Wow, what a game! USF won 49 to 42 over Memphis to improve to 8-2 (5-1) on the year. The offense set some new records while the defense continued to give fans gray hairs throughout the game. Here is a quick recap of the game.
The offense was insane in this game. The Bulls totaled 679 total yards, including 416 of them on the ground as the Bulls held onto the ball for 32 minutes of total possession. The offense had to control the game with the defense playing awful again and they were up for the challenge in this one thanks to Quinton Flowers.
Flowers was a monster in this game. Flowers was 24 for 29 for 263 yards for two passing touchdowns and had 20 carries for 210 yards, rushing for three touchdowns. Flowers is the first USF quarterback to ever go over 2000 yards passing and 1000 yards rushing in a season, a season that has reset the touchdown record book for the Bulls.
As for the rest of the rushing attack, Marlon Mack had 16 carries for 69 yards and one rushing touchdown (9 catches for 61 yards) while D’Ernest Johnson had 9 carries for 38 yards. One of the biggest playmakers in the running game was Rodney Adams who had 8 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown reception but also had 3 carries for 86 yards and a rushing touchdown. Adams’s 92-yard rushing touchdown is the longest in program history.
We all need to really take a step back and understand how incredible this offense really is. This is the greatest point producing unit this program has ever seen and we get the chance to watch it every weekend.
This unit drives me mad. They allowed 608 yards in this game, with 277 of them coming on the ground. Again and again the Tigers were able to pick up chunks of yardage both on the ground and through the air, even on 4th down attempts. Its frustrating to watch because if this unit could consistently make stops, these games would not be as stressful as they are. Yet as much as they drive us crazy, the unit did make two key momentum shifting stops in the game.
In the third quarter, the Tigers got an on-side kick after a touchdown to open the half but Deatrick Nichols stepped up and picked off Riley Ferguson on their possession, killing their drive before it got started (huge play). Then in the four the quarter with the Tigers knocking on the door in the closing minute of the game, Nichols stopped the Tigers on three straight passing plays to help preserve the USF lead. Nichols was the individual hero in two situations for this group and may have saved the day all by himself.
Nate Godwin led the Bulls with 10 tackles and one pass break-up. Tajee Fullwood had 7 tackles while Ronnie Hoggins had 7 tackles as the secondary came up huge with 5 pass break-ups. Nichols had 5 tackles with the interception and two pass break-ups overall. It was a rough game for this unit in the stat column (just look at all of the yardage allowed) but they came up with the game saving stop so I have to tip my cap to them on that drive. Although I think I aged about 10 years watching all of this go down last night.
What a game that was. I am barely skimming what happened in this game in this recap because there is so much that happened, but at the end of the day, USF won. Now, the Bulls will have to prepare for another road test at SMU next Saturday as the regular season begins to wrap up. Enjoy the victory and get ready for the next test ahead.
by Matt Staton
SoFloBulls.com Columnist | @USFMatt
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