Coach Jeff Scott accepts responsibility for 54-28 loss to Temple

USF has yet to win a conference game under coach Jeff Scott this season. ORACLE PHOTO/ALEXANDRA URBAN

South Florida football is now the only team in the AAC with zero conference wins after losing 54-28 to Temple at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.

Head coach Jeff Scott took the blame for the loss against the Owls (2-6, 1-4), saying the Bulls (1-7, 0-5) are currently at their lowest.

“It falls on one person, me,” Scott said. “I’m in charge of everything. When it looks as bad as it does today, it’s on nobody’s shoulders but mine.”

Scott denied the excuse of team-wide injuries for Saturday’s blowout, and instead contributed it to the defense. USF gave up 621 yards and let the Owls score on every ball possession.

“Worst performance defensively that I can remember since I’ve been here,” Scott said. “It’s a frustrating path late in my third season for sure.”

The Bulls only have four wins in the last three years. One over Citadel in 2020, FAMU and Temple in 2021 and over Howard in September. USF has yet to win an away game under Scott.

USF started off strong in the first quarter Saturday with three third down conversions in the first drive. After a series of passing plays, sophomore quarterback Katravis Marsh threw for the Bulls’ first touchdown to junior wide receiver Xavier Weaver. Allowing USF to maintain an early lead, the defense held the Owls to a 32-yard field goal. It was the Bulls’ only lead of the game.

After two subsequent Temple field goals and a touchdown in the second quarter, USF’s short-lived lead disappeared and Temple was up 16-14.

To start off the second half, both teams teetered between end zones. Redshirt sophomore Edward Saydee ran 56 yards for an Owls touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. responded for USF with a 55-yard touchdown on the Bulls’ next possession.

Saydee wasn’t finished for the Owls, however, and grabbed another 40-yard rushing touchdown. The pattern continued when Weaver took off for 63 yards, bringing the Bulls to Temple’s 2-yard line. His run sparked the momentum for a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Holden Willis, bringing it to a one possession game.

The game was close heading into the fourth quarter, with Temple leading 33-28. However, the Bulls went scoreless in the fourth quarter and allowed the Owls to score three touchdowns, leaving behind all chances for USF to catch up.

Wanting to convert a third down at the USF 49-yard line, Marsh fumbled and turned the ball over to the Owls. Capitalizing on their opportunity, Temple scored another touchdown.

When USF got the ball back, junior running back Kelley Joiner was robbed of the ball from Temple redshirt cornerback Jalen McMurray, allowing Saydee to score another touchdown.

Saturday’s performance brought USF’s losing streak to seven with just three games left in the season.

Scott’s frustration is not only coming from his built up failed efforts, but also from the idea his veteran players will not get the season they wanted to finish their college career.

“There’s not more than anything that I want right now than for that [senior] group to have success,” he said. “It’s what I hurt the most for.”

The Bulls will play SMU at Raymond James Stadium on Nov. 12 at noon. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and broadcast on Bulls Unlimited.