|BY BRIAN SIEGRIST – GOUSFBULLS.COM YOUR HOME FOR ALL THE BEST USF SPORTS COVERAGE|
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Nov. 17, 2023– The USF football team (5-6; 3-4 American) fell 49-21 at conference-leading UTSA (8-3; 7-0 American) Friday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio as the Roadrunners extended a 17-game conference winning streak and won for the 21st time in their last 23 home games.
The Bulls will return to Raymond James Stadium next Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. clash with Charlotte on Senior Night as USF looks to clinch its first bowl berth since 2018. It was also be Fan Appreciation Night at the stadium with numerous prizes and giveaways slated for Bulls fans.
The Bulls led 14-7 early, but UTSA used a run of 35-straight points to build a 42-14 lead late in the third quarter and put the game out of reach. The Roadrunners were led by a superlative performance from seventh-year starting quarterback Frank Harris who posted 523 yards of total offense, passing for 411 yards and three touchdowns and running for another 112 yards and three scores.
USF redshirt-freshman quarterback Byrum Brown helped the Bulls keep pace early before finishing with 287 yards and a touchdown through the air and 43 yards and a score on the ground. Nay’Quan Wright added67 yards rushing and a touchdown. Wide receiver Sean Atkins extended his school season record for receptions, grabbing nine on the night to give him 76 on the year, and tallied 92 yards to surpass the program season record of 879 set by Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Atkins now has 900 receiving yards on the year.
For the second-straight week, USF got off to a quick start, scoring just 2:23 into the game a week after scoring in 1:46. This time, Brown engineered and eight-play, 75-yard drive hitting Atkins for gains of 24 and 11 yards and handing off to Wright for a 16-yard dash up the middle that made it 7-0.
UTSA answered almost as quickly as Harris led the Roadrunners 75 yard in 3:14, hitting Devin McCuin for a 30-yard touchdown pass to tie the score.
The Bulls were forced to punt on their next possession and the USF defense rose to the occasion stopping UTSA on a 4th-and-4 at the USF35, dropping Harris for a two-yard loss.
Four plays later, Brown hit Yusuf Terry streaking down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown. A big block by Wright on a blitzing Roadrunner allowed Brown to step up and make the throw.
UTSA answered back when Harris hit Tykee Ogle-Kellogg with a 33-yard touchdown that made it 14-14 with 10:40 to play in the second quarter.
The Bulls were forced to punt again and UTSA took its first lead when, two plays later, Harris hit Josh Cephus with a 64-yard touchdown.
The Bulls couldn’t get the offense moving on their final three drives of the half and UTSA made it a two-touchdown margin at the half, 28-14, when Harris drove them 88 yards in 11 plays and scored it himself on a 15-yard keeper with 20 seconds remaining in the half.
UTSA got the ball to start the second half, and, after averting an interception with a pass interference call on Logan Berryhill, saw Harris take the snap two plays later and run 40 yards up the middle for a touchdown that made it 35-14.
The Bulls forced a punt on UTSA’s next possession but the Roadrunners drove 58 yards to extend the lead to 42-14 a possession later.
The USF offense, which had struggled to move the ball for the previous six possessions, got moving again when Wright picked up 15 yards and a touchdown. A 25-yard pass to Atkins put the Bulls on the door step and Brown ran it in from five yards out for a touchdown that ended the scoring drought.
• After Trailing 14-7, UTSA scored 35-unanswered points to put the game away.
• UTSA logged 643 yards of offense to the Bulls 427, including 419 through the air.
• UTSA had 14 big plays (15+ yards) on the night, including six for touchdowns.
• WR Yusuf Terry posted a career high 86 yards receiving on three catches, including a career-long 50-yard touchdown reception.
• WR Sean Atkins posted his sixth-straight game with seven or more receptions as he extended his season receptions record to 78 and broke the season receiving yards record, now with 900 on the year.
• CB Daquan Evans posted a career-best eight tackles while freshman CB Tavin Ward led the team with nine tackles and four pass break-ups.
The Bulls will return to Raymond James Stadium for their regular season finale, a Senior Night clash with Charlotte. The first-ever meeting between the programs is set for a 7:30 p.m. kick off on ESPNU.
ABOUT USF FOOTBALL
The USF football program first took the field in 1997 and completed its 26th season in 2022 while completing construction on a new $22 million Indoor Performance Facility. The Bulls have posted 15 winning seasons, earned 16 All-America selections, including 2021 consensus All-American kick returner Brian Battie, and had 32 first-team all-conference selections. USF has had 30 players selected in the NFL Draft and has made 10 bowl game appearances (going 6-4 in those games), posting a program-record six straight appearances from 2005-2010 and most recently making four straight bowl appearances from 2015-18. The Bulls posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2016 and 2017, logging a program-record 11-2 mark in 2016 while finishing both seasons ranked in the Top 25. USF spent a program-record 20 straight weeks ranked in the Top 25 during the 2016 and 2017 seasons and reached as high as No. 2 in the national rankings during the 2007 season.
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