The Bulls suffered their first loss of the season 34-17 to Big East foe Cincinnati. After the game USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt addressrd the media after the the tough home loss at Raymond James Stadium.
USF Head Coach Jim Leavitt:
The first half, we weren't really playing. The mistakes with a couple of penalties - I think one drive had two penalties. We made a few mistakes here and there, missed a field goal, but we battled so well using the clock extremely well at the end of the first half. And then Schwartz hit a 49-yard field goal and made it 17 to 10, I thought we had some momentum.
I felt good about things. I thought we'd come and play great in the second half and win the ball game. Obviously, I was wrong. Cincinnati out-played us in the second half, that's all there is to it. Too many mistakes, you can't make that many mistakes and win a football game, especially a football team that's a good football team.
Some penalties here and there - we didn't stop the running game up inside. You know that, you gotta be able to stop the running game up inside or you're not going to have much success. That was the biggest problem on defense. We had the pass interference call, we thought we'd be off the field. I'm sure it's a great call, I can't tell until I see film, but I'm sure it's a great call.
They had third down and completed a lot of third down plays, a lot of them. We couldn't get off the field, and that's credit to them and not to us. B.J. forced the ball a little bit, but he's a young guy. He's trying and he worked hard, and I thought they did a good job scheming defensively. We didn't have the answers, but we are trying a little bit there.
I thought our offensive line did a pretty good job protection wise. And until you see film, you hear different things during the course of the game, but you don't really know until you see the film. You can't - we turned the ball over too many times. Did we get two turnovers? I think we got two, or just one, just one. So you know they won the turnover battle.
Delbert had a couple really good punts, a couple of them were not as good. I knew field position was going to be a really big thing. Your last few questions about the field goal. The reason I didn't go for the field goal the first time was 4th and 3. It was into the wind, and I didn't want to hit a 50-yard field goal into the wind. And that was why I didn't do it. Fourth and 3, I thought we could get it.
The reason I went with Delbert the second time is that we had been working and Delbert has been hitting long field goals in practice, and we made a decision. Any 50-yard field goal or longer we would let Delbert hit it, and Delbert missed it and missed it poorly. And so that changes things for me. Schwartz went in there and hit a 49-yarder, so you know you would have to go with Schwartz, you would think right now until he just doesn't get it done, whether it be long or short. But that was the reason behind that.
Again I thought we used the clock extremely well. I was trying to work those timeouts and how to do it and you gotta be careful because their offense is explosive. But we just didn't play good enough and that's all there is to it. Am I disappointed? Yeah, I thought we'd play better now. I can't imagine us being - I thought we were ready to play. I don't think you can say we weren't ready to play, because we came out playing with some energy. And halftime 17 to 10, I really felt pretty good. We were getting the ball in third quarter right away.
And we had our chances, but we just didn't take all of them. It's just like anything, you gotta have a short memory, and it's always difficult when you lose. When you win you wanna have a short memory and move onto the next game, and when you lose you gotta be able to do the same. So we will look at the film tomorrow and make some corrections to see if we can get things back on board.