Sport

South Florida crushes IL

South Florida crushes IL”

IL sophomore QB Jeff George Jr. completed 12-of-22 passes for 211 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in Friday's 47-23 loss to USF. The Bulls also got 100-yard rushing games from running backs D'Ernest Johnson (101 yards) and Darius Tice (105 yards), getting three players over 100 for just the second time in school history.

"We can still improve", Strong said, "but offensively it was a major step for us. We've played better than that, and that's what's disappointing, that we didn't give them a better game".

The 31 penalties called Friday night were relatively evenly distributed, as South Florida committed 16 fouls for 155 yards, while IL was flagged 15 times for 138 yards.

"We felt like we had a chance to give back ... provide some relief for our communities, if only for a few hours", Strong said. This game, like I was figuring, would tell us where this IL football team was as a program.

The Fighting Illini knocked off Ball State and Western Kentucky while giving up a total of 28 points in their first two contests with a young defense that will be tested against an experienced team that has scored at least 30 points in 19 straight games.

"Every once in a while you have a game where nothing goes as planned", Smith said. They played well. They were as good as advertised. Despite Senat's absence, USF's defense was able to hold IL to just 67 rushing yards. The Illini committed 12 penalties for 110 yards in the first half alone - embarrassing, unless you consider USF was even worse up to that point with 14 penalties for 115 yards. Junior wide receiver Mike Dudek, who has missed the last two seasons after suffering two torn ACLs in his left knee, is off to a strong start with eight catches for 93 yards and a score to lead the receiving corps.

South Florida: Despite being 3-0, the Bulls have yet to play a complete game.

This was actually a close game, not a good game, early on.

Flowers rushed for a touchdown on the final play of the first half for a 23-9 lead, then threw a pair of 17-yard touchdown passes in the third quarter to Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Johnson to pull away.

After marching 56-yards down the field on their first drive, USF was haunted by their special teams unit when an attempted field goal from 35-yards out was blocked by the Illini to force a turnover-on-downs.

USF provided first responders who attended the game up to four free tickets apiece. Smith returns to the site of his last job with NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the Bulls had last week's game at CT cancelled due to complications with Hurricane Irma. 29 for the Big Ten opener.



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