TAMPA — After sitting out last season, per NCAA rules, following his transfer from the University of Florida, RB Jordan Cronkrite was expected to make his first start for USF in Saturday's game against Elon.He'll have to wait at least one more week, though, for his official debut. \nCronkrite didn't suit up for the Bulls on Saturday, a precaution due to a minor, undisclosed injury, a USF spokesperson said. Also noticeably absent was RB Duran Bell Jr., a Hillsborough High product who excelled during the preseason, especially on short-yardage plays.The Bulls did just fine without them.On a night when QB Blake Barnett let it soar, running backs Johnny Ford, Elijah Mack and Trevon Sands picked up the slack on the ground, rushing for 43, 33 and 22 yards, respectively, in the 34-14 win. Barnett, for his part, tacked on 31 yards and one rushing touchdown.Once Cronkrite gets added to the mix, USF coach Charlie Strong said, the Bulls will be in even better hands"Cronkrite, he went down at practice the other day and probably could have played tonight, but I need him more next week and I told him that," he said."(He's) probably a complete back."Saturday's season opener featured a homegrown defense, as former Hillsborough County prep standouts made big plays for the Bulls throughout the game. DE Vincent Jackson (Jesuit), set things straight for USF early, picking off Phoenix QB Davis Cheek on the very first drive of the game and picking up 6 yards on the return. The Bulls found the end zone just 75 seconds later to take the lead it would never relinquish.Cheek had another interception in the second quarter, this one compliments of DB Mike Hampton (Hillsborough), who ran it 15 yards on the return to set up another USF score.In total, 14 players on USF's roster played high school in Hillsborough County, including defensive starters DB Bentlee Sanders (Tampa Catholic), DB Mazzi Wilkins (Plant) and Hampton.Sanders, a redshirt freshman, finished the night with 10 tackles. He appeared in just one game last season, in which he notched one tackle against Temple. Sanders said he was glad to take a leading role against the Phoenix on Saturday after a long year off the game field.He was even happier about who he was doing it beside."It's great playing with them, Mekhi (LaPointe), Mazzi, Mike Hamp. It's great seeing Tampa Bay people playing in Tampa Bay," Sanders said. "I feel like if we all started playing in Tampa Bay, it'd be scary for colleges. … We've got a lot of chemistry out there."Ever since WR Stanley Clerveaux got to USF, injuries held him back before he could even really get going. The Miami native missed two full seasons because of injuries to his shoulder and knee, and during the last two, he appeared in a total of 12 games, tallying just three receptions.But against Elon, Clerveaux finally had his day.The junior, who was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA because of his injury woes, made his first career start against the Phoenix, and by halftime he had equaled his career total receptions, notching one in the first quarter and two in the second for 19 yards.The Bulls had an important hole to fill at the placekicker position this offseason, and coach Charlie Strong had a variety of candidates from which to choose — including a couple walk-ons, a transfer from Tennessee State and the goalkeeper on the USF soccer team. Heading into Saturday's game, it remained a mystery who the chosen leg would be. But after the Bulls scored their first touchdown midway through the first quarter, it was K Jake Vivonetto who walked out to attempt the extra point.Vivonetto, a walk-on from Naples who kicked at Division III John Carroll University in 2015, made every kick he attempted against Elon, including four extra points and field goals of 33 and 41 yards."We have to do a better job of protecting him, because you saw some leakage there in the middle," Strong said of his kicks, "but Vivonetto was able to get the ball up and hit it, and make the hits for us."