Blake Barnett’s wild college career may be coming to an unfortunate end, sooner than expected. Multiple sources have reported that his ankle injury will require surgery that will keep him out the the remainder of this season.
Bay News 9 Tampa Bay reporter Chris Torello broke the news Thursday night.
— CHRIS TORELLO (@TorelloSports) October 17, 2019
It’s also been confirmed by Bulls beat reporter, Joey Knight.
— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) October 17, 2019
Barnett suffered the injury in the Bulls Week 5 game against SMU. Last week, USF head coach Charlie Strong said that Barnett would not be available for the Bulls’ game vs. BYU and would meet with doctors to re-evaluate the injury. Unfortunately, the news was not good for the 23 year old, veteran quarterback.
Out of high school, he was heavily recruited and landed on Alabama’s roster as the starter before being quickly beat out by freshman Jalen Hurts. From there, he spent a season at Arizona State before transferring again to South Florida where he was named QB1.
In his first season with the Bulls, Barnett threw for 2,705 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in 11 games, missing two crucial conference games with injury. He led them to a strong 7-0 start to the year before the team fizzled out on a 0-6 losing streak to end the season.
His second season in Tampa started off rockier when began the year with a 49-0 shutout against Wisconsin. It didn’t get much better as the Bulls found themselves with a 1-3 record in their first four games. In 2019, Barnett threw for 434 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Jordan McCloud, who is still nursing a shoulder injury, will continue to start for USF, with sophomore Kirk Rygol now at backup with Barnett down for the season. OC Kerwin Bell confirmed on Wednesday that McCloud should be ready to play by Saturday in their matchup with Navy.
Kerwin Bell said QB Jordan McCloud, still nursing a shoulder stinger, practiced today but sat out Tuesday. They’re optimistic he’ll be fine for @NavyFB on Saturday.
— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) October 16, 2019
As for Barnett, it is still up in the air as to whether this will be his final season as a college quarterback. Because he’s only played in four games this season, he could attempt to take a medical redshirt after already using his regular redshirt. However, he’s already been to quite a few programs, so it’s possible that he may just elect to end his college career.
Cincinnati last second field goal capped rally over USF
The USF Bulls did a lot of things right on Saturday night, but could not finish off 17th ranked Cincinnati. And, the Bearcats rallied for a clutch eighth consecutive win, 20 – 17.
Bearcats senior kicker Sam Crosa (above) booted a 37 yard game winning field goal with no time left, as Cincinnati rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit to improve to 6 – 0 on the American Conference season.
Crosa, who won the Bearcats games at East Carolina two weeks ago with no time left, capped an 11 play 60 yard drive in the final minute and a half of the game. That came on the heels of USF freshman kicker Spencer Shrader having missed from 32 yards out on a kick that would have allowed the Bulls to re-take the lead.
Shrader had three other costly misses in the game- all in the first half, including a 43-yarder as time ran out.
The Bulls had raced out to a 10 – 0 lead early, being led by freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud. USF went 71 yards in just eight plays on their opening drive. Trevon Sands scored on a four yard run to make it 7-0. Shrader made it 10-0 with a 28 yard field goal later in the second quarter.
USF’s defense only allowed a measly 78 yards passing and had five sacks. But, the Bearcats rally was led on the ground by Michael Warren II who tallied 134 yards and a TD. Cincy rushed for 200 yards as a team.
Cincinnati keeps its hopes alive for a potential “New Year’s Six bowl game, as they are the highest-ranked “Group of Five” conference team, currently at 17th in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Bearcats control their own destiny needing only to win their remaining two games, and they will host the American Championship game on December 7th.
With the loss, USF drops to 4 – 6 on the season and the debate about whether third-year coach Charlie Strong will keep his job continues. The Bulls have lost 12 of their last 16 games dating back to last season. They must win both of their remaining games with Memphis and UCF to go to a bowl game.
Bulls host #17 Cincinnati as part of our primer
Week 12 of college football season has arrived, and it presents us with a few interesting games and story lines. Bowl game sand coaches will be in the spotlight this week from Tallahassee all the way to Tampa.
Florida State is coming off of an emotional win last week in Boston. Now, they are a win away from becoming bowl eligible. Under the guidance of Odell Haggins, the Noles have been able to play inspired football over the three games. With Alabama State coning into town, all signs point to an FSU win.
RB Cam Akers had an off game last week but should erupt here. James Blackman was back at QB and reestablished himself as QB1. Expect the Noles to put up a lot of yards and points here and give the fans something to be happy about.
The Florida Gators will head to Missouri, looking to keep hope alive. The Gators need to win out and hope Georgia drops their last two conference games to win the SEC East. The offense rolled last week against Vandy as the defense flexed their muscles. The Tigers come in with a top 10 passing defense and will look to give Kyle Trask problems.
The Gators have struggled on the ground this season but will need RB Lamical Perine to have a good game to leave Columbia with a win. Tigers QB Kelly Bryant is expected to return this week to an offense that desperately needs him.
The Gators haven’t faced a true dual-threat quarterback like Bryant this year. The chess match between he and the defense will be something to watch. Last season Mizzou came into the Swamp and took it to the Gators. Dan Mullen would love nothing more than to return the favor this season.
USF will play host to the 17th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bulls have struggled this season to do anything on offense. On defense, the Bulls have struggled to stop the run on defense as well. Cincinnati will look to run the ball and often having the 31st ranked rushing offense. USF will be playing for bowl eligibility, needing to win two of the last three games. They are also playing for Charlie Strongs job as well.
Strong is on the hot seat, and it seems to be getting warmer by the week. The Bulls come in as home underdogs with the Bearcat’s two-touchdown favorites. The Bulls will need to empty the playbook here in need of a significant win.
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