No. 22 South Florida drubbed Illinois at Raymond James Stadium Friday night, handing the Illini their first loss with a 47-23 victory.
The Bulls rode a rumbling offensive rushing attack, which gained 376 yards on the ground.
Below, find live updates throughout the game. Further below, find the TV channel, streaming and radio information and a game preview for Illinois-South Florida.
Illinois-South Florida live updates, score
In one of the most sloppy games of the year, Illinois could not keep up with No. 22 South Florida. The Bulls, led by Heisman hopeful quarterback Quinton Flowers, rambled over the Illini for 376 rushing yards, 304 passing yards and 680 total yards. The game also featured 31 total penalties, which is six flags short of the single-game NCAA record for penalties.
Although, the main story of the game for Illinois was the quarterback position. Jeff George Jr. came in relief of an ineffective Chayce Crouch, and threw for 211 yards and a touchdown. Clearly more of a comfortable passer in the pocket, George fit the offense the Illini were running and enjoyed a productive second half. Illinois coach Lovie Smith will have to evaluate and decide if the young Crouch is worth benching in favor of the elder George.
FINAL: South Florida 47, Illinois 23 – The Illini fall to 2-1, as the Bulls stay undefeated at 3-0. The two teams came five penalties shy of tying the NCAA single-game penalties record, as they combined to finish with 31 flags.
South Florida 47, Illinois 23 (Q4, 7:53): Ra’Von Bonner scores his first career Illinois touchdown, which was set up by a 76-yard catch and run by Ricky Smalling. That 76-yard completion equalled the amount of passing yards Chayce Crouch has on the entire day.
South Florida 47, Illinois 15 (Q4, 7:53): The Bulls punch a field goal through the uprights to go up by 32. USF has three players with over 100 yards rushing, and both teams need to commit five flags to set the NCAA single-game record.
South Florida 44, Illinois 15 (Q4, 13:30): Flowers tosses his third score of the night on a 13-yard throw to Tyre McCants, and looks to be padding his Heisman stats. We hope you took the over on this one.
South Florida 37, Illinois 15 (Q4, 13:30): Epstein gets on the board for his second score of the night with a 21-yard touchdown catch from Jeff George Jr. The Illini miss the subsequent two-point attempt.
END QUARTER 3: South Florida 37, Illinois 9 – The Illini have 170 total yards on offense. South Florida has 552 total yards of offense. ‘Nuff said.
South Florida 37, Illinois 9 (Q3, 5:08): The Bulls may have just put this one out of reach. Flowers connects with running back D’Ernest Johnson for a 17-yard score, Flowers’ third of the game, to put South Florida up by four touchdowns. This continues an impressive offensive run for South Florida, dating back to last season.
USF has now scored at least 30 points in 20 consecutive games, nation’s longest current streak
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 16, 2017
South Florida 30, Illinois 9 (Q3, 6:57): The Illini have made a change at quarterback, moving on from the struggling Chayce Crouch and trying to inspire some offense with the son of a former Illinois great.
Change at QB for #Illini. Jeff George Jr. in the game.
— Scott Richey (@srrichey) September 16, 2017
However, the Illini have lost Stanley Green to a targeting call, the second time in three games for Green. That penalty was also the 14th penalty of the game for Illinois.
Stanley Green called for targeting. He is ejected for the rest of this game and the first half of the Nebraska game.
— Mark Tupper (@MarkTupper) September 16, 2017
South Florida 30, Illinois 9 (Q3, 9:54): South Florida has seemingly broken this game open. Flowers finds Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 17-yard score to put the Bulls up big against Illinois. With the Illini’s last drive going negative two yards, it doesn’t look good for Lovie Smith’s squad.
HALFTIME: South Florida 23, Illinois 9 – The Bulls tack on a touchdown right before halftime on a six-yard scamper by Quinton Flowers to go back up by two scores. The Illini are right back where they started, down two touchdowns in a game which has featured more than a baker’s dozen penalties.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) September 16, 2017
South Florida 16, Illinois 9 (Q2, 2:18): The Illini are back in it! Running back Mike Epstein rumbles for a 45-yard score, brining Illinois back within a touchdown. The play before the touchdown run was also the first time the Illini have crossed midfield during the contest.
Mike Epstein Touchdown pic.twitter.com/l2Uicm7wtf
— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) September 16, 2017
South Florida 16, Illinois 2 (Q2, 9:12): The Bulls run over the Illini in the end zone on a Darius Tice 10-yard touchdown run to cap an 87-yard drive. This time around, however, South Florida makes the point after.
