Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Bulls Shut out in Home Finale by Rival Knights

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Bulls Shut out in Home Finale by Rival Knights

Article excerpt

AAC: USF goes 4-8 in Manatee High graduate Willie Taggart's second year

TAMPA -- If most of the talk coming from the University of South Florida sideline Friday was about the future, there is a good reason.

The present hurt.

Opportunities came and went for the Bulls, who failed to capitalize on any of them. The result was a frustrating 16-0 loss to rival Central Florida -- the first time in USF's 18-year football history that anyone has held them scoreless at Raymond James Stadium.

"We had (chances) in that game that we didn't take advantage of and it cost us," said Bulls coach and Manatee High graduate Willie Taggart. "We did things you can't do against a winning football team."

Sophomore quarterback Justin Holman moved the chains with third- down passes of 10, 6, 5 and 9 yards, helping UCF (8-3 overall, 6-1 in the American Athletic Conference) drive 80 and 73 yards for second-quarter touchdowns. Breshad Perriman's 7-yard catch provided the first score and fellow wide receiver Rannell Hall dashed 22 yards for the next, opening a 14-0 lead in front of 36,963 fans, many of them rooting for the Knights.

The rest, from the defending AAC champs' perspective, was cruise control.

"We got a good win and now we've given ourselves an opportunity to play for a conference championship next weekend," said UCF coach George O'Leary. "I congratulated (the players), but our job's not done yet, and they understand that."

The Knights, tied with Memphis (8-3, 6-1) atop the league standings, visit East Carolina on Thursday and, of course, are bowl eligible. Cincinnati (7-3, 5-1) also factors into a complicated battle for first place that USF (4-8, 3-5) doesn't need to worry much about that.

"No points," said Bulls senior Andre Davis, who will graduate with all or part of 13 school receiving records, including catches (153), yards (2,136) and touchdowns (17). "As bad as I wanted to get into the end zone, it definitely hurts, going out in my last game with zero points."

The Bulls had a first-and-goal at UCF's 1-yard line, as well as first downs at the Knights' 14, 27 and 31.

But Marvin Kloss' 44-yard field goal attempt late in the second quarter clanked off the right upright. …

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