By Leo Haggerty

South Florida defeated a very game Tulsa contingent 27-20 at Raymond James Stadium Thursday night.  The game wasn’t as close as the score indicated but it got very nerve-wracking for Bulls fans at the end.

After an opening three-and-out, the Bulls found themselves down 7-0 after Tulsa cashed in on their opening possession. That’s when the Warp 1 offense went into hyperdrive.

USF found the end zone the next three times they had the pigskin to go up 21-7.  Two Quinton Flowers TD tosses, the first to Tyre McCants and the second to Darnell Solomon, sandwiched around a 54-yard Darius Tice jaunt to paydirt gave South Florida the lead that the Green & Gold would never relinquish.

Yes, the Golden Hurricanes made a game of it at the end.  A blocked punt by Tulsa led to a late Redford Jones FG that cut the USF lead to 27-20.

After forcing another South Florida punt, Tulsa pushed into Bulls territory on their final drive.  USF was able to stave off the last-gasp possession and took over for one last victory formation play when the Golden Hurricanes turned it over on downs.

The win moved USF to 6-1 (9-1 overall) in the American Athletic Conference East.  That keeps the Bulls within striking distance of division-leading Central Florida who is South Florida’s next opponent.

Tulsa falls to 1-6 in the AAC (2-9 overall) and that puts them in last place in the West division.  The Golden Hurricanes finish their season hosting Temple on Saturday.

This sets up the game everyone has been talking about and looking forward to since the opening week of the season.  #13 Central Florida, at 10-0, hosts #22 South Florida, at 9-1, on Friday in Orlando.  Not only is this for the “War on I-4” trophy but the winner will represent the East against Memphis in the AAC championship game on December 2nd.

How do I think this game will shake out.  Check out My GOAL LINE STAND column late in the week for that analysis.


Photo credit to Trace Crisp and Matthew Crisp