Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

McNeese State ranks among USF Bulls' worst losses

USF quarterback Bobby Eveld’s pass to receiver Deonte Welch is broken up by cornerback Guy Morgan. Eveld relieved starter Matt Floyd in the second half.


USF quarterback Bobby Eveld’s pass to receiver Deonte Welch is broken up by cornerback Guy Morgan. Eveld relieved starter Matt Floyd in the second half.

TAMPA — Worst loss in USF football history? You can make a good claim to Saturday's 53-21 loss to I-AA McNeese State being just that.

But worst loss ever by a major I-A team to a I-AA opponent? The Bulls apparently did that as well, losing by 32 points. According to, the worst margin of defeat by a major I-A (BCS conference teams and major independents dating to Division I's split in 1978) against a I-AA was 27 points, set by Boston College in a 1978 loss to Massachusetts.

USF hadn't lost to a I-AA team since becoming a I-A program in 2001 — the Bulls were 23-0 in such games. In nine games against I-AAs since joining the Big East in 2005, the Bulls had won all nine by at least 15 points, and by an average of 38 points.

USF was a 201/2-point favorite, but there was a little reason for concern — McNeese State opened last year with an upset of I-A Middle Tennessee State, which went on to beat Willie Taggart's Western Kentucky later in the year.

ROOM ON THE BUS: USF announced an attendance of 35,470 for the McNeese game, which was down from an announced 41,285 for last year's opener against Chattanooga.

The actual attendance as supplied by the Tampa Sports Authority was considerably lower — just 22,609 came through the turnstiles, down from an actual crowd of 30,733 for last year's opener, a drop of 27 percent.

SUSPENDED: USF already had a starting guard out as Thor Jozwiak has been sidelined with an irregular heartbeat, and senior Lawrence Martin, projected as a starter at right guard, was suspended from the game for a violation of team rules. Another senior, Steve Jacques, got his first career start in Martin's place.

TWO IF BY AIR: McNeese's scoring started with a safety on USF's first punt attempt — David Burdetsky's snap sailed high over the head of P Mattias Ciabatti, who had little choice but to kick it through the back of the end zone. It was the first safety allowed by USF since West Virginia got one in 2009.

SPECIAL TEAMS: USF's special teams struggled in the opener, starting with Burdetsky's high snap. There was more. New K Marvin Kloss missed on a 43-yard field goal, Ciabatti averaged 32.7 yards on three kicks, and between bad returns and penalties, the Bulls started three first-half drives at their own 10 or worse.

BRIGHT SIDE: Marcus Shaw's 80-yard touchdown run matched the second-longest run in USF history — the only one longer was Rafael Williams going 86 yards against Valparaiso in 1998. Lindsey Lamar gained 80 yards on a run against Syracuse last year.

THIS AND THAT: USF lined up extensively in a nickel defense, with redshirt freshman Jalen Spencer as the fifth defensive back. The Bulls even went to a dime on several plays, with freshman Johnny Ward on the field as a sixth DB. … USF's top receiver, Andre Davis, was held without a catch until the third quarter, when he had a 6-yarder. He added a 7-yard touchdown from Bobby Eveld in the fourth quarter. … The American Athletic Conference lost twice to I-AA programs in the opening weekend of its existence — UConn lost to Towson on Thursday as well.

Greg Auman can be reached at and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @gregauman.

McNeese State ranks among USF Bulls' worst losses 08/31/13 [Last modified: Sunday, September 1, 2013 12:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108