Saturday, 3:15 a.m.
For awhile, the USF Bulls looked sluggish. They ended up with 42 points.
For a time, they sputtered. They ran for 316 yards
For a moment, it was unclear just how into the UConn game that USF was. And quarterback Quinton Flowers ended up with five touchdowns.
That's the thing about the Bulls. They can look for a moment as if they are
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struggling, and then they flex their muscles, and the scoreboard is being worn out again.
Despite trailing the UConn Huskies in the third period, the Bulls pulled away for a 42-27 victory. The victory left USF bowl eligible.
“It’s never been our goal just to become bowl eligible," said coach Willie Taggart. "It’s great to be bowl eligible. That means we’re winning some ballgames this time of year. But we’re after something much bigger than just bowl eligibility. It’s great to be 6-1.”
Quarterback Flowers accounted for five touchdowns – three of them on the ground – and rushed for 157 yards in the victory. Flowers also threw for 213 yards.
“He’s one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in this country if you ask me," Taggart said. "Some of the things he does out there is like playing a video game.”
Running back Marlon Mack ran for 107 yards.
UConn quarterback Bryant Shirreffs threw for 306 yards. Twelve of his 22 completions went to Noel Thomas, who gained 127 yards.
For the Bulls' defense, linebacker Augie Sanchez had 11 tackles and three sacks.
“I thought our guys were really aggressive on the defensive side of the ball," Taggart said. "Coach (Ray) Woodie did a great job dialing up the blitzes and our guys got to the quarterback. It’s what we wanted to do and they did a great job with that.”
USF gained 316 yards rushing against UConn, which was 11th in the nation in rushing defense with 98.8 yards per game.
In other state games, Florida beat Missouri, 40-14. FSU beat Wake Forest 17-6 and Miami lost to North Carolina 20-13.
USF (6-1) plays at Temple on Friday night.