Jacksonville Sports Day

USF: Three QBs See Action in 42-13 Loss to Tulsa Golden Hurricane

TAMPA – USF came up short in its attempt at posting the program’s 100th home victory as Tulsa totaled three takeaways in a 42-13 win over the Bulls on Friday night in Raymond James Stadium.

A 4-yard touchdown reception by Bryce Miller helped USF get within eight near the midpoint of the third quarter before Tulsa (2-1, 2-0 in AAC) responded with 21 unanswered points.

USF (1-5, 0-4 in AAC) played at least three quarterbacks for the fourth time this season and got the most production from Noah Johnson. The grad transfer from Tampa completed 18 of 27 passes for season-high 150 yards and a touchdown but had two turnovers.

Freshman Omarion Dollison reached a new career high in receptions with six for a team-high 54 yards. Miller matched his career high with five catches for 44 yards.

Big plays on defense and special teams gave USF a spark, but two costly turnovers on offense hampered the Bulls in a first half that saw the Golden Hurricane build a 21-6 lead.

After Tulsa took a 7-0 lead, Daquan Evans intercepted a pass for the second straight game and returned the third pick of his career 31 yards on a play that set the Bulls up at the Golden Hurricane 39.

USF got as far as the 22-yard line on the drive that was capped off by Jared Sackett’s 39-yard field goal with 9:59 to play in the opening quarter.

USF’s defense forced a three-and-out and KJ Sails put the offense in prime position for another score with a career long 60-yard punt return all the way down to the Tulsa 9. This time, Sackett split the uprights from 25 yards out with 6:57 remaining in the first quarter.

Trailing 21-6, Johnson led USF on a 12-play, 71-yard drive that went as far as the Tulsa 4 just before the break. The Bulls came away empty-handed, however, after losing their second fumble of the half.

Resilient USF got into end zone on its first series of the second half with a 4-yard touchdown pass by Johnson to Miller on fourth-and-goal that helped drop the deficit to 21-13.

QB Cade Fortin gave the Bulls a big boost on the 10-play, 72-yard drive, converting a fourth-down situation with a pass in Tulsa territory and rushing four times for 39 yards, including a season long 33-yard carry.

Fortin exited the game with a shoulder injury after scrambling for a short gain on the play prior to Miller’s scoring catch.

Momentum quickly swung in the other direction on the ensuing drive. Deneric Prince got loose on a 62-yard touchdown run to help give Tulsa a 28-13 lead midway through the third quarter.

Less than two minutes later, Tulsa extended its lead to 35-13 with a 38-yard interception return by linebacker Zaven Collins.

Linebacker Andrew Mims led the defensive effort with a game-high seven tackles and registered one of USF’s five tackles for loss.

USF has an open date before heading back on the road for a conference clash at Memphis on Saturday, Nov. 7. Kickoff time has yet to be determined. The Bulls conclude their two-game road trip at Houston on Nov. 14 before returning to Raymond James Stadium to host Navy on Saturday, Nov. 21.

USF NOTES: Defensive back Daquan Evans had a 31-yard return on his second interception of the season (third of career) in the first quarter. Evans has intercepted a pass in consecutive games and had a 56-yard return the previous week at Temple…USF lost for the first time in four matchups with Tulsa…..The Bulls were seeking the 100th home victory in program history and now have an all-time home record of 99-52. A total of 93 of those victories occurred in Raymond James Stadium. The other six wins were at old Tampa Stadium.

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