Turnovers Doom USF Bulls to Cincinnati Bearcats Defeat


Oct 24, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; South Florida Bulls running back Marlon Mack (5) carries the ball in the first half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

All the positivity the USF Bulls built from last week’s stunning comeback win against Tulsa evaporated Friday night as they were beaten 34-17 by the Cincinnati Bearcats in a big AAC clash.

Despite Steven Bench’s fourth-quarter efforts, the Bulls (3-5) were outdone by their dismal first three periods of play.

They trailed 20-3 at half time and had just as many turnovers as points and double the amount of penalty yards (75) than they had rushing yards (37).

Mike White threw two first half interceptions and lost a fumble.

White fumbled again in the third quarter at the Cincinnati 12, one play after the USF defense had forced and recovered a fumble themselves, and was replaced by Bench.

Bench threw two fourth quarter touchdowns: a 67-yarder to Rodney Adams and a 38-yard pass to Andre Davis but it wasn’t for much as USF’s defense also gave up two scores. Davis would later be ejected for ‘fighting.’

White would go 11-of-19 for 92 yards with his four turnovers while Bench played very well, going 9-of-14 for 147 yards and two scores.

Marlon Mack managed just 54 yards on the ground, while Mike Boone of Cincinnati torched the Bulls for 212 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Bearcats (4-3) starter Gunnar Kiel didn’t play the second after suffering an apparent rib injury, but his replacement, Munchie Legaux, completed all but one of his 15 pass attempts.

The Bull’s defense forced three turnovers but gave up 590 yards of offense. USF must now win three of their final four games to be bowl eligible.

They are in action again next Saturday when they host Houston.