A night game for the USF Bulls is rare and seeing the lights in hopes it would draw a crowd was nice. This was senior night. Head coach Alex Golesh wanted to send the seniors off on the right track. The Bulls wore all-grey uniforms including grey helmets. There were post-game fireworks. This game was crucial to the Bulls because, with a win, they would become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2018. Before the game, they had the senior players and family on the field for a ceremony. The crowd was not as big as Coach Golesh had hoped. The game time temperature was 70 degrees and some fans were in long sleeves. The night could be described as a great night for football.
The first half was a back-and-forth contest. Each team had one turnover. The Bulls scored on theirs to take a 14-7 lead. Charlotte had a turnover but was unable to take advantage. On the drive, the 49ers had their turnover you could hear “Defense” cheers coming from the USF faithful. Sean Atkins has done it all this season and he threw his first-ever touchdown pass, a 62-yarder to give the Bulls their second touchdown of the game. The 49ers also had some miscues after scoring their touchdown they kicked the ball out of bounds which gave USF great field position. As the half wound down, it was a battle of the defenses. Bryum Brown broke the USF record previously held by Quinton Flowers for most passing yards in a single season. The Bulls led 21-7 at the half.
The second half began with a bang for the USF Bulls. On the second play of their opening drive, they hit a 62-yard touchdown pass and took a 28-7 lead. The 49ers wasted little time as they answered with a touchdown of their own. At that time it was 28-14 Bulls. Shortly into the third quarter Bryum Brown became the first USF quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards in a single season. After getting a field goal to take a 31-14 lead, USF rolled the dice and converted an onside kick. On that drive, they had a 35-yard run by Bryum Brown to take a 38-14 lead. USF kept the 49ers at bay and at the end of three quarters they led 41-14. Charlotte’s defense struggled and let the Bulls score another touchdown to basically put the game away at 48-14.
Coming into the week we knew that USF needed to win this game to become bowl-eligible. The game started slow but the Bulls showed that as the season went on they got better from game to game. Many records were broken this season. This will be the first time since 2018 that the Bulls will be playing in a bowl game. The offense showed what they can be. The defense forced three turnovers all interceptions. Those accounted for 14 of the 48 points that USF scored.
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