The USF Bulls home opener was under a humid blue sky. The rain clouds from earlier in the day were off in the distance as the crowd filed in for both teams. The Bulls were in green tops, bottoms, and gold helmets. The FAMU Rattlers were in white tops, green bottoms, and white helmets. During pre-game, as FAMU came out of the visitor’s tunnel, they were booed by the USF student section. FAMU came into this game on a 10-game winning streak. The Bulls were coming off of a loss to the WKU Hilltoppers. USF looked good and were looking to get their first win of the 2023 season. The crowd was sparse for both teams but it seemed there was more green and gold than green and orange. The Rattlers received the opening kickoff.
The first quarter was a mess as both teams had dumb penalties. The Bulls had three turnovers go their way, one fumble and two interceptions. They were able to get 14 points from them and led 14-7. For most of the quarter, the Bulls played undisciplined and they looked uninspired. The Bulls continued to have costly penalties through the second quarter that extended the Rattlers’ drives. For example, with just over five minutes left in the second quarter, FAMU took advantage and scored a touchdown to cut the USF lead to three at 17-14. One of the weirdest penalty calls happened to USF, a fall start that was called on everyone but the center. The FAMU media members had a huge laugh. USF drove down near the end of the half and scored a touchdown that extended their lead to 24-14. As the first half ended the USF Bulls got another turnover on a Rattlers fumble. The Bulls would lead at the half, 24-14.
USF received the second-half kickoff. The penalties continued for the Bulls as they committed a holding penalty and the drive ended with a Rattlers field goal that cut the Bulls lead to seven 24-17. The Bulls answered immediately with a touchdown and took a 14-point lead 31-17 on a run by quarterback Byrum Brown. The dumb penalty bug bit the Bulls and the result was a Rattlers’ touchdown cutting the lead to seven at 31-24. USF got one right back after the FAMU score and went up again by 14 points. That is how the game would end and the Bulls would escape with a 38-24 win.
This game was too close. The USF Bulls let FAMU hang around. USF cannot afford to play like this next week as they welcome the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Bulls had five turnovers but managed to score 38 points. USF should have won by way more than just 14 points. It looked like FAMU was just as good as USF and that might be the case. The undisciplined play and penalties are going to kill USF moving forward. Could it have been that the team was looking forward to the Crimson Tide? If they play like this next Saturday it will be a blowout.
What are your thoughts on how USF played against FAMU? Leave a comment below.
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