It wasn’t an overwhelming victory and for awhile in the second half, the USF Bulls let ECU hang around and make it close. But in the end, two fourth quarter TD’s in just over the final six minutes gave USF a 38-22 win.
Bulls QB Quinton Flowers threw for 250 yards and three TD’s and ran for another 115 yards to lead coach Willie Taggart’s team to their eighth AAC win in the last nine dating back to last year.
East Carolina lost QB Phillip Nelson for the second straight week after a hard hit in the third quarter. But, backup Garnder Minshew led three scoring drives including the fourth quarter one that pulled the Pirates to 24-22 on James Summers 3 yard run. ECU missed the two point play to pull even.
Then, with just over six minutes remaining, Flowers struck quickly over the middle here:
— American Football (@American_FB) October 8, 2016
The 62 yard score gave the Bulls breathing room and then stud running back, Marlon Mack put the game away with a 9 yard touchdown run to cap his 152 yard rushing day. For Mack it was his third 100 yard game of the season and 16th of his career.
The end of the game was not without controversy and amusement, as USF’s offense continued to throw downfield and to the end zone in the final minute with the clock running. Flowers actually threw another TD with :01 left that was wiped out by penalty. Then, did not take a knee and threw deep to the end zone incomplete on the final play.
As you can imagine, the post game handshake with Taggart and first year ECU head coach, Scotty Montgomery was brief and chilly.
For his part, Taggart told the USF radio post game that they wanted to “stay on the accelerator” and further, told the press conference a little while later ” To take a knee for anybody, where is it in the rule book that says that?”
But last week in closing out Cincinnati on the road 45-20, the Bulls ran the ball 3 times starting at the Bearcats 24 yard line to run out the clock.
So, something was clearly up.
What else is up is USF stock. They are 5-1. 2-0 in the conference and the offense is potent as ever.