On the opening play of the ballgame, Puka Nacua scored a 75-yard touchdown giving the BYU Cougars an early 7-0 lead. The USF Bulls' offense struggled to move the ball on their opening possession, forcing an early three and out. The Cougars took over at their 35-yard line. USF's defense stood tall and forced an early 4th and short for BYU, which they converted after a gain of seven yards. Later on the drive, it looked like the Bulls recovered a backward pass and scooped it for a touchdown. The scoring play was reviewed and overturned. After gaining possession after the USF touchdown was overturned, BYU marched down the field and punched it in from 5-yards out; once again, it was Puka Nacua. BYU took a 14-0 lead with under 9-minutes remaining in the opening quarter. BYU's defense stepped up on their next outing as Max Tooley picked off Gerry Bohanon's pass and returned it 33-yards to the house, giving BYU a 21-0 lead with over 7-minutes remaining in the opening quarter of play. The Cougars then added another TD to take a 28-0 lead over the Bulls with just 4-minutes left in the opening quarter.
The Bulls' defense held firm to start the 2nd quarter forcing an early three and out on BYU's opening drive. Unfortunately, USF's offense stalled out after piecing together a few positive plays. The Cougars took over at their 35-yard line with 10:49 remaining in the first half. They marched down the field, scoring their fifth TD of the night, courtesy of a 13-yard TD pass from QB Jaren Hall to Dallin Holker, giving BYU a 35-0 lead midway through the 2nd quarter. The Bulls go three and out on their following offensive possession, giving the Cougars the ball at USF's 41-yard line. The Cougars tack on a 39-yard FG courtesy of Jacob Oldroyd to make it 38-0. The Bulls finally put together their first scoring drive of the season with a Jaren Mangham TD run on 4th & Goal from the 1-yard line.
Jimmy Horn Jr. returns the second half's opening kickoff for an 89-yard USF touchdown. Narrowing BYU's lead to 24 points, 38-14 early in the 3rd quarter. The Bulls defense forced a turnover in their red zone after picking off BYU QB Jaren Hall. Mekhi Lapointe made the play on the ball. Unfortunately, the BYU defense stood tall, bringing up a 4th down for the Bulls with USF's punter in his endzone; the play turned into a safety giving BYU a 40-14 lead over USF. The Cougars got the ball back and took it 52-yards to the house just four plays later as BYU RB Christopher Brooks found an opening and took it the distance. With less than 6-minutes in the third quarter, the Cougars held on to a comfortable 47-14 lead. Brian Battie helps to march the Bulls offense down the field, eventually punching it in from 9-yards out. BYU led 47-21 at the end of the third quarter.
In the game's final quarter, BYU chewed up a good chunk of the clock with the ground game. BYU's K Jacob Oldroyd knocked down a 37-yard FG to extend BYU's lead, 50-21, over USF. That field goal was the only scoring play in the final quarter.
USF returns to action next Saturday when they host the Howard Bison. Kickoff from Raymond James Stadium on September 10th is scheduled for 7:00 PM.
PHOTO COURTESY GETTY IMAGES