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USF 45, Syracuse 24: Bulls' Offense Too Much as Orange Drop 2nd Straight

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SU never held the lead on Saturday.

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

South Florida racked up 540 yards of total offense and Syracuse couldn't quite keep up as the Orange fell, 45-24, to the Bulls at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday in Tampa.

Syracuse fell behind early in the second quarter when USF running back Darius Tice scored from one yard out, capping an 11-play drive.

From there, the Bulls never gave up the lead, thanks in part to a number of SU's miscues. A muffed punt late in the second quarter allowed USF to stretch its lead from 7-3 to 10-3. With the Bulls leading 31-24 in the fourth quarter, several Syracuse missed tackles on a third-and-13 kept a USF drive alive that resulted in a touchdown. Later in that drive, SU did stop USF on a third down, but safety Kielan Whitner committed a personal foul, extending the drive.

In addition to mistakes like those, the Orange were simply outplayed. The secondary was burned on a number of occasions, and USF quarterback Quinton Flowers finished 15-of-22 for 264 yards and two touchdowns. The front seven couldn't get any push at the line of scrimmage, and South Florida running back Marlon Mack ran 21 times for 179 yards and two touchdowns. SU's offense, meanwhile, needed too long to get going; it didn't score a touchdown until midway through the third quarter.

At 3-2, the path to six wins and bowl eligibility just became much more difficult for the Orange. We'll have more coverage of this game to come, but leave your immediate reactions in the comments below.