TAMPA — Three years after graduating from Blake High, Bulls TE Mike McFarland finally enjoyed a breakout game — or more specifically, half — as a collegian.
The 6-foot-5 Florida transfer got his outstretched left hand on Tony Miliano's 40-yard field goal try in the first quarter, resulting in ex-Freedom star Nate Godwin's 75-yard block return for the Bulls' first TD.
McFarland also had three first-half catches for 37 yards, including a tightrope-style grab of a Bobby Eveld pass at the Bulls' sideline during their 74-yard scoring drive to end the half.
He finished with four receptions — equaling his 2012 total.
"It feels amazing, but it's just the beginning," McFarland said.
KLOSS' CAREER NIGHT: Junior K Marvin Kloss' 52-yard field goal early in the second quarter was the third-longest in USF history. Kloss converted all four of his tries — including 24-, 25- and 40-yarders, improving his percentage to .875 (7-for-8) for 2013.
"I always tell our players, I'm looking for guys that want the ball when things get tough," Taggart said. "Sure enough, on the long field goal he looked at me and was like, 'Coach, I got this.' I said, 'Well, let's go.' Sure enough he answered the bell."
FREAKY SATURDAY: Bulls junior Andre "Freak Show" Davis ran a few more routes toward local immortality Saturday.
The former Jefferson High star took sole possession of USF's record for consecutive games (23) with at least one catch. Davis clinched the record with a 4-yard reception from Eveld midway through the second quarter.
Davis finished with three catches for 56 yards, giving him 85 for his career and moving him past Chris Iskra for ninth on the school's career list.
A NIGHT FOR PINK, POIGNANCE: Just before kickoff, a moment of silence was observed in recognition of the tragedy that recently befell the Bearcats program.
Cincinnati OL Ben Flick and an 18-year-old Miami (Ohio) student were killed in a single-car accident Sept. 23. Bearcats freshman WRs Mark Barr and Javon Harrison also were injured, Barr seriously.
The Bearcats players wore a small circular decal with No. 77 — Flick's number — on the back of their helmets. The Bulls, meantime, wore pink accessories — including wristbands and socks — in honor of breast cancer awareness month.
ODDS AND ENDS: Senior S Mark Joyce had the Bulls' first two-interception game since 2009 (Nate Allen vs. Syracuse). … Jefferson alumnus Chris Moore, a key component of the Dragons' 2010 state title team, had a 17-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter. He fumbled on his only other catch, resulting in DeDe Lattimore's 10-yard scoring return.
FINAL WORD: "C'mon, put that phone up! What are we doing?!" — Taggart, feigning anger when a cell phone began chiming during his postgame news conference (he was kidding).
Joey Knight can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3350. Follow him on Twitter at @ TBTimes_Bulls.