No. 25 BYU crushes USF in season opener

Despite the loss, junior wide receiver Xavier Weaver posted 113 receiving yards. ORACLE PHOTO/ALEXANDRA URBAN

After a two-and-a-half hour weather delay Saturday, South Florida was rattled by No. 25 BYU in a 50-21 loss.

Expectations were running high for USF after a change in coaching staff and the addition of seasoned junior quarterback Gerry Bohanon expected to lead the herd. However, its offense couldn’t compete with national powerhouse BYU.

Coach Jeff Scott was dissatisfied with the team’s performance against the Cougars after the Bulls seemed to be an assembled group.

“Very disappointing performance tonight,” Scott said. “Really surprised, quite honestly. Sometimes as a coach, you may see some signs during practice that your guys aren’t quite locked down or focused. It really was the opposite of that. I felt like we were prepared. Obviously, we weren’t.”

In the first quarter alone, the Cougars tallied on four touchdowns, two rushing, one intercepted and one passing. The Bulls offense carried a heavy weight, unable to take advantage of six minutes of possession in comparison to BYU’s nine minutes and 28-0 lead.

By the second quarter, BYU continued to dominate over South Florida 38-0, but the Bulls answered with a touchdown with less than 30 seconds on the clock to make it 38-7.

Although defense was putting in the work with 34 total tackles, the Bulls offense scraped up one touchdown with only 55 yards gained as the Cougars had picked up 170 yards and two touchdowns.

“Really didn’t feel like we were in sync offensively. I felt like they stopped the run pretty good upfront, and if you can’t run the ball, it’s very, very difficult to get a throwing contest,” Scott said.

As USF made its return to the field after halftime, sophomore wide receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. carried the ball to the end zone as the Bulls continued to trail 38-14.

In the end, South Florida was only able to cut the deficit 50-21, scraping a touchdown while the Cougars tagged on a touchdown, safety and a field goal.

For Scott, there were no excuses for South Florida and the way the team played, as they were unable to live up to high expectations.

“It was a combination of us not doing our job. Maybe with the calls and also with the execution of the calls, and then at the same time they were a well oiled machine,” Scott said.

“We would have had to play much better to be able to compete with them tonight.”

The Bulls will return to Raymond James on Sept. 10 to face Howard at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited.