USF football loss to SMU ends with undisclosed Marsh injury

Sophomore quarterback Katravis Marsh marked 178 passing yards before having to exit the game early. ORACLE PHOTO/ALEXANDRA URBAN

Sophomore quarterback Katravis Marsh left the game on a stretcher during the fourth quarter Saturday, where South Florida football fell 41-23 to SMU in Raymond James Stadium.

Marsh was brought to the ground after his helmet endured a hard hit from junior linebacker Kamryn Farrar’s shoulder.

The Salute to Service game was Daniel Da Prato’s first game as interim head coach. After the game, he said Marsh was taken to Tampa General Hospital and confirmed he has movement of his extremities.

In the midst of the game, Da Prato said he did not see exactly what happened because of the chaos of learning a new role on game day.

“I did not have a clear look at all of the situation,” Da Prato said. “[I] had a lot going on today with some changes and in my role … I gotta be honest, there was probably a lot that I did not see. But I did not see the end of that play, nor did I have a clear look.”

The Bulls (1-8, 0-6) had a slow start going three-and-out on their first drive and stayed scoreless for the first quarter. USF’s defense allowed SMU (5-4, 3-2) to score a touchdown and a field goal, handing them the lead.

However, South Florida was able to pick up the pace within 79 seconds of the second quarter when freshman running back Jason Albritton ran 1-yard for his first career touchdown.

After two third down conversions and one fourth down conversion, Mustangs freshman running back Camar Wheaton snagged an 18-yard running touchdown, marking their only scoring drive of the quarter.

Marsh responded for the Bulls before he got hurt and threw the ball to sophomore wide receiver Xavier Weaver for a 32-yard touchdown. Keeping up the momentum, USF later kicked a field goal to enter half time with a tied score, 17-17.

Despite the close game, it was short lived after SMU racked up three touchdowns in the third quarter keeping the Bulls down 38-17.

USF had a chance to score a touchdown when it came to the fourth quarter, but it was taken away when sophomore cornerback Jahari Rogers intercepted the ball in the end zone. Building off of that, SMU kicked a 45-yard field goal.

While it wasn’t enough to win, freshman quarterback Byrum Brown stepped in after Marsh left. In the last moments of the game, he threw the ball to junior tight end Jayson Littlejohn for a 17-yard touchdown.

Contributing to the loss, South Florida’s defense gave up 553 yards to SMU. Overall, the Bulls had seven penalties resulting in 60 yards lost.

“We weren’t stopping and [there was] specific plays or specific reasons why that took place,” Da Prato said. “We will go back and look at the tape. If we’re not getting off the field on defense and we’re not continuing to keep the drive going, it’s not going to result well.”

From a string of injuries and changes in coaching staff, the Bulls have seen a large wave of adversity, seeing another quarterback hurt is just adding to the list.

Senior offensive lineman Brad Cecil said the team has to remain with their arms around Marsh and is upset that he had to witness him leave the game but at the end of the day they need to prepare for the next game they play.

“He was in front of me, I was trying to chase him down,” he said. “It’s tough to see. [He] stepped up, played really well and just kind of owned his role. To see that happen to him, it sucks. It’s the nature of our game though, unfortunately.

“He’s an underdog. I know he’s gonna bounce back because that’s the type of person he is. He’s tough on the field. He’s a tough person mentally. So I know he’ll be alright.”

The Bulls will head to Tulsa for its last away game of the season against the Golden Hurricane on Friday at 9 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and broadcast on BullsUnlimited.