In a second straight Friday night prime time game, the USF Bulls will now come back to Raymond James Stadium for an American Conference battle with Navy.
Here are three story lines for tonight:
The biggest question for USF going into tonight is the health and playing ability of star quarterback Quinton Flowers. As we detailed early in the week Bulls coach Willie Taggart was confident to the media and on his radio show, that Flowers hamstring strain last Friday night at the end of the Temple loss would not keep him out tonight. He is the key to the Bulls “Gulf Coast Offense” and the pass game which has produce tremendous explosive plays all year. If Flowers is limited, there will be an even bigger onus on star running back Marlon Mack, who has four 100 yard rushing games already, to pick up the load and put points on the board.
Defensively, the Bulls will have to contend with the Navy triple option offense led by quarterback Will Worth, who is a local Tampa high school product, and has led them already to a stunning upset of top 10 Houston earlier this month. Worth has run for nearly 500 yards and 9 TD’s already this season and would love nothing better in his mini-homecoming to put on a spectacular performance. The Bulls run defense is reeling after giving up over 300 yards to Temple last Friday night. The Midshipmen come in averaging 293 ypg. on the ground this season. Simply put, if the Bulls can’t at least slow down the triple option, it will be a long night and likely a loss.
Finally, the Bulls have been great at home over the course of the last two seasons and must take advantage of this match-up in front of their fans. Navy is the only unbeaten AAC team remaining and their should be a decent crowd of over 25,000 in attendance, including a full student section in the North end zone of Raymond James stadium. With road games looming at Memphis and SMU the next two outings, USF has to get this one tonight to stay in contention to win the East Division and make the conference title game.