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USF journal: Sophomore puts his best foot forward

USF's Coby Weiss, center, celebrates with teammates Jacob Mathis (85) and Trent Schneider (39) after kicking the go-ahead field goal in an NCAA college football game against Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
USF's Coby Weiss, center, celebrates with teammates Jacob Mathis (85) and Trent Schneider (39) after kicking the go-ahead field goal in an NCAA college football game against Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Published Oct. 13, 2018
Updated Oct. 13, 2018

By Eric Bailey
Special to the Times

TULSA, Okla. —  USF entered the 2018 football season without knowing who would be the team's kicker.

It's safe to say sophomore Coby Weiss now has a stranglehold on the job.

Weiss made a 22-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to seal a dramatic 25-24 victory at upset-minded Tulsa on Friday night.

"Him stepping up and making that is really big," USF coach Charlie Strong said. "I told our guys we didn't even know who our kicker was to start. But they told me they know who he is now. It was good to see him make that kick."

Weiss suffered a severe wrist injury in last week's 58-42 win over UMass. He didn't want to miss Friday's game so before the team left, he had a cast put on his right wrist.

Has he ever had a game-winning kick before?

"Actually it was the same week four years ago," Weiss said. "We were actually playing the Hurricanes, our cross-town rival, the game came down to a field goal. I kicked it and we won the city championship."

Chasing a record

Running back Jordan Cronkrite is now one game shy of matching the USF rushing record of five consecutive 100-yard games.

The junior transfer from Florida ended with 151 yards against Tulsa, including a 66-yard touchdown run on the third play of the second half.

The school record for consecutive 100-yard games is five, which is shared by Quinton Flowers (2016) and Marlon Mack (2015).

He was asked about his success running the football after leaving the Gators.

"I was well aware of my abilities," Cronkrite said. "I put a lot of time and effort into my craft. I don't expect anything less from myself."

Big catch

Wide receiver Tyre McCants had the Bulls' most important reception, a 32-yard grab that placed the ball at the Tulsa 5-yard line with eight seconds remaining in regulation.

The senior had a game-high eight catches for 91 yards.

"That thing about him is he's so strong and elusive," Strong said. "When you tackle him, you better wrap up because he'll break away. You look at some of those balls we threw to the outside to him. He was able to just run through somebody and get a first down … you want the ball in his hands, especially in critical situations."

Strong hits Tulsa

Tulsa fans have been familiar with Strong for quite some time over the years.

In 2002, when Tulsa was looking for a replacement for Keith Burns, Strong reportedly interviewed for the job while he was South Carolina's defensive coordinator.

In 2007, when Steve Kragthorpe left TU to take over as head coach in Louisville, there were many Golden Hurricane followers who expressed interest in Strong taking over the program. At the time, Strong was co-defensive coordinator at Florida.

Todd Graham would be named the Golden Hurricane's head coach in 2007. Graham was Barnett's coach during the 2017 season at Arizona State.

Quick kicks

Quarterback Chris Oladokun took over for a few snaps, using his athleticism to keep the Tulsa offense honest. He had two carries for seven yards in the first half. … USF didn't have a touchdown in the first half – the first time that's happened this season – and has scored seven points or less in three of its past four games. … Tight end Mitchell Wilcox had five catches for a game-high 95 yards. … USF only allowed 299 yards of total offense.?