TAMPA – The USF Bulls took down the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a dramatic shootout 49-38 at Raymond James Stadium.
This game was a thriller, and it had a whopping nine lead changes, 87 points, and 1,027 total yards of offense.
The Bulls had a stellar offensive performance, scoring 49 points, including not one but TWO kickoff returns for touchdowns by freshmen Terrence Horn (98, 97yds). Horn also made a key touchdown catch in the fourth to help the Bulls keep pace with the speedy Yellow Jacket offense.
Georgia Tech’s quarterbacks, starter TaQuon Marshall, and back up, red shirt freshman QB Tobias Oliver did not disappoint on the offensive front, with 405 yards and scoring 1 touchdown in the air as well as three on the ground between them. The Yellow Jackets did not miss a beat.
Both quarterbacks wound up being knocked out of the game. First, Marshall left the game in the third quarter with a leg injury, and was even seen in street clothes, and later, Oliver got hit as he dove for a touchdown in the fourth. Miraculously, Marshall in came back into the game in full pads with about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Inside the three-minute mark, Georgia Tech QB TaQuon Marshall’s tipped pass was intercepted, which allowed USF to get the ball back.
On USF’s ensuing possession, Bulls QB Blake Barnett scored a five-yard TD on the ground to make it 49-38, which effectively put the game away.
The real story of the game was Bulls QB Barnett, a former Alabama and Arizona State transfer.
Barnett finished with 202 yards and two touchdowns in the air, along with those two clutch fourth-quarter rushing scores to give his team the victory.
This was a big win for Charlie Strong and the AAC as a whole — getting a win over a Power 5 school early in the season just furthers the Power 6 narrative that the AAC has been pushing.
The Bulls travel to Chicago to face Illinois at Soldier Field at 3:30 pm.