University of Cincinnati football coach Luke Fickell usually spends a fair amount of time during his weekly news conference recapping the previous week's game. Not on Tuesday. The sixth-year Bearcats coach wanted to leave last week's win at Tulsa in Tulsa.
“We are not going to go over last week a whole lot, but obviously it is great to get a win on the road to open up conference play," he said. "It was really big and I think we will kind of leave it at that. It's behind us."
After an 11-sack, 11-penalty performance against the Golden Hurricane, Fickell's Bearcats (4-1, 1-0 AAC) will look to extend their winning streak against conference opponents to 18 games Saturday against South Florida (2:30 p.m. on ESPN+).
Cincinnati, which re-entered the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week at No. 24, will also look to extend its winning streak at Nippert Stadium to 30 games. The Bearcats own the second-longest active home winning streak in the nation, trailing only Clemson's 37-game winning streak at the Tigers' Memorial Stadium, aka "Death Valley."
"We're extremely prideful when we go out there on that field, especially in the Nipp," Cincinnati graduate safety Ja'Von Hicks said Tuesday. "It's a different feeling. I don't plan on losing at home anytime soon."
Saturday will be Cincinnati's homecoming game.
Our first look at the South Florida Bulls
RECORD: The Bulls are 1-4 (0-1 AAC) and enter Saturday as losers of three straight. USF opened AAC play last week with a 48-28 loss against East Carolina (3-2, 1-1) 240 miles away at Florida Atlantic's FAU Stadium in Boca Raton. The game was moved due to the impacts of Hurricane Ian.
South Florida also has losses at Louisville (2-3), at Florida (3-2) and against No. 16 (both AP/coaches polls) BYU (4-1) in the season opener.
USF's only victory came at home against HBCU Howard (1-4) in Week 2. The Bulls defeated the Bison, 42-20.
HEAD COACH: Jeff Scott is 4-22 in three seasons at South Florida. Scott, 41, is seeking his first win over Cincinnati (0-2).
Scott was the co-offensive coordinator under Dabo Swinney at his alma mater, Clemson, for five seasons before being named the fifth head coach in the history of the USF program on Dec. 9, 2019.
Scott helped lead Clemson to five straight College Football Playoff appearances, four CFP championship game appearances and two national titles.
Scott played wide receiver at Clemson from 2000-02.
KEY PLAYERS: It took the Bulls four games to record their first passing touchdown. USF finally crossed the goal line through the air last week. Baylor transfer quarterback Gerry Bohanon threw three touchdowns and ran for another as the Bulls posted a season-high 455 total yards and 253 passing yards on offense against ECU.
Bohanon transferred to USF prior to this season after playing 27 games over four seasons at Baylor. The 6-foot-3, 226-pound dual threat athlete started 12 of 14 games for the Bears last season, racking up 2,523 total yards (2,200 passing and 323 rushing) and 27 touchdowns (18 passing and 9 rushing). Baylor finished 12-2, won the Big 12 Conference championship and defeated Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.
"He didn't come until the fall," Fickell said of Bohannon. "So I think that all in all, they probably had a good idea the first four or five games there was going to be a bit of development of what it is they're going to be. So maybe they're not what they want to be, but I do believe they've got the pieces, they've got the talent."
Bohannon's top target last week was wide receiver Jimmy Horn Jr. The 5-foot-9, 174-pound sophomore posted career-highs in catches (eight), yards (180) and touchdowns (two). Horn's 180 receiving yards were the fourth-highest in a single game in program history.
Horn had five catches for a 108 yards and a score in a 45-28 loss to Cincinnati last season.
The Bulls have four players with at least two rushing touchdowns this season, including Bohannon (three) and sophomore running back and 2021 consensus All-American kick returner Brian Battie (three).
Defensively, senior linebacker Dwayne Boyles leads the team with 35 total tackles. Boylesposted 12 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble last week.
SERIES HISTORY: Cincinnati is 12-7 all time against the Bulls, including a 7-2 mark at home. The Bearcats are riding a four-game winning streak against USF.
FUN FACT: Cincinnati leads the nation in sacks (23), tackles for loss (50) and defensive touchdowns (four).
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati football: Bearcats to host USF Bulls for homecoming