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USF qualifies for a bowl game for the first time since 2018

Redshirt freshman quarterback Byrum Brown threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns as the Bulls closed out the regular season with their sixth victory, 48-14 over Charlotte.

The University of South Florida is headed to a college football bowl game for the first time in five years.

The Bulls (6-6 overall, 4-4 in the American Athletic Conference) capped off Senior Night with a 48-14 win Saturday over Charlotte (3-9, 2-6) at Raymond James Stadium for their sixth victory of the season.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Byrum Brown threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns, and also had a rushing touchdown.

It was the fourth game in which he scored four touchdowns, and he also became the first USF player to throw for 3,000 yards in a season.

First-year USF coach Alex Golesh thanked his players in a social post on Saturday.

Wide receiver Sean Atkins (seven catches for 61 yards), registered his seventh game with seven or more receptions, and also became the first USF player since 1998 to have a touchdown catch and throw in the same game when he connected with Kelley Joiner on a 62-yard scoring pass in the second quarter to put USF ahead 14-7.

Michel Dukes also had a career-high 104 yards rushing on 15 carries.

"As an overall big picture, I'm really proud of our guys," Golesh said Saturday during his postgame press conference. "What I told them in the locker room right now was, as imperfect as it is, we get to keep playing.

"Six wins is not the standard; it never will be. It's certainly not. But it's a start; it's a foundation being laid. It's certainly giving us the opportunity to go keep practicing, it's giving us the opportunity to keep this team together and continue to build."

USF held Charlotte to 298 yards of offense and had three turnovers, and the offense generated 500 yards for the fourth time this season.

With the six wins, USF became eligible for the program's 11th bowl berth, and first since 2018. It was also their 100th victory at Raymond James Stadium.

The bowl lineup will be announced on Dec. 3.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.