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Gamenight- Bulls open conference play with Temple

Olivia Stacey

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Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

After jumping four spots in the Amway National Coaches poll, No. 17 USF is preparing for their conference opener in the national spotlight. The Bulls, who are coming off a short week for the second game in a row, will take on defending American Athletic Conference champion Temple (2-1) in a prime time Thursday night match-up.

“It gives people a chance to really see our program,” USF coach Charlie Strong said Tuesday. “Then, when you have an explosive player like Quinton, it gives him a chance for the country to see just how good he really is.”

Quarterback Quinton Flowers’ 386-yard performance last week propelled him toward several program records. He’s now tied with Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack for USF’s career rushing touchdown record with 32.

Flowers, who threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, led an offense who accumulated 680 yards of total offense in Friday’s 47-23 win over Illinois.

“Quinton did a great job of putting the ball into different playmakers hands and they just made plays,” Strong said.

There’s no question that USF’s ground game has been crucial to their success, and coach Strong knows the importance of a balanced attack.

“We had two running backs and a quarterback who rushed for over 100 yards,” he said. “Our offensive linemen had numerous, numerous knock downs.”

USF ranks third in the AAC in rushing offense this season, with Flowers (243) and running backs Darius Tice (256) and D’Ernest Johnson (215) leading the way.

Tice attributes their offensive rhythm to playing with more confidence.

“We feel loose— that’s the most fun we had,” Tice said in reference to Friday’s offensive showing.

“The first two games…we were getting adjusted to certain things and we were still understanding the offense, getting comfortable with the offense,” he added.

The Bulls, who rushed for a season-high 376 yards against Illinois, will look to continue that level of production against Temple.

Temple handed USF one of its two losses last season. That loss ultimately kept the Bulls from playing for a conference title.

“We know what Temple did to us last year,” Strong said. “I just told our players, we can’t worry about last season. We just have to stay locked in and go play our game.”

The memory of last year’s defeat is still fresh for Tice, who was watching from home due to injury.
“It’s very important that we go out and dominate,” he said. “With Temple, it definitely means a lot for us to get out there and play against them again.”

Coach Strong believes the key this time around will be stopping Temple’s ground game.

“If we can force them to throw the football, it gives us a chance to apply pressure and do the things we can do,” he said. “But we can’t allow them to come in and just pound us at the line of scrimmage and win the battle up front.”

Thursday night will give the Bulls a chance for redemption with all eyes on them.

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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