Tulsa shakes off layoff, routs South Florida
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane showed no signs of rust after a 19-day layoff, cruising to a 42-13 win over South Florida Bulls on Friday night in Tampa, Fla.
Tulsa remains one of five unbeaten teams in the American Athletic Conference after winning its first game since Oct., 3 when it upset then-No. 11 UCF 34-26. A scheduled game last week against No. 8 Cincinnati due to a COVID-19 outbreak with the Bearcats.
The Golden Hurricane (2-1, 2-0 AAC) totaled 462 yards overall with a near-perfect balance of 235 passing and 227 rushing. Sophomore Deneric Prince (15 rushes, 109 yards) and senior Corey Taylor II (12 rushes, 67 yards) each ran for two touchdowns.
Tulsa outgained South Florida 289-113 in total yards in the first half and led 21-6 at halftime.
Golden Hurricane junior linebacker Zaven Collins was responsible for two of the three South Florida turnovers, forcing a fumble in the first half and returning an interception 38 yards for a touchdown that helped the Golden Hurricane pull away in the third quarter.
South Florida (1-5, 0-4) lost its fifth consecutive game and struggled to find any consistent momentum on offense. The Bulls used three quarterbacks in the game with grad transfer Noah Johnson taking the most snaps. Johnson completed 18 of 26 for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His 4-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Miller cut Tulsa’s lead to 21-13 with 8:43 left in the third.
Sophomore Johnny Ford — the Bulls’ leader in total yards — was held to 19 yards combined rushing and receiving.
The Bulls struggled on third down, converting just 2 of 15 tries.
In the middle of the third quarter, Prince took a handoff from Tulsa senior quarterback Zach Smith, cut to the inside and sprinted up the middle for a 62-yard touchdown that sparked a run of 21 unanswered points. That TD increased the lead to 28-13, and five minutes later, the margin was up to 42-13 after Collins’ pick-six and a 1-yard Taylor scoring run.
Smith completed 16 of 24 passes for 233 yards with one interception and a 33-yard touchdown pass to JuanCarlos Santana that opened the game’s scoring.
–Field Level Media