Florida Gators take out South Florida Bulls in Tampa

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TAMPA — Florida coach Dan Mullen won his 100th career victory, a milestone that only 174 men have reached in college football history in the 42-20 win over USF on Saturday. 

Only 18 accomplished the feat in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference. Mullen is 100-55 in 13 years as a head coach, the first nine at Mississippi State.

Florida is 4-0 in road openers under Mullen. Florida is 11-2 in true-road games under Mullen.

The Gators (2-0) had another solid day from their quarterbacks, Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson, who may have tweaked a hamstring in his 80-yard TD run in the fourth quarter against the Bulls (0-2). 

Florida returns to Gainesville for a 3:30 p.m. game next Saturday against top-ranked Alabama.

More:Florida's Mullen, like Spurrier, has been successful with two-quarterback systems

Related story:After winning with McElwain players, Mullen gets to build Gators with his recruits

More:How to watch Florida Gators football vs. South Florida Bulls on TV, live stream

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No. 9 Florida 42, South Florida 20

Florida 14 21 0 7—42

South Florida 3 0 10 7—20

First Quarter

FLA_Pierce 7 run (Howard kick), 11:06.

USF_FG Shrader 25, 4:45.

FLA_J.Copeland 75 pass from Richardson (Howard kick), 4:34.

Second Quarter

FLA_Henderson 35 pass from E.Jones (Howard kick), 12:36.

FLA_J.Copeland 41 pass from Richardson (Christmann kick), 9:18.

FLA_E.Jones 33 run (Howard kick), 6:41.

Third Quarter

USF_FG Shrader 32, 9:18.

USF_Mangham 1 run (Shrader kick), 4:41.

Fourth Quarter

FLA_Richardson 80 run (Howard kick), 10:29.

USF_Mangham 2 run (Shrader kick), 4:22.


                                  FLA            USF

First downs                   24             19

Total Net Yards              666            283

Rushes-yards         44-363             41-95

Passing                        303               188

Punt Returns                   0-0            2-48

Kickoff Returns                2-30           3-40

Interceptions Ret.               1-0            2-88

Comp-Att-Int                      17-25-2      17-30-1

Sacked-Yards Lost                1-8         1-5

Punts                               3-45.6            39.7

Fumbles-Lost                          0-0        1-0

Penalties-Yards                       4-45       2-30

Time of Possession             30:42         29:18


RUSHING_Florida, Richardson 4-115, Jones 13-81, Pierce 5-55, Wright 7-36, Bowman 3-33, Davis 7-22, Lingard 5-21. South Florida, Felix 13-40, Mangham 8-29, Battie 7-25, McClain 8-11, Joiner 3-10, Fortin 2-(minus 6).

PASSING_Florida, Richardson 3-3-0-152, Jones 14-22-2-151. South Florida, Fortin 12-18-1-91, McClain 4-10-0-83, Marsh 1-1-0-14, Weaver 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING_Florida, Copeland 5-175, Henderson 4-68, Shorter 2-23, Davis 2-9, Wells 1-20, Pierce 1-13, Wright 1-0, Reynolds 1-(minus 5). South Florida, L.Williams 4-22, Dollison 3-27, Felix 3-13, Weaver 2-68, Atkins 2-34, Brinkman 1-14, Miller 1-6, Horn 1-4.



Florida   14

USF        3

 1:20 p.m. | Pierce gives Gators lead

Florida running back Dameon Pierce (27) pushes through the defenders to score the Gators' first touchdown during the second game of the season against the USF Bulls at Raymond James Stadium, in Tampa.

It's Pierce's third TD of season.

1:40 p.m. | Richardson's magic

Anthony Richardson hits Jacob Copeland for a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the third Gator series.

1:55 p.m. | Gators first-quarter storylines

What went right: Florida’s second and third possessions on offense. After opening the game with a three-and-out, UF responded with a four-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Quarterback Emory Jones started it off with a 20-yard pass to Rick Wells, and then Dameon Pierce reeled off back-to-back first-down runs before scoring from seven yards out. On the ensuing offensive series, backup QB Anthony Richardson checked into the game and launched a 75-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Copeland on his first play. 

