Sunday, September 9, 2018

Schaible: Horne's all-around play the difference in USF's 11-point win over Georgia Tech

Photo Credit: Mark LoMoglio-Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

By: Brian Schaible
Twitter: @SBNationReports

As the old saying goes, when you mess with the Bulls, you get….Terrence Horne.

The South Florida Bulls’ sensational freshman was truly a difference maker on Saturday returning two kickoffs for touchdowns. He also added a critical fourth quarter touchdown reception.

“Like our coaches say, everybody has a role and if everyone on the team plays their role, we are going to come out with victories like this every Saturday,” Horne said. 

Horne went on to say that he never returned two kicks for touchdowns in a game at any level. “This is the first time I’ve ever done this. It just shows what I can bring to the team but, as I’ve said before, I’m remaining humble because when you’re humble God does great things for you.”

When you look at the numbers, Georgia Tech did enough to win the game. They racked up almost 600 yards with over 400 on the ground while averaging 7.2 per rush. 

As the fourth quarter began, Jordan Mason rushed for 46 yards to set up Georgia Tech deep in South Florida territory. What followed was six straight Tobia Oliver runs including a fourthand-goal from the one-yard line to put the visitors from the ACC up by ten. While it looked like a knockout punch at the time, the Bulls did not go away.

“I love our resiliency, I love the way we just battled,” USF coach Charlie Strong said. “This team just knows how to battle and we just have to keep it together and not get full of ourselves and there’s no telling on what we can do here.”

Blake Barnett has traveled many miles looking to lead a football team. After several seasons on the bench in Alabama, and lack of opportunity at Arizona State, the graduate transfer found a home in Tampa. 

After his wife Maddie gave birth in March, Barnett told Herm Edwards he wouldn’t be sticking around Tempe much longer. While he considered several schools, USF won he and his family over.

“I get the Pops nickname a lot. I think the team responds to it really well. I enjoy it. I think the team looks at me from a different perspective. I’m not quite the veteran when it comes to playing time but just being experienced, being a part of programs and college football for awhile and having a kid and wife, I don’t really have a choice to be mature or not be mature by the time I go home. I try to carry that over on the field and in the locker room,” said Barnett.

It would be Barnett’s two late rushing touchdowns that propelled South Florida to a 49-38 victory. 

After the game, a somewhat cantankerous Paul Johnson met with the media. The Georgia Tech Head Coach addressed the Qua Searcy fumble that gave South Florida an opportunity to retake the lead.

“We screwed it up ourselves,” Johnson said. “We had a chance to win the game and all we had to do is take it in and go back up ten again. Gotta hold on to the ball.”

Looking Ahead:

Georgia Tech travels to Pittsburgh next Saturday and then returns home to host Clemson on Sept. 22.

South Florida will travel to Illinois and then host East Carolina the following weekend before having a bye week on Sept. 29.