Facts And Figures From USF’s Season-Opening Win

Jeff Scott’s head-coaching debut got off to a winning start Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium. Here is a look and some of the numbers from the Bulls’ 27-6 win over The Citadel.

0: Turnovers by the Bulls, something that happened only twice last season: South Carolina State and Memphis.

1: Omarion Dollison’s first career touchdown occurred in odd fashion when a shanked punt by The Citadel’s Matt Campbell ended up in the freshman receiver’s arms. Since Dollison was in the end zone when he caught the gift, he was credited with a 0-yard punt return.  

2: Devontres Odoms-Dukes caught the second touchdown pass of his career. The 10-yard reception from Jordan McCloud with 49 seconds remaining in the opening quarter put the Bulls ahead for good at 7-6. Odoms-Dukes had eight receptions in 24 career games prior to Saturday night, including a 33-yard TD at UConn last season.  

3: A trio of quarterbacks took snaps for USF. Jordan McCloud started, Noah Johnson made his Bulls debut in the second quarter and Katravis Marsh made his collegiate debut in the fourth quarter.

McCloud, making his 11th-career start, completed 11-of-16 for 68 yards and a TD. Johnson, a grad transfer from Alcorn State who totaled 73 yards, capped his first series with a nine-yard touchdown run and led the Bulls on a pair of TD drives in his three possessions. Marsh, a true freshman who committed in January, had two series late in the fourth quarter. North Carolina transfer Cade Fortin was unavailable for undisclosed reasons. 

4: The number of games The Citadel is scheduled to play in 2020 after the Southland Conference cancelled its season, but permitted league members to play up to four non-conference games. Ironically, after being Jeff Scott’s first opponent as a head coach, the Bulldogs are at Clemson next week. Scott was a receiver at Clemson and spent 12 years as an assistant on Dabo Swinney’s staff. 

5: Jeff Scott is the fifth head coach in USF’s 24 seasons. He became the fourth to win his debut.

Jeff Scott 2020: 27-6 win vs The Citadel
Charlie Strong 2017: 42-22 win at San Jose State
Willie Taggart 2013: 53-21 loss vs McNeese State
Skip Holtz 2010: 59-14 win vs Stony Brook
Jim Leavitt 1997: 80-3 win vs Kentucky Wesleyan

5.6: The Bulls average per pass completion. McCloud, Johnson and Marsh were a combined 18-of-25 for 102 yards. The longest pass play was 19 yards to Bryce Miller.

6: The Bulls had a half dozen players with a rush for at least 10 yards. 

9: Grad transfer Thad Mangum had nine tackles in his USF debut. The tackle, who missed all but one game due to injury with Wofford last season, led the Bulls with six solo stops. 

10: Linebacker Antonio Grier recorded all of his team-high 10 tackles in the first half, including the Bulls’ only sack.

12: Junior left guard Demetris Harris, junior left tackle Donovan Jennings and junior center Brad Cecil were among a dozen players not available for reasons undisclosed. Junior Jean Marcellus and redshirt freshmen Joshua Blanchard and Dustyn Hall started on the offensive line in their place and helped pave the way for 302 yards on the ground. 

18: The Bulls are 18-6 in season openers.

31: Saturday night marked the first time since a 33-3 win against visiting Cincinnati on October 14, 2017 that the Bulls held an opponent out of the end zone, a stretch of 31 games.

43: Johnny Ford’s 43-yard scamper in the second quarter was the game’s longest run. Ford finished with 71 yards on nine carries.

Tom Layberger has been a sports writer and editor since 1990. Among the companies he has worked for are Beckett Publishing, The Topps Company and Comcast. In addition to being a contributing writer for sportstalkflorida.com, Tom also writes for forbes.com and Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs and a University of South Florida grad, Tom is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation. He resides in Tampa.