USF Football Heads Into 2024 After Record-Setting Turnaround Season

USF Football Heads Into 2024 After Record-Setting Turnaround Season

Bulls set 12 team and 16 individual program records in six-win improvement over 2022;

Bulls win in Boca Raton Bowl only FBS bowl victory among four state programs that reached bowls in 2023

TAMPA, Jan. 2, 2024 – First-year head coach Alex Golesh and USF Football wrapped-up a record-breaking resurgence in 2023 with a 45-0 victory over Syracuse in the Boca Raton Bowl that stands as the only FBS bowl victory for a state of Florida program in 2023.

The Bulls set 12 team records and 16 individual marks during the 2023 season and logged the program’s highest ranked recruiting class in a decade (No. 48 by Rivals) and highest ranked of any program outside the autonomous “power” conferences as USF heads full speed into 2024.

USF’s seventh bowl victory, the largest shutout in NCAA bowl history, put a stamp on a resurgent season for the Bulls that saw USF go 7-6, a program-best six-win improvement over 2022 and the second-best win improvement for any FBS program in 2023 behind Northwestern’s seven-win improvement. Other bowl results from the state of Florida ‘s four FBS qualifying programs included losses by Florida State (13-1, lost 63-3 to Georgia in the Orange Bowl), Miami (7-6, lost 31-24 to Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl) and UCF (6-7, lost 30-17 to Georgia Tech in the Gasparilla Bowl).

The Bulls seven bowl wins in the last 20 years rank third in the state since 2004 behind only Florida State (10) and Florida (10) and ahead of UCF (6), FAU (4), Miami (4) and FIU (2). The American Athletic Conference finished 4-2 in bowl games in 2023,

USF set 12 team records and had five other significant marks ranked among the top five all-time. Among the program team marks set were the largest bowl victory margin (45-0), the first bowl shutout, largest win improvement, most offensive plays (1,028), most pass yards (3,494), most touchdown passes (27) and best completion percentage (64.1%). USF also saw a 28 percent increase in home attendance (37,944 average is the best since 2018 and second-best since joining the AAC), led the AAC in home attendance, posted its first home winning record (4-2) since 2018, won its first bowl game since 2017 and won its first road game in three years.

The Bulls, who finished fifth in the AAC after being picked 13th in a preseason poll, finished No. 17 in the nation in total offense (451.6 ypg) in their first season running Golesh’s lightning-fast scheme, which led the nation in plays per game (82.1). Their 5,871 offensive yards rank as the third-best total in program history, while their 415 points stand fifth.

The 16 individual records set, and another 11 notable marks that registered in the top three all-time, included season records for passing yards (3,292), touchdown passes (26) and season completion percentage (64.6%) from redshirt freshman quarterback Byrum Brown; season receptions (92) and receiving yards (1,054) marks from wide receiver Sean Atkins; and records for season defensive touchdowns (tied with 3) and season fumble return yards (131) posted by defensive end Tramel Logan. All plan to return in 2024.

Brown’s 4,101 total yards and 37 touchdowns responsible for both finished as the second-best season totals at USF behind marks Quinton Flowers set in 2016 (4,342/42). Brown ranked No. 8 nationally in total offense (315.5 ypg) and points per game responsible for (17.4 ppg) as he joined Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels of LSU as the only FBS players to post at least 3,000 passing and 800 rushing yards on the year. Atkins finished No. 8 nationally in receptions per game (7.1) and No. 25 in receiving yards.

TEAM RECORDS Set in 2023 (12)

6 - Largest Win Improvement Year over Year

45 points - Largest Bowl Game Win

45-0 - First Bowl Game Shutout

1,028 - Most Offensive Plays In A Season

287 - Most Pass Completions In A Season

3,494 - Most Pass Yards In A Season

64.1% - Best Season Completion Percentage

27 – Most Season Touchdown Passes

46 – Most Season 4th Down Attempts

20 – Most Season 4th Down Conversions

100.0% (52-52) – Best Season PAT Percentage

6 – Most Consecutive PAT Made (Team) – Multi-year

Notable Team Marks In The Top 5 (5)

300 First Downs – Tied 2nd Best Season Mark

5,871 Total Yards – 3rd Best Season Mark

451.6 Yards per Game – 3rd Best Season Mark

54 TD – Tied 3rd Best Season Mark

415 Points – 5th Best Season Mark


3,292 – Most Season Passing Yards – Byrum Brown

26 – Most Season Passing TD – Byrum Brown

276 – Most Season Pass Completions – Byrum Brown

64.6% - Best Season Pass Completion % - Byrum Brown

4 – 300-yard Passing Games in a Season/Tied Record – Byrum Brown

630 – Most Plays in a Season – Byrum Brown

203 – Most Season Rushing attempts by QB – Byrum Brown

5 – Tied Most Touchdown Passes In A Game – Byrum Brown at Memphis (11/4/23)

25 – Most Game Rushing Attempts by QB – Byrum Brown at WKU (9/2/23)

92 – Most Season Receptions – Sean Atkins

1,054 – Most Season Receiving Yards – Sean Atkins

272 – Most Game Receiving Yards – Naiem Simmons

3 – Most Season Defensive TD/Tied Record – Tramel Logan

131 – Most Season Fumble Return Yards – Tramel Logan

55 – Most Career Games Played – Donovan Jennings

100.0% (52-52) – Highest Individual Season PAT Percentage – John Cannon

Notable Individual Marks in The Top 3 (11)

4,101 – Season Total Yards – 2nd All-Time for a Season – Byrum Brown

315.5 Total Yards Per Game – 3rd-Best For a Season – Byrum Brown

253.2 – Passing Yards Per Game – 2nd-Best For a Season – Byrum Brown

37 – TD Responsible For In Season – 2nd All-time for a Season – Byrum Brown

427 pass attempts – 2nd All-time for a Season – Byrum Brown

435 Passing Yards vs. Rice – 2nd All-Time for a Game – Byrum Brown

517 Total Yards vs. Rice – 2nd All-Time for a Game – Byrum Brown

224.6 – Pass Efficiency vs. Rice – 3rd All-Time for a Game – Byrum Brown

773 – 2nd-Most Passing Yards in Consecutive Games – Byrum Brown

160 Rushing Yards vs. WKU – 3rd Most By a QB – Byrum Brown

7 – Receiving TD Season – Tied 2nd All-Time for a Season – Sean Atkins

Raymond James Stadium Records (3):

435 passing yards – Byrum Brown vs. Rice (9/23/23)

517 total offense – Byrum Brown vs. Rice (9/23/23)

272 receiving yards – Naiem Simmons vs. Rice (9/23/23)

ABOUT USF FOOTBALL The USF football program first took the field in 1997 and completed its 27th regular season in 2023 by earning the program’s seventh bowl win, entering a new $22 million Indoor Performance Facility and receiving Board of Trustees approval for construction of a $340-million on-campus stadium set to open in 2027. The Bulls have posted 15 winning seasons, earned 16 All-America selections, including a 2021 consensus All-American kick returner, and have 32 first-team all-conference selections. USF has had 30 players selected in the NFL Draft and 11 bowl game appearances (going 7-4 in those games), posting a program-record six straight appearances from 2005-2010 and making four straight bowl appearances from 2015-18. The Bulls posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2016 and 2017, logging a program-record 11-2 mark in 2016, and finished both seasons ranked in the AP Top 25. USF spent a program-record 20 straight weeks ranked in the Top 25 during the 2016 and 2017 seasons and reached as high as No. 2 in the national rankings during the 2007 season.

Follow @USFFootball on Twitter for all the latest information concerning the USF Football program.

– #GoBulls –

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