USF Bulls Succumb to Wisconsin Badgers in Second-Half


Sep 27, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; South Florida Bulls quarterback Mike White (14) hands the football off to running back Marlon Mack (5) during the second quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The USF Bulls held Melvin Gordon in check for 30 minutes but couldn’t contain him in the second half as the Wisconsin Badgers used his two touchdowns to cruise to a 27-10 win.

Gordon was held to just 50 rushing yards in the first half but exploded for 131 in the second while adding touchdown scores of seven and 43-yards to break a 3-3 tie in the third quarter.

Wisconsin (3-1) sealed the game in the fourth quarter with an 18 play, 90-yard drive that used 9:33 of the game clock and concluded when Tanner McEvoy connected with Sam Arneson from a yard out.

USF’s (2-3) lone touchdown came after Gordon’s second rushing score as Rodney Adams took the end around 26 yards and dived into the endzone for his second touchdown of the season.

Trailing 20-10 to start the fourth after a Rafael Gaglianone field goal had made it a two-score game, Mike White hit fullback Kennard Swanson for a 52-yard completion that got the Bulls to the Badgers 10-yard line. However, Swanson fumbled after being tackled by Lubern Figaro and Vince Biegal recovered, setting up Wisconsin’s 18-play scoring drive.

USF had taken an early lead on a Marvin Kloss field goal in the first quarter before Gaglianone responded with one of his own later in the quarter.

The Bulls came into the game as a 34 point underdog.

Gordon finished with 181 yards on the ground on 32 carries while Corey Clement added 77 rushing yards. McEvoy went 11-of-18 for 160 yards and a touchdown while Alex Erickson caught six passes for 91 yards.

White completed less than 50 per cent of his passes for the third time this season as he went 8-of-19 for 173 yards and one interception that came in the second quarter after Deonte Welch dropped White’s pass and Derek Landisch came up with his first pick of the season.

Marlon Mack struggled running the ball as he mustered just 34 yards on 11 carries. USF were 2-of-9 on third down and had just eight first downs all game, compared to Wisconsin’s 27. The Badgers also controlled the time of possession, holding the football for a whooping 40:51.

Wisconsin wound up with 454 yards of offense but was limited to just 139 at half time thanks to a stingy Bulls defense that swarmed the ball and caused Gordon to fumble for only the second time in his career.

Jamie Byrd and Nate Godwin each had 14 tackles while Nigel Harris had six tackles, two of which were for losses. The Bulls had six TFL’s while Reshard Cliett had the Bulls’ lone sack.

The Bulls were penalized 11 times for 90 yards. Despite returning to practice this week, wide receiver Andre Davis did not play.

USF have a bye next weekend before facing East Carolina at Raymond James Stadium on Oct. 11.