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Gameday- USF’s Flowers leads Bulls one more time in Birmingham Bowl

Olivia Stacey

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Photo by Icon Sportswire

The University of South Florida will meet Texas Tech in the 2017 Birmingham Bowl on Saturday, at historic Legion Field.

The Birmingham Bowl typically pits an American Athletic Conference team against an SEC opponent. However, Texas Tech will make its first appearance in the bowl game this year — making it the first time in the bowl’s history that a Big 12 team is competing.

Meanwhile, USF is making its third appearance in the Birmingham Bowl and is 2-0 all-time. The Bulls beat East Carolina 24-7 in the inaugural game, which was then the PapaJohns.com Bowl, in 2006, and defeated South Carolina 46-39 in overtime last year.

Saturday will be a battle between two high-powered offenses, with the Bulls ranking ninth nationally in yards per game (508.6) and the Red Raiders coming in at 17th (468.4).

USF first year coach Charlie Strong faces a very familiar foe in Texas Tech— Strong was the Texas head coach from 2014-16, where he went 2-1 against the Red Raiders. Strong had just been hired by the Bulls last December, when they defeated the Gamecocks to win this game.

The Bulls have a top-15 scoring offense and are led by quarterback Quinton Flowers, who accounted for 605 yards and five touchdowns last month against UCF. He’s the all time leading rusher at USF and has also accounted for over 100 total touchdowns in his last three seasons.

Flowers has passed for 21 touchdowns and rushed for 10 this season. Last year, Flowers was named the Birmingham Bowl MVP — hitting 72% of his throws for 261 yards and two scores. He also ran for 105 yards and notched three rushing touchdowns in the win. It’s the final time he will suit up for the green and gold.

Meanwhile, USF will have to contend with coach (and former Red Raider starting QB) Kliff Kingsbury and his up tempo 4 and at times 5 wide offense. QB Nic Shimonek will play his final game for Texas Tech. He threw for over 3,400 yards and 30 TDs this season.

A win by the Bulls would be their 10th and mark the first time in the 22 years of Bulls football that they would have won 10 games in back to back years.

The Birmingham Bowl will kick off at 12 p.m. ET.

Olivia is a multi-faceted sports reporter based in Tampa Bay where she has covered events from the College Football National Championship to the Stanley Cup Final. A native Floridian, she grew up rooting for Tampa’s sports teams, and graduated from East Lake High in Tarpon Springs. Olivia continued her education at the University of Florida where she received her broadcast journalism degree.

USF Bulls

Report- Alabama will hire Charlie Strong as consultant

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former USF coach Charlie Strong has decided on a new role for the upcoming 2020 season, and it won’t be in Gainesville.

ESPN college football insider Chris Low reported Tuesday morning that Strong has agreed to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as a defensive “consultant” for this season

As we wrote last week, Strong had visited Saban and the Tide about the possible position on his staff, while considering a similar opportunity to join either Dan Mullen’s Gators staff or a couple of others in a consulting role. None of this will affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart.

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USF Bulls

Former USF coach Strong to be consultant for Alabama?

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

And intriguing item popped up Friday morning involving former USF head coach Charlie Strong and him visiting Nick Saban the Alabama football program.

According to Alabama Insider and radio host, Aaron Suttles, Strong, who was dismissed last December after his third season with the Bulls, was in Tuscaloosa Thursday meeting with Saban and his staff:

Strong had also been reportedly talking with the University of Florida about a possible consultant role, which likely would not affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart

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