectively.

In total defense, the Bulls check in at 92nd in the country giving up an average of 407 yard per game this season. UMASS ranks 114th in the country giving up just over 483 yards per game.

Players to Watch

For USF, one player to watch this weekend is junior running back Jordan Cronkrite. The junior leads the team in rushing with 304 yards on the season, averaging 101.3 yard per game. Cronkrite ranks inside the top 20 in the FBS in yards per carry at 6.61. Cronkrite ranks third in the American Athletic Conference averaging 101.3 yards per game. Cronkrite has appeared in three games for the Bulls this season, only missing the game in the season opener nursing an injury.

For UMASS, the player to watch will be senior wide receiver Andy Isabella. The 5-10 receiver has seven touchdown catches on the season, which is third best in the country. Isabella ranks second in the country in receiving yards with 648 yards on the season, averaging 108 receiving yards per game, which puts him at 10th in the country. Isabella also ranks 13th in the country with 6.8 receptions per game.

The Result

Both the Bulls and the Minutemen like to give up yards, with both giving up over 400 yards per game. The game has the making to be a very high scoring affair with lots of air attack from the Bulls. Statistically, this game favors the Bulls and it should play out accordingly. USF takes the game 45-17 over the Minutemen on Saturday afternoon.

Check out the Bulls Radio page on Facebook for pre and post game show live streams hosted by Tyler McConnell and Scott Baker. Also follow them on twitter, @Tyler_9786 and @sbaker1418 for live game tweets.


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Welcome to Bulls Radio, Florida’s No. 1 College Radio Station!

Bulls Radio boasts a large repertoire of unique programming because of its contributors – the talented staff and volunteers that hold complete creative control of Bulls Radio. Our constant stream of unique programming reaches listeners from each USF campus, all over Tampa Bay, and even around the world!

Tune in to 1620 AM on campus or 89.7 HD3 Tampa, or stream us worldwide at bullsradio.org .Thank you for being a valued listener!

BULLS DOWN THE YELLOW JACKETS IN A STATEMENT WIN

by Kevin Erlendsson

TAMPA – The Bulls completed a fourth-quarter comeback over Georgia Tech, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 21-7 in the final frame en route to a 49-38 victory.

USF quarterback Blake Barnett completed 21 of 31 pass attempts for 202 yards and two touchdowns while throwing one interception. He added 91 yards on 16 rushes and two more touchdowns.

“I just wanna do what I can to help this team” Barnett said.

The Bulls struggled to stop Georgia Tech’s triple option offense for much of the game, allowing a total of 602 yards, 419 of which were on the ground. Yellow Jackets quarterback Taquon Marshall led the way with 113 yards and a touchdown before coming out of the game early in the second half. His replacement, back-up quarterback Tobias Oliver, was just as prolific, accruing 97 yards on the ground and crossing the goal line on three straight drives.

It looked like it would be a long afternoon for the Bulls early in the game when defensive back Tariq Carpenter intercepted Barnett on the opening drive. That turnover set up a field goal and an early lead for Georgia Tech. Freshman Terrance Horne delivered a response on the ensuing kickoff, sprinting 98 yards virtually untouched for the score.

Marshall quickly answered for Georgia Tech, scoring on a 45-yard run to make it 10-7. But once again Horne stepped up for the Bulls, bouncing outside and blowing by three defenders while returning the kickoff 99-yards to give his team the lead back.

The teams traded scores and USF went into half-time up 21-17.

Georgia Tech received the kickoff and would score on its first three drives of the second half, all runs by Oliver. USF was able to score once – a 14-yard run by redshirt-freshman Duran Bell Jr. – but the Bulls were staring at a 38-28 deficit with just 14:15 to play and the defense looked incapable of slowing down the Yellow Jackets rushing attack.

Barnett led the Bulls for a quick score on the ensuing drive, capped off by a Horne touchdown catch, his third score of the day, to bring USF within three. But the Georgia Tech continued to roll, led by Marshall who had returned from his injury. After converting on a crucial 3rd and 9, the Yellow Jackets were threatening once again inside the redzone, and with only about eight minutes left, the Bulls needed a stop.

They got that stop in the form of a turnover, a fumble forced by redshirt-freshman Bentlee Sanders and recovered by linebacker Nico Sawtelle. USF cashed in on the takeaway, marching downfield and taking the lead on a 19-yard run by Barnett. The Bulls were up 42-38 with 5:08 left in the game, but they were going to need another stop from their defense.

“That takeaway changed the momentum of the game” Barnett said.

Once again, USF’s D stepped up. Kirk Livingstone pressured Marshall on a 3rd and 20, hitting him as he threw and forcing an errant pass that was easily intercepted by Sawtelle, his second takeaway. Barnett scored his fourth touchdown of the game to cap off the comeback.

“They have a dynamic offense” Sawtelle said. “We need to come together as team unit, break them down and stop them. And we did.”

The Bulls improve to 2-0 and will travel to Chicago on Friday and take on Illinois in their first road game of the season.

