USF morning after: 5 random thoughts on the unbeaten Bulls

USF's Blake Barnett, right, is tackled by Illinois's Jake Hansen (an East Lake High alumnus)  during the first half of Saturday's game on Sept. 15, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Young) ILJY108
USF's Blake Barnett, right, is tackled by Illinois's Jake Hansen (an East Lake High alumnus) during the first half of Saturday's game on Sept. 15, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jim Young) ILJY108
Published September 16 2018

A few items to ponder in the wake of USF's latest come-from-behind triumph:

1. The Bulls absolutely, positively had to pull this one out for any chance at getting ranked before Thanksgiving. The upcoming slate (East Carolina, UMass, Tulsa, Connecticut) offered no chance for significant atonement in the eyes of voters. The next potentially formidable obstacle is an Oct. 27 game at Houston, and even the Cougars have lost some luster with Saturday's 63-49 loss at Texas Tech.

2. Blake Barnett has accounted for five fourth-quarter touchdowns (three pass, two run) in the last two weeks, meaning he has outscored USF's opposition by a combined 30-7 in the final period during that span.

3. With 14 more tackles Saturday, senior LB Khalid McGee remains on pace for a 100-tackle season. The converted safety has 34 through three contests; the single-season record is 121, set by Tyrone McKenzie in 2007.

Related: USF journal: Terrific TEs, never-quit QBs and reliable RBs

4. USF has now won 31 of its last 37 games, the sixth-most victories of any FBS team during that span.

5. In the crazy stratosphere of college football, it's not terribly far-fetched to consider the very team Charlie Strong defeated on Saturday just might try to lure him if its season continues heading south.

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