Barnett can’t rescue USF in loss to SMU

by Gary Shelton on September 29, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Sunday, 3 a.m.

McCloud had a tough start against SMU./© 2019 Joe Mestas

Oh, well. In memory, they'll always have South Carolina State.

The pedestrian USF Bulls, loser of nine of their last 10 games, took another one on the chin Saturday, falling in a lopsided game to SMU. The final score was 48-21, but at one point, it was 41-0.

The dilemma that now faces USF is who their quarterback will be. Freshman Jordan McCloud struggled, throwing for only 66 yards in the first half. Blake Barnett, the former starter, was more successful in time that mattered less. Barnett hit 13 of 21 for 222 yards and three touchdowns.

Barnett threw for three scores in the second half./© 2019 Joe Mestas

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#8 Devin Studstill on the return for the USF Bulls/© 2019 Joe Mestas Seq# 0784

SMU had 497 yards in the win, including 245 yards rushing. The Mustangs averaged 5.1 yards per rush compared to 1.6 for the Bulls, who had just 54 yards on the ground.

SMU quarterback Shane Buechele hit 21 of 25 passes for 226 yards and three scores.

“It’s one of those games, and I just told our players, we will get it corrected because we’re better than that," USF coach Charlie Strong said. "Going into the game, we knew what type of quarterback he was. We knew it was going to be the long balls and they came down with the balls. We were there. We had good coverage, but they were able to make the catch. We know this, it can be fixed and we’ve just got to go to work. I told our coaches that’s on us.

USF's Bellamy pleads his case to the official./© 2019 Joe Mestas Seq# 0781

"We cannot allow our team to go out and we can’t fall behind, 34-0. We’re not good enough to get caught back up. No one is good enough to get caught back up, especially at halftime. Jordan sprained his wrist and coming in with Blake, he was able to engineer some good drives for us and move the ball down the field.”  

Charlie Strong didn't like the way USF played./© 2019 Joe Mestas

Florida 38, Towson 0: So that's the how the big boys play.

Coming into Saturday's game, Towson was ranked No. 10 in the nation. Depending on the poll you might follow, Florida was ranked eighth or ninth. The difference is that Towson plays in the FBS, which couldn't quite match up with the Gators.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, in his second start, hit 18 of 20 passes, including his first 15 in a row, to pace the Gators. Turnovers and missed field goals hurt the Tigers.

Trask's 15 completions in a row -- combined with his last three last week -- gave him 18 straight completions to break Chris Leak’s mark (17) set against Wyoming in 2005.

“It’s pretty cool to be part of history like that, especially after all the great quarterbacks that have played here,” Trask said. “I guess I felt a little more comfortable.”

Florida's schedule gets tougher from here. Next week, they play at home against Auburn at 3:30 p.m.

“You look at this team: we’ve taken care of business to this point,” Gators' coach Dan Mullen said. “Whatever the situation — good and bad — we’ve taken care of business so far to this point. We’ve played some good teams, but now it’s going to go to a whole new level.”

FSU 31, N.C. State 13: The surprise wasn't just that Alex Hornibrook started at quarterback. The surprise was how well he played after.

James Blackmon warmed up with the first team and was announced as the starter, but Hornibrook went the whole way. He was calm and efficient for the Seminoles, leading his team to the easy victory. Hornibrook hit 29 of 40 passes for 316 yards and three scores, and the Seminoles played better than they have all season.

Cam Akers rushed for 83 yards for FSU. Ontaria Wilson caught four passes for 91 yards.

FSU plays at Clemson in two weeks.

UCF 56, UConn 21: How big a lead does a team need before it takes its foot off of the gas?

In UCF's case, the answer is somewhere around 56 points.

The Knights led 56-0 Saturday before UConn scored three times on touchdown passes by Steven Krajewski.

UCF qurterback Dillon Gabriel hit 11 of 16 passes for 281 yards and three scores of 73, 16 and 13 yards. Another Gabriel -- Gabriel Davis -- caught six passes for 199 yards.

UCF plays against Cincinnati Friday night at 8 p.m.

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