Rob Bridenstine

The South Florida Bulls go 8-2 as they pull out a win in Memphis against the Tigers

USF needed every bit of their offense to come out of Memphis with a victory. Quinton Flowers and Co. put on a show to get their win, but the Bulls' defense gave up big yards again this season.

The Bulls go 8-2 as they come out of Memphis with a 49-42 victory over the Tigers; putting on a show that totaled over 1,200 yards between the two teams. In a game that saw five lead changes in the second half, the Bulls’ elite rushing attack came out in full force with the Bulls running for over 400 yards and picking up five of their seven touchdowns on the ground.  

Junior quarterback Quinton Flowers became the first quarterback in USF history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in the same season, breaking through both of those thresholds in the game against Memphis. Last season Flowers fell short of that title by nine rushing yards, but wasn’t being fully utilized in the ‘Gulf Coast’ offense until later in the season. In the victory over Memphis, we saw the quick-striking, high-octane offense in all of its glory.

Flowers totaled 473 yards in game, rushing for 210 yards and passing for another 263. On the ground the quarterback picked up three touchdowns while throwing for two more. Flowers had a day connecting with his receivers 24 times out of 29 attempts, spreading the ball to six different receivers.

Flowers wasn’t the only standout on the USF offense; senior wide receiver Rodney Adams totaled 201 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers. Adams started the Bulls’ scoring with a 49-yard touchdown pass hat saw him tiptoe the sideline into the end zone. The highlight of his night was the game’s second touchdown, where Adams ran for a 92-yard touchdown run, the longest in program history.

Unfortunately, it was another night of frustration for the Bulls’ defensive unit, giving up over 600 total yards for the second consecutive game and the third time this season. Coming into the game the team knew that Memphis would attempt to throw the ball often, but the Bulls surrendered over 200 rushing yards. This would be the fourth time this season and if you’re willing to round up from 199 yards in the Syracuse game.

 The defense wasn’t able to get to the quarterback, which made for a busy night on the field for the Bulls’ secondary. In fact, the Bulls’ top four tacklers came from the Bulls’ secondary unit, combining for 30 of the 65 tackles on the night.

Junior cornerback Deatrick Nichols was not one of the top four tacklers on the night, but he came up big with the lone turnover between the two teams. Nichols also added two more pass breakups to his team leading four, totaling six on the season. Nichols came up big during the Tigers’ last drive of the game as they tried striking the end zone in last minute of the game. Nichols defended three consecutive pass attempts in the end zone, effectively ending the Tigers’ attempt at a comeback.

Next week USF will be traveling to Dallas to play against the SMU Mustangs as the Bulls look to keep their conference championship hopes alive. The Mustangs will be looking to become bowl eligible after beating East Carolina 55-31 on the road this week to go 5-5 on the season. 

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