By Leo Haggerty


On quick note before I start this column.  As of now, almost all photo-journalists are not allowed to attend games.  Hopefully, as the Covid-19 threat becomes diminished, that may change.

Until that becomes a reality, Rob and I will be using older football photos that our excellent video staff have taken of past South Florida football contest.  Thanks for understanding.

The University of South Florida opened their 2020 collegiate football season with a 27-6 win against The Citadel.  USF moved to 1-0 while the gang from Charleston, SC dropped to 0-1 on their abbreviated four-game season.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring at 4:07 of the opening quarter.  K Colby Kintner split the uprights from 45 yards out to put The Citadel up 3-0.  The boot culminated a 10-play drive that ate up 38 yards of real estate as well as taking 4:16 off the clock.

South Florida answered with only 49 ticks left in the first quarter.  QB Jordan McCloud found WR DeVontre Dukes in the corner of the end zone from 8 yards away.    The TD pass ended an 8-play drive that chewed up 62 yards along with 3:16 of game time.  The PAT was good by K Spencer Shrader and it gave the Bulls their first lead at 7-3.

The Citadel would cut the margin to 7-6 at 11:08 of the second quarter.  Again, it was Kintner doing the honors and this time from 41 yards.  The drive took 4:41 and consumed 54 yards in 10-plays.

That would be the closest the Bulldogs would get as USF scored the strangest touchdown I have ever witnessed to extend their lead.  Bulldog P Matt Campbell was forced to punt from his own 10-yard line in a driving rain.  The pigskin slipped through his fingers and, after retrieving the football deep in his own end zone, Campbell attempted to boot it away instead of taking a safety.

To say the Dacula, GA native didn’t get a lot on the boot would be an understatement.  The football fluttered into the waiting arms of WR Omarion Dollison in The Citadel end zone.

Officially, Campbell was credited with a punt that travelled -10 yards (yup, you’re reading that right) and Dollison has a TD return of 0 yards.  The PAT was no good but USF lengthened its lead to 13-6 with 6:52 left in the second quarter.

After the Green & Gold defense forced a three-and out, the Bulls upped their lead with 2:41 left in the opening half.  The 5-play drive that took 2:44 and traversed 60 yards culminated with back-up QB Noah Johnson scampering nine yards to paydirt.  With the successful PAT by Shrader, South Florida led 20-6 and that score would hold up as both teams went to dry out at halftime.

The third quarter was all defense.  The Citadel was forced to punt on their two possessions and South Florida punted once after Shrader was wide right on the opening drive of the second half.

USF stretched its lead midway through the final period.  RB Kelly Joiner burrowed into the end zone from 3 yards out that took 2:59 to go 86 yards in 7-plays.  Shrader split the uprights to make the final score 27-6 in favor of the Bulls.


The USF offense racked up 404 yards with 302 on the ground.  Joiner led the way with 86 yards on 8 carries and RB Johnny Ford was right behind with 71 yards on 9 attempts.

The story of the game was the South Florida defense.  The Bulls defense held The Citadel to two field goals and came away with two fumble recovers as well as an interception.

I don’t care who you are playing in college football, to hold a team to six points and keep them out of the end zone is a tremendous accomplishment.  Kudos to DC Glenn Spencer and his troops for a job well done.

Now, the University of South Florida prepares to go on the road for the first time and the opponent is daunting.  The Bulls will fly to South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Irish at 2:30 pm.

We’ll have a pregame report as well as a wrap up in case you miss the tilt.  Even it you see it, check out our in-depth coverage as HC Jeff Scott leads his charges against the Golden Domers.  See you around the TV.