There are days when the points don't match the yardage.
There are days when the game feels to be slipping away.
There are days when a team has to gather itself and survive the temptation to give in.
The USF Bulls did all of that Saturday afternoon against East Carolina. East Carolina had charged back from a 24-6 deficit, and they faced a two-point
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conversion to tie the game with 6:58 to play.
And then USF took over.
The Bulls stopped that two-point try, a pass from Gardner Minshew. Fifty-two seconds later, quarterback Quinton Flowers hit Rodney Adams on a 62-yard touchdown pass. One-hundred and 82 seconds later, and Marlon Mack scored from the 9. USF had a third touchdown called back near the end of the game.
“I thought this ballgame showed a lot of character in our football team,” said USF coach Willie Taggart. “We let East Carolina get back in it and we didn’t flinch. Our guys made plays when we needed a play. That was great to see out of our football team.”
The Bulls extended three streaks in the win. They scored at least 35 for the 10th straight game. They passed 440 yards (they had 556) for the 10th straight game. They went past 200 yards rushing (306) for the 11th straight game.
Still, the Pirates stuck around until late in the game.
For the Bulls, Marlon Mack gained 152 for his 16th straight 100-yard game. Rodney Adams had his fourth 100-yard game with seven catches for 113 yards. Quarterback Quinton Flowers threw for 250 yards and three scores and ran for 115 yards.
But the Bulls had a fumble and 101 yards worth of penalties, which continually stopped drives.
For East Carolina, receiver Zay Jones caught 18 passes for 152 yards. James Summers ran for 118 yards.
USF is home against UConn next week.
Nate Goodwin had 10 tackles for USF. Bruce Hector had 1.5 sacks.