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Joey Knight’s takeaways from USF-Connecticut

The Bulls played a penalty-free first half Saturday.
Connecticut running back Kevin Mensah (34) carries the ball against USF linebacker Antonio "Yo-Yo" Grier (44) and Greg Reaves (4) during the second half Saturday. Grier had a sack, forced fumble and 2.5 total tackles for loss. [MICHAEL DWYER  |  AP]
Connecticut running back Kevin Mensah (34) carries the ball against USF linebacker Antonio "Yo-Yo" Grier (44) and Greg Reaves (4) during the second half Saturday. Grier had a sack, forced fumble and 2.5 total tackles for loss. [MICHAEL DWYER | AP]
Published Oct. 5, 2019

Though it’s tough gauging USF’s offensive progress against such a feeble opponent, there’s no question the Bulls played a cleaner game than normal Saturday. The American Athletic Conference’s third-most penalized team entering the weekend, USF had an infraction-free first half and was flagged a season-low five times for 59 yards.

Related: RELATED: USF delivers best effort of season, tramples UConn

Though he had no catches Saturday, fifth-year senior tight end Mitch Wilcox remained a critical cog up front, helping the run game collect 313 yards. “Mitch blocked very well today,” quarterback Jordan McCloud said. “We were actually talking at the end of the game, how he said he felt like a ping-pong ball in there, he was just getting hit around with the O-line being real physical today.”

Related: RELATED: A Bulls bright spot? That would be Bryce Miller

To offset UConn’s speed packages, USF went heavy with a nickel alignment, meaning less of sturdy middle linebacker Patrick Macon and more of outside 'backers Dwayne Boyles and Antonio “Yo-Yo” Grier. The two combined for 15 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss, including a sack apiece.


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  1. USF tight end Mitch Wilcox took a hard spiral to the face during the "gauntlet drill" at the NFL scouting combine Thursday in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) [CHARLIE NEIBERGALL  |  AP]
  2. Former USF coach Charlie Strong (left), greeting Alabama coach Nick Saban at a 2017 summer football camp on the Bulls campus, reportedly has joined Saban's staff in an analyst role. [Joey Knight]
  3. USF junior David Collins (0) drives past East Carolina's Tristen Newton during the Bulls' 73-68 overtime victory Wednesday at the Yuengling Center. [Photo provided by USF Athletics] [USF Athletics]
  4. Tampa Bay Vipers QB/RB Quinton Flowers (9) loads up a pass play during the second quarter of the XFL home opener between the Tampa Bay Vipers and the Houston Roughnecks on Feb. 22. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. USF coach Brian Gregory reacts to a call during the first half against Connecticut on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Storrs, Conn. [STEPHEN DUNN  |  AP]
  6. USF's David Collins (0) now has 1,220 career points, good for 10th place on the school's career scoring list. [STEPHEN DUNN  |  AP]
  7. Former USF tight end Mitch Wilcox speaks after the 2019 USF spring game. [ALLIE GOULDING  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  8. Connecticut's Jalen Gaffney (0) and South Florida's David Collins (0) battle for a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn) [STEPHEN DUNN  |  AP]
  9. USF guard Laquincy Rideau drives to the basket between Houston's Nate Hinton, left, and Fabian White during a game on Jan. 26, 2020, in Houston. [MICHAEL WYKE  |  AP]
  10. USF athletic director Michael Kelly (left) and first-year football coach Jeff Scott have confirmed the Bulls' spring football game will remain on campus. [JOEY KNIGHT | TAMPA BAY TIMES] [Joey Knight]
  11. USF coach Brian Gregory's club dropped its third consecutive game Thursday, falling 65-55 at Wichita State. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
  12. Florida Gators running back Lamical Perine (22) smashes into LSU Tigers safety John Battle (26) in the second quarter. (Bronte Wittpenn, Times) [Times]
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