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Rapid Recap- Bulls save best for last to win Birmingham Bowl dramatically

Olivia Stacey

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Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
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After a back-and-forth game at Legion Field on Saturday, USF pulled through with a dramatic 38-34 win over Texas Tech in the Birmingham Bowl.

The Bulls struggled to find their offensive rhythm, only managing 130 yards in the first half. However, things got going in the second half when, QB Quinton Flowers connected with Darnell Salomon for a 17-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 75-yard scoring drive.

It marks the Bulls’ 10th win in Flowers’ last game in green and gold.

Flowers finished the game completing 17 of 24 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns through the air. His fourth touchdown pass lifted USF to victory over the Red Raiders. Flowers found slot receiver Tyre McCants down the right sideline with this  26-yard touchdown with just 16 seconds remaining. 

The winning play capped off a special season for the Bulls and their senior quarterback.

Flowers, who was named the game’s MVP, is one of USF’s 23 seniors that have led USF’s program to its winningest era — going 28-9 in three seasons, and winning 10 games in back-to-back years.

The dual-threat quarterback has become the school’s all-time career rushing leader — leaving his mark on USF’s program with 11,802 total yards and a school-record 70 touchdown passes.

Texas Tech was valiant as QB Nic Shimonek threw for 416 yards and three touchdowns. This included his 25 yard strike to T.J. Vasher with 1:31 left that had given the Red Raiders a 34-31 lead.

But, it only took the Bulls 1:15 to race down the field 75 yards for the winning score. Flowers final USF TD came with only :16 left in the game.

Shimonek and Texas Tech had one last gasp, but his “Hail Mary” attempt for the win never reached the endzone and while Vasher caught it, he was tackled at the 13 yard line, as time expired.

It is the first time in the Bulls 22 years of football that they have won 10 or more games in back to back seasons.

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

USF officially hires Clemson coordinator Jeff Scott

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The USF Bulls coaching search to replace Charlie Strong lasted only eight days and his replacement has a National Championship pedigree.

The school announced late Monday afternoon that they have hired Clemson offensive coordinator, Jeff Scott, to become their fifth head coach in program history:

Scott, who actually shares the offensive leadership with Tony Elliott, will receive a five year deal to leave the Tigers and come to West Central Florida.

Bulls atheltic director Michael Kelly said in their statement about the hiring of Scott,

“Jeff is a very bright, enthusiastic and driven leader for our program and we are thrilled to welcome him to USF and back to Florida, where he was born and where he has recruited so well for Clemson for many years,” Kelly said.”

“He is a young and extremely gifted offensive mind, a developer of high-level talent and an elite national recruiter who brings the experience of having played an integral role from the beginning in helping to build one of the most successful programs in college football.

“We are thrilled that he and his wife, Sara, and their daughter, Savannah, are joining our Bulls family and will be part of the exciting future of USF football.”

As we wrote last night, Scott is Clemson through and through, as he played for the Tigers in the early 2000s for three years and returned to become a coach for the Tigers in 2008. Since then, he has been a receiver’s coach, recruiting coordinator, and now to co-offensive coordinator.

The Tigers, behind All-American QB Trevor Lawrence, just rolled through a second straight unbeaten season and a Saturday night 62-17 blowout win over Virginia in the ACC Title Game. The Tigers will play Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on December 28th in one  of the College Football playoff semi-finals.

Scott will reportedly stay and coach the Tigers in the CFP Playoff bid, as they attempt to repeat as National Champions.

Further, there’s some more that USF fans can be excited about: Scott’s successes with wide receivers. He has helped develop some great NFL prospects like DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, and Mike Williams. He currently has one of the best groups in the country.

After years of the inconsistent offense, it appears that the Bulls leaders felt a change in philosphy was needed.

Scott tweeted this photo Monday evening with his daughter showing him signing an agreement with USF:

Scott will bring knowledge of coaching from Clemson, as well as his stint as a high school coach. His father Brad, was also a coach in college, spending time as an offensive coordinator himself at Florida State, then onto South Carolina, and settling at Clemson.

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USF Bulls

Clemson offensive coordinator Jeff Scott about to get USF job?

Jamil King

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Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
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The USF coaching search appears that it might be close to concluding. This with Sunday night reports surfacing that the Bulls will reach a deal with Clemson co-offensive coordinator, Jeff Scott.

The website, The Clemson Insider reported Sunday night that Bulls athletic director Michael Kelly has tabbed the 38 year old Scott as his top target to replace Charlie Strong, who was fired a week ago:

After struggling on the offensive end, it was thought that the Bulls would pursue a coach with an offensive background. And Scott fits the bill.

The Bulls would be doing that if they land one of the men in charge of one of the most prolific offenses over the past few years in college football. Scott, his QB Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers destroyed Virginia in the ACC title game 62-17 Saturday night.

This appears to be a big hire for the Bulls and a bit unexpected. It is known that Clemson assistants don’t move often. Aside from former offensive coordinator, Chad Morris, all other assistants stay in Death Valley. This includes guys that have been highly targeted in Tony Elliot and Brent Venables.

Scott is Clemson through and through, as he played for the Tigers in the early 2000s for three years and returned to become a coach for the Tigers in 2008. Since then, he has been a receiver’s coach, recruiting coordinator, and now to co-offensive coordinator.

Something USF fans can be excited about is Scott’s successes with wide receivers. He has helped develop some great NFL prospects like DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, and Mike Williams. He currently has one of the best groups in the country.

After years of the inconsistent offense, it appears that the Bulls leaders felt a change was needed.

Scott would bring knowledge of coaching from Clemson, as well as his stint as a high school coach. His father Brad, was also a coach in college, spending time as an offensive coordinator himself at Florida State, then onto South Carolina, and settling at Clemson.

Add all of this together, and the Bulls may just have “the next big thing” to come into the AAC and make an impact.

A conference that has springboarded coaches into Power 5 positions like Scott Frost two years ago to Nebraska and Memphis’ Mike Norvell to FSU Sunday. 

Without getting too far ahead, it appears the Bulls are going to make a strong assistant coach hire, who has the chance to make a great splash quickly.

