Jacksonville Sports Day

USF: Undefeated Bulls Return to Top 25 Rankings

Photo Courtesy The Daily Stampede

TAMPA  – One of just 11 remaining unbeaten teams in FBS football, USF (5-0; 1-0 American) put an end to its short stint outside the national Top 25 rankings on Sunday when the Bulls entered the Week 7 rankings in both the Associated Press Poll and Amway Coaches Poll at No. 23.

The Bulls saw a program record run of 20 straight weeks in the Top 25 rankings ended when the 2018 preseason polls were announced and did not include a USF team that lost 13 starters, including its record-breaking quarterback and middle linebacker.

After six weeks of the 2018 season, the Bulls are 5-0 for the second straight season, the sixth time in program history, and back in the Top 25.

USF posted 574 yards of offense and a season-high 365 yards rushing, the 10th-best total in program history, in a 58-42 victory at UMass on Saturday that included a run of 31 straight points that gave the Bulls a 41-14 lead midway through the third quarter.

The offensive outburst was fueled by a USF and American Athletic Conference record 302 yards rushing from junior Jordan Cronkrite who posted touchdown runs of 77, 76 and 30 yards. Cronkrite averaged 13.1 yards per carry in posting the second highest rushing total in the NCAA in 2018 and the fourth-most rushing yards ever by a player from a state of Florida FBS program.

Cronkrite now stands third nationally in rushing yards per game (151.5) and yards per carry (8.78) and owns three of the nation’s top 21 longest rushing plays on the season.

USF is one of three unbeaten teams in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference as The American is the only conference nationally with three unbeaten teams.

The Bulls are joined by No. 10/9 UCF (5-0) and No. 25/25 Cincinnati (6-0). UCF comes to Raymond James Stadium for the War on I-4 on Fri., Nov. 23 while the Bulls travel to face Cincinnati on Sat., Nov. 10.

After finishing up its second straight unbeaten non-conference season and improving to 12-2 away from Tampa in its last 14 games, USF will resume conference play on Friday with a 7 p.m. ESPN primetime kickoff at Tulsa (1-4; 0-2 American).

The Bulls are 33-6 in their last 39 games, a mark that is tied with Oklahoma and Wisconsin for the fourth-best nationally over that span and trails only Alabama (37-2), Clemson (35-4) and Ohio State (34-5).

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