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USF used late defense for dramatic win over BYU

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In a matter of just two games, the USF Bulls have turned their season’s bleak looking fortunes around,  as Saturday they held off a tough BYU team not once, but twice, in the waning moments with defense.

The Cougars had the ball inside the ball inside South Florida’s 20 yard line down by four points two different times in the last 2:30 only to have Charlie Strong’s bunch hang on for a clutch victory. And, that now gives them momentum headed into the second half of the season.

Yes, running back Jordan Cronkrite ran with authority for 158 yards on 26 carries and two second-half touchdowns, as usf rallied from a 23-14 third quarter deficit to take a 27-23 lead with 7 minutes remaining.

But, the Green and Gold would need their defense to stymie BYU and to preserve the lead of less than one touchdown

And, the Cougars look like they were going to get that touchdown, as backup quarterback Baylor Romney drove them to the USF 8 yard line.

But, that’s when the Bulls stuffed running back Aleva Hifo for a 2 yard loss on third down, it brought up a second guessers delight coaching decision.

That’s when BYU boss Kelani Sitake decided not to kick a field goal, despite having all three of his time outs left and it would have put his team within one point.

Instead, they went for the first down and potential winning TD. But, the QB Romney completed a pass to his brother WR Gunner Romney for just 5 yards with USF keeping him two yards short and the Bulls took over possession.

The Cougars defense did their job and they used their three time outs to get the ball back one final time.

Again, Rowney completed a couple of key passes and the Bulls were guilty of a 15 yard pass interference  penalty, which set BYU up with first and ten at the USF 12 yard line with less than :30 to go.

But, once again, the Bulls got a big sack on third down from Antonio Grier and then, Romney’s desperation pass to the end zone on the final play of the game was batted down by defensive back Devin Studstill to end it:

As the ball fell to the earth, the Bulls rushed the field, celebrating wildly having evened their record at 3-3. They deserved to celebrate.

Just two weeks ago, we wrote that they were humiliated at home by conference opponent SMU and that coach Charlie Strong was clearly in trouble with a 1-in 3 start with 2 blowout losses and having lost 9 of 10 games dating back to 2018.

Credit the Bulls, as they responded with an impressive win against UConn last Saturday. However, that came against the Huskies who are awful. So, most fans of the program and observers wanted to see USF validate things on Saturday.

And, because BYU had already won earlier this season at Tennessee and beaten USC at home, this was a confidence builder. A large one.

Yes, Strong’s team played with heart and out-executed their opponents from Provo, Utah.

And now, the Bulls have a chance to get back above .500 to start the second half of the season, when they play at Navy next week

USF Bulls

Report- Alabama will hire Charlie Strong as consultant

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former USF coach Charlie Strong has decided on a new role for the upcoming 2020 season, and it won’t be in Gainesville.

ESPN college football insider Chris Low reported Tuesday morning that Strong has agreed to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as a defensive “consultant” for this season

As we wrote last week, Strong had visited Saban and the Tide about the possible position on his staff, while considering a similar opportunity to join either Dan Mullen’s Gators staff or a couple of others in a consulting role. None of this will affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart.

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USF Bulls

Former USF coach Strong to be consultant for Alabama?

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

And intriguing item popped up Friday morning involving former USF head coach Charlie Strong and him visiting Nick Saban the Alabama football program.

According to Alabama Insider and radio host, Aaron Suttles, Strong, who was dismissed last December after his third season with the Bulls, was in Tuscaloosa Thursday meeting with Saban and his staff:

Strong had also been reportedly talking with the University of Florida about a possible consultant role, which likely would not affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart

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