Antelope Valley Press

College Football | Bowl result | Thursday

- The Boca Raton Bowl

South Florida 45, Syracuse 0

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Byrum Brown threw three touchdown passes and became the second USF quarterbac­k to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season, leading the Bulls to a 45-0 rout of undermanne­d Syracuse in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Brown, a redshirt freshman, closed out his outstandin­g season with 4,037 passing yards. Only Quinton Flowers has thrown for more yards in a season for the Bulls.

Syracuse (6-7) could only hope for such a QB performanc­e. With starting quarterbac­k Garrett Shrader missing the game following shoulder surgery, Syracuse interim coach Nunzio Campanile employed a hodgepodge approach at quarterbac­k. The plan went about as well as it sounds.

Tight end Dan Villari, a former QB at Michigan, drew the start, with backup quarterbac­k Braden Davis and running back LeQuint Allen

Jr. also sharing snaps for Syracuse. The Orange offense managed 159 yards against a Bulls defense that surrendere­d more than 450 yards per game during the regular season.

But, help is on the way for Syracuse. After leading Ohio State to an 11-1 regular season, quarterbac­k Kyle McCord entered the transfer portal and signed with Orange. Both McCord and incoming coach Fran Brown attended the Boca Bowl.

Syracuse nearly tied the score at 7-7, but officials flagged defensive back Alijah Clark’s touchdown return of a Brown lateral because of a blindside block penalty. The Orange still took possession in Bulls territory, but a botched field goal attempt resulted in Aamaris Brown’s 64-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

Tramel Evans provided USF (7-6) its second scoop-and-score by returning a fumble by Davis 61 yards in the closing seconds of the first half, giving the Bulls a 31-0 lead at the break.

Sean Atkins caught two of Brown’s touchdown passes. A former walk-on in his fifth year at USF, Atkins caught six passes for 93 yards in the game and became the first Bulls player to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

Brown finished 19 for 26 for 214 yards.

USF’s defense forced four turnovers and limited Syracuse to 1 of 17 on third downs.

The shutout is USF’s first since 2009 against Charleston Southern.

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