What went wrong: The second defensive possession. The Gators gave up a 17-play, 75-yard drive to South Florida, which had been shutout in three of its last four games against Power 5 teams. After converting three third-and-short plays, the Bulls ended their scoring drought at the 4:45 mark of the first quarter when kicker Spencer Shrader connected on a 25-yard field goal. 

Play of the quarter: Richardson’s scoring strike to Jacob Copeland, his first touchdown catch of the season. 

Trending: Richardson, who followed up his 73-yard touchdown run in the season opener with another score of 70-plus yards.

— Zach Abolverdi

Florida Gators wide receiver Jacob Copeland (1) runs with the ball after a catch during the first quarter against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL on Saturday, September 11, 2021. [Matt Pendleton/Special to Sun]


Florida   14   21

USF         3     0

 2:13 p.m. | Richardson to Copeland again

Anthony Richardson is now 2-for-2, 116 yards and 2 TDs.

2:47 p.m. | Gators' second-quarter storylines

What went right: Florida’s offensive and defensive units brought their A game in the second quarter. Jones scored two touchdowns, a 35-yard strike to Xzavier Henderson and a 33-yard touchdown run, while Richardson tossed his second TD pass to Copeland from 41 yards out. The Bulls were held to 27 yards of total offense and 0-for-4 on third down in the second quarter. Kaiir Elam snagged UF’s first interception of the season. 

What went wrong: UF’s second-to-last offensive possession of the half. After five touchdown drives in a row, the Gators reached USF territory for a sixth straight series after the Bulls were flagged for unnecessary roughness on a first-down catch by Copeland. However, the series stalled after that and Florida punted from the USF 37.

Play of the quarter: You could make an argument for one of the touchdowns, but Elam’s pick was incredible. 

Trending: Both UF quarterbacks. Jones has 114 yards passing and two total scores, while Richardson threw for 116 yards and two TDs.

— Zach Abolverdi

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) celebrates after throwing a touchdown during the first quarter against the South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL on Saturday, September 11, 2021.

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Florida   14   21      0

USF         3     0    10

 3:42 p.m. |Gators' third-quarter storylines

What went right: Not much for the Gators, who failed to add to their 35-3 halftime lead despite accruing nearly twice the amount of yards on offense as South Florida. The 86 rushing yards were a bright spot – UF just couldn’t find the end zone, and it wasn’t the fault of the backfield. 

What went wrong: Emory Jones’ pair of interceptions on consecutive possessions. The second set up a five-play, 43-yard touchdown drive by the Bulls, with Mangham’s one-yard rush marking USF’s first trip to the end zone on the day. On the following drive, the Gators couldn’t convert on 4th-and-3 when Rick Wells failed to haul in the one-handed grab on the pass from Jones. Overall, it definitely wasn’t a pretty quarter from an offensive perspective. 

Play of the quarter: Brock Nichols’ 38-yard interception gets the nod here, as it set up the Bulls’ lone touchdown of the day and, most importantly, kept USF in the game.

Trending: The Bulls’ defense, which found some answers in the third quarter. As the fourth quarter arrives, Richardson returns under center.

— Graham Hall

Fourth quarter

Florida   14   21     0    7 — 42

USF         3     0   10    0 — 20

4:30 p.m. | Gators' fourth-quarter storylines

What went right: Anthony Richardson’s 80-yard touchdown run to put UF up 42-13 after the extra point, although Richardson’s apparent hamstring tweak left some cause for concern. 

What went wrong: Richardson’s injury makes the list, due to the uncertainty and severity. It appeared as if Richardson temporarily received ice as treatment, indicating it may be worse than your usual cramp. With UF’s toughest contest of the season looming, anything worse is a tough pill to swallow for an offense that looked at its most electric when Richardson was on the field. 

Play of the quarter: Richardson’s rush, despite having a suboptimal conclusion, is UF’s only eligible play here, so give the honor to Jaren Mangham for his second rushing touchdown of the day. 

— Graham Hall