END QUARTER 1: Illinois still trails South Florida. Combined, both quarterbacks, USF’s Quinton Flowers and Illinois’ Chayce Crouch, have completed five total passes COMBINED. Suffice to say, the game has not been the epitome of thrilling.
14 penalties. With 1:50 left in first quarter. At least it's 7 each. https://t.co/aasvQZgiKh
— Gerard Farek (@farekg) September 16, 2017
South Florida 9, Illinois 2 (Q1, 0:50): The Bulls’ Emilio Nadelman hit a 29-yard field goal to extend their lead. The first quarter has already taken over an hour to complete.
South Florida 6, Illinois 2 (Q1, 7:23): South Florida defensive tackle Deadrin Senat was flagged for targeting on Illinois quarterback Chayce Crouch. The play was reviewed and upheld, disqualifying Senat from the game.
Deadrin Senat disqualified for targeting for the 2nd time in 3 games
— Dakotah Wilson (@D_WilsonUSF) September 16, 2017
South Florida 6, Illinois 2 (Q1, 8:20): On the ensuing point after attempt, the Illini blocked the PAT and returned it for two points, getting Illinois on the board in one of the most unconventional ways.
Still 6-2 USF in the top of the 1st.
Here's the two again. pic.twitter.com/tA3OxWyfVy
— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) September 16, 2017
South Florida 6, Illinois 0 (Q1, 8:20): After an Illinois punt, the Bulls drove 66-yards for a touchdown which was capped off by Quinton Flowers’ 39-yard touchdown toss. It was his first completion of the day and the first score of the day.
Illinois 0, South Florida 3 (Q1, 11:11): South Florida marches down the field with little problem, highlighted by a 26-yard run from Deangelo Antoine that was close to being a lot more. However, Illinois dialed up the pressure in the red zone and blocked USF’s field goal attempt to keep things scoreless.
Illinois 0, South Florida 0 (Q1, 15:00): Chase McLaughlin kicks it off and we are finally underway.
Illinois 0, South Florida 0 (Q1, 15:00): Kickoff has now been moved to 6:37.
New kickoff time is 7:37. Teams will get a short warm-up prior to retaking the field.
— USF Football (@USFFootball) September 15, 2017
Illinois 0, South Florida 0 (Q1, 15:00): We’ll be opening a little later than scheduled due to a weather delay in Tampa. Kickoff is now scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
We are officially in a weather delay. The team is planning to take the field at 7:15 p.m. ET for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. ⚡️
— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) September 15, 2017
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Illinois-South Florida game time, information
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Date: Friday, Sept. 15
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.
Weather: Temperature in the mid-70s with party cloudy skies
The line: South Florida -17.5
What TV channel is USF vs. Illinois on?
The game will be broadcast on ESPN. Dave LaMont, Mack Brown and Jen Lada have the call.
How to stream USF vs. Illinois online
You can stream this game on WatchESPN.
How to listen to USF vs. Illinois on the radio
Head on over to the Fighting Illini Sports Network.
Illinois-South Florida Preview
Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith surprised many by stifling Western Kentucky 20-7 as home underdogs last Saturday.
Many assumed the Illini would struggle against the Hilltopper offense, which featured quarterback Mike White who averaged 311.6 passing yards per game last season. Last Saturday, Illinois limited him 238 yards and an interception, showing off a Lovie Smith defense which has a chance to be one of the Big Ten’s best.
Another positive from that 20-7 win was the emergence of running back Mike Epstine, who rushed for 111 yards on 21 carries and became a possible every-down option for the Illini in the backfield.
However, it doesn’t get easier for Illinois, as they travel to Tampa Bay to take on Charlie Strong’s No. 22-ranked South Florida Bulls for the right to improve to 3-0 and stay undefeated.
The Bulls flaunt senior quarterback Quinton Flowers, who leads a Bulls offense which has scored 73 points in the first two games of the season. Flowers has thrown for 389 yards so far this season, for four touchdowns and one interception with a 55.6 completion percentage.
Furthermore, Flowers is a dynamic dual-threat on the ground, as he commands a three-headed rushing attack with himself and senior running backs D’Ernest Johnson and Darius Tice. Together, Flowers, Johnson and Tice have rushed for 402 yards and six touchdowns.
If the Illinois defense isn’t on its A-game, its could find itself in a shootout with South Florida which would not be optimal for the Illini who have score 44 points in two games this season.
First-year starting quarterback Chayce Crouch has managed the offense effectively with a run game that boasts running back Kendrick Foster, as well as Epstine, and has an effective defense as its back up.
Crouch and the rest of the Illini offense will have to provide some points and control the time-of-possession battle in order to allow Lovie Smith’s defense to stay fresh and effective against the potent USF offense.