By Leo Haggerty
Archived under Featured Articles – College & University of South Florida

This will most probably be the shortest AFTER THE DUST SETTLES column I’ve ever written following a South Florida football game.  In fact, I didn’t even bother getting the opinion of HC Charlie Strong or any of the players.

Why was that, you ask?  That’s because the outcome of this game, which was a 20-17 win by Cincinnati, hinged on one facet of the tilt and one facet only.

The only reason, in the opinion of the uninformed, that the Bulls did not come away with a victory was due to special teams.  To be specific, the kicking game and the individual culprit was K Spencer Shrader.

Normally, I don’t single out a collegiate athlete because these guys aren’t getting paid.  The reason why I deviated from that rule was that fact that this was out in plain sight for everyone to see.  There was no disputing who was at fault and that’s the life of a kicker in competitive football.  You’re either the hero or the goat in the space of five seconds.

The Bulls freshman kicker was 1-for-5 in the field goal department for the night.  The most glaring miss was the 33-yard attempt with 2:07 left in the contest that would have given USF the lead. That kick hit the right upright and bounced harmlessly to the side.

Also, do not assume that this was the ONLY reason the Bulls lost to the Bearcats.  It was just the obvious reason.

USF had numerous opportunities to score as well as to stop Cincinnati from finding the end zone.  This was, as the South Florida head honcho clearly stated, a team loss.

After the last missed field goal, the Bearcats then marched down the field and lined up for a 37-yard field goal of their own with three ticks left in the contest.  Cincy K Sam Crosa split the uprights giving the visitors a hard-earned 20-17 victory and the Green & Gold are seeing their chance at a post-season bowl bid go by the wayside.

Can the Bulls rally and get an elusive win to keep their bowls chances alive or will the dreams of a bowl bid come crashing down against Memphis?  Check out my GOAL LINE STAND column later in the week for my four keys to a Buccaneers victory.

All action shots provided by photo-journalist Trace Crisp.