 

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Bulls Radio boasts a large repertoire of unique programming because of its contributors – the talented staff and volunteers that hold complete creative control of Bulls Radio. Our constant stream of unique programming reaches listeners from each USF campus, all over Tampa Bay, and even around the world!

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Georgia Tech vs. USF Preview

By Scott Baker

The USF Bulls (1-0) get ready for a talented Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0) team this weekend at Raymond James Stadium. Saturday's game will be the first time that these two teams have met, but not the first time that Georgia Tech will play at Raymond James. In 2009, the Yellow Jackets played Clemson in the ACC conference championship. Georgia Tech won the game over the Tigers 39-34 but later had to vacate the win due to NCAA sanctions. USF is hoping to start this series with a win as the teams will meet this year as well as next year. But looking ahead to Saturday, this is how the game will break down.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech got their season started in week one with a shutout victory over FCS Alcorn State 41-0. Georgia Tech using their triple option offense ran the ball for 439 yards in the opening game. In the running game, Georgia Tech had 12 different players with rushing attempts against Alcorn St. Through the air, Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall had just 18 passing attempts and nine completions for 104 yards and one touchdown. Marshall, a senior, has just under 1,500 yards rushing in his career at Georgia Tech and has scored 19 touchdowns since wearing the uniform. Marshall in his junior year broke the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,146 yards in just 11 games which was also good for 12th overall in a single-season. His 17 touchdowns in 2017 on the ground are the third-most ever by a Georgia Tech quarterback in a single-season. Georgia Tech will look to use their ground game this weekend to defeat USF in Tampa. On the other side of the ball for the Georgia Tech, look for redshirt junior linebacker David Curry to take the lead. Curry was tied for the team-high with four tackles as well as having a fumble recovery that was returned for 15 yards. The Georgia Tech defense gave up just 146 yards of total offense a week ago, which is the fewest yards they have given up since surrendering 132 yards in a win over Duke in 2007. Nate Woody took over the defense this year after Ted Roof left and took the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator job at North Carolina State in the offseason.  The Georgia Tech defense last year was 63rd overall in total defense under Roof. The team gave up 354.3 yards per game a season ago allowing the opposing offense to gain 5.5 yards per play. Georgia Tech also allowed teams to run around 64 plays per game.  Georgia Tech gave up 200.6 yards through the air a season ago and 153.6 on the ground, allowing just one and a half touchdowns per game in both categories. Look for the Georgia Tech defense to try and stop the USF run.

USF Bulls

Just like Georgia Tech, USF is coming off a win against an FCS opponent. USF was able to defeat Elon 34-14. USF is in their second year under Offensive Coordinator Sterling Gilbert. With the tools that Gilbert has on the offense this season, the team has already looked very different than a year ago. In the opening week against Elon, junior quarterback Blake Barnett lit up the Elon secondary, throwing for 305 yards for three touchdowns and carried the ball for 31 yards and a touchdown. The four touchdowns that Barnett accounted for is the most ever by a USF quarterback in their debut. Also impressive for USF on the offensive side of the ball was redshirt freshman Randall St. Felix who made seven catches for 143 yards and a touchdown, which put him as the best debut for a USF wide receiver, and already puts him into ninth in program history. On the defensive side of the ball, USF was able to suffocate the Elon offense in the first half, not allowing a score. Three USF players had ten or more tackles, with Jaymon Thomas and Khalid McGee leading the team with 11 tackles. Thomas also led the team with seven tackles for loss. The USF defense also racked up three sacks and 12 tackles for loss. The USF secondary left off where they were last season creating two interceptions on the day where they should have had three. The defense gave up a total of 234 yards to Elon, with 192 of those coming on the ground. USF against the Georgia Tech triple option should look to be tighter as a unit against the run this weekend if they want to stay competitive in the game.

 

USF and Georgia Tech will become familiar opponents after the game this week as the two teams are scheduled to play one another again in the 2019 season in Atlanta. Looking at Saturday's contest, it will be a close game that will be won at the line of scrimmage. If USF can score early and slow the Georgia Tech running game, it could be a long, hot afternoon for the Georgia Tech faithful. For Georgia Tech, if they can clog the passing lanes and force USF to run the ball, they could take the game with relative ease. Georgia Tech with their style of offense can keep the ball for long stretches of time and tire out the defense.

Tyler McConnell and Scott Baker will have the call on Bulls Radio starting at 11:45 a.m. with a pregame show from Raymond James Stadium.

Bulls Radio

Welcome to Bulls Radio, Florida’s No. 1 College Radio Station!

Bulls Radio boasts a large repertoire of unique programming because of its contributors – the talented staff and volunteers that hold complete creative control of Bulls Radio. Our constant stream of unique programming reaches listeners from each USF campus, all over Tampa Bay, and even around the world!

Tune in to 1620 AM on campus or 89.7 HD3 Tampa, or stream us worldwide at bullsradio.org .Thank you for being a valued listener!