The USF Bulls began their second game of the 2022 season on a pretty rainy day. At the time of the game, it was 80 degrees under a partly cloudy sky. The biggest aspect is how USF would recover from the beatdown from last week by the BYU Cougars. The Bulls won the coin toss and decided to receive the ball. I like that Coach Scott decided to do that. Unfortunately, it backfired as Gary Bohanon threw an interception. Not the start they were looking for, especially after last week when they allowed a 75-yard touchdown run. As far as crowd attendance, USF had its fans and Howard had very few fans. The Howard player that had the interception was Quinton Williams, his first career interception. USF’s second offensive drive ended on a rare offensive pass interference penalty. This is not the start that the USF Bulls wanted.
The first points of the game were scored by Howard on an 18-yard run by Kasey Hawthrone. Howard’s special teams came up with a block on a 55-yard field goal attempt. A bright spot that happened at the start of the second quarter was the USF Bull’s defense forced a fumble. The Bulls offense took advantage, converting a fourth down conversion resulting in a Bulls touchdown. With just about four minutes left in the half, the Bulls caused another fumble which led to another rushing touchdown this time by Michael Dukes. That put the Bulls in the lead 14-7. In my opinion, the Bulls could have played a better half of football. The defense adjusted towards the end but struggled at the start. The offense also made its mistakes but made up for it with two touchdowns off of two defensive turnovers.
About midway through the second half, another defensive play resulted in an intercepted pass by Jayden Curry. Once again, it led to a USF Bulls touchdown, the second for Jaren Mangham. That brought the score to 21-7 in favor of USF. On the next drive, the Bisons dug into the lead with a 28-yard touchdown run by Jarrett Hunter. At the time it was 21-14 in favor of USF. The Bulls would answer right back on their next drive with a 28-yard touchdown by Michel Dukes, his second of the game. USF led 28-14 at the end of the third quarter. Howard wasted a play on a fourth down and turned the ball over on downs. The next USF drive resulted in a 60-yard touchdown run for Brian Battie, bringing the score to 35-14 in favor of the USF. That might have been the final nail in the coffin for Howard.
The Howard defense looked tired as they allowed another USF Bulls touchdown, yet another one via the rush. The Bulls led 42-14 and put the game on ice. The offense showed some improvement after the first quarter. The defense had some great plays with the turnovers. The Bulls, as a team, looked a little bit better. They will now hit the road to play the Florida Gators in The Swamp. Hopefully, they will show more than they did in last year’s game when the Gators spanked them at home. Jeff Scott has to get them ready for next week as they are playing in front of a hostile crowd in Gainesville. The final score against Howard was 42-20. The Bulls did what they had to do to win the first of the 2022 season.
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