Late defensive stands lead USF’s victory

by Gary Shelton on October 13, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Cronkrite has more than 300 yards in two weeks./ © 2019 Joe Mestas 10/12/2019

Sunday, 3 a.m.

As victories go, this one was a keeper.

This wasn't against tiny South Carolina State. This wasn't against weak UConn.

This was against BYU, in a game where the offense came from behind and the defense made two great stands. Yes, BYU was playing with its second (and third) quarterbacks, but those quarterbacks were good enough to get leads of 16-7 before USF came from behind 27-23/.

Leading the way was running back Jordan Cronkrite, who ran for 158 yards on 26 carries. In his last two games, Cronkirte has 306 yards rushing for the Bulls.

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McCould helped the Bulls come from behind./ © 2019 Joe Mestas 10/12/2019

But the memory will be that this was a defensive win. After USF took the lead, the Cougars drove within the Bulls' 10. But on fourth-and-seven at their 12, they tackled receiver Gunner two yards short of the first down with 7:37 left to play.

That’s a great win for us." said USF coach Charlie Strong. "You look at a team that beat USC and came back and beat Tennessee. Just the way our guys battled, we got down 13-0 and Jordan (McCloud) makes a big throw down there to (Mitchell) Wilcox, who makes an unbelievable catch. Then our guys just started feeling it and confidence started coming back to them. What we were able to do on defense was just hold them to field goals in the first half and not let the game get away from us. The battle there at the end, you look at (Jordan) Cronkrite rushing for over 150 yards and just the whole offensive line… This team just continues to grow and develop. As they continue to grow and develop, this could be something special. I know we’re young but sometimes when you’re young, you don’t know any better and you just play.”

Strong had praise for Cronkrite.

“He’s an outstanding player," Strong said. "I think the first three games he had like 25 total yards. The last two, he’s really had breakout games. He said tonight, ‘Just give me the ball, coach.’ I was just so happy for Jordan because he was able to put together two games back-to-back now.”

BYU came close again in the closing seconds. Quarterback Baylor Ramsey completed three passes and USF had a pass interference call against it to give the Cougars a first-and-10 at the USF 12 with 62 seconds to play. But two incompletions, and a sack, brought up fourth down with four seconds to play. Devin Studstill knocked the ball away in the end zone for the win.

The Bulls are now 3-3 on the season.

USF plays at Navy Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

Andrew Mims makes a tackle for the Bulls./ © 2019 Joe Mestas 10/12/2019

LSU 42, Florida 28: In the end, the Gators just couldn't keep up. After all the harrowing turns, after all of the dazzling highlights, LSU just ran off and hid.

LSU scored the game's final 21 points in their shootout with Florida. They intercepted the Gators once in the end zone, and they stopped them another time on a fourth-down run from the 2.

Overall, however, LSU just had too much offense. Quarterback Joe Burrow passed for 293 yards, including 120-plus yards nights to Je'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson and Clyde Edwards-Helair had a 137-yard night rushing.

Florida's Kyle Trask threw for 310 yards and three scores, but the Gators got in the end zone just once after halftime.

Florida plays at South Carolina Saturday. Game time has yet to be determined.

Clemson 45, FSU 14: Time was, they were rivals. Time was, Clemson could only dream of competing with FSU.

Don't look now, but that squishy stuff between the toes of the Tigers are the bits of the Seminoles that remained.

"Embarrassing performance," said FSU coach Willie Taggart. "First time since I've been here where I felt like we had some guys that quit on our football team, and that can't be tolerated. There's one thing you can't do, you can't quit. If you quit, you don't play, so we got to do a great job of evaluating that film and making sure we got the right guys that's out there battling with us."

Clemson, coming off a narrow win over North Carolina, pummeled the outclassed FSU team. The Seminoles trailed 42-0 before FSU scored a couple of touchdowns that didn't matter.

Trevor Lawrence threw for three touchdowns, and Randy Etienne rushed for127 yards in a game so one-sided it will only fuel the fires on FSU's Willie Taggart.

FSU split time at quarterback between starter James Blackman and Alex Hornibrook. But neither played well. Hornibrook threw for 84 yards and Blackman for 60. Cam Akers was held to 34 yards rushing.

Tailback Cam Akers rushed nine times for 34 yards. 

FSU plays Wake Forest at home Saturday night. The game begins at 7:30 p.m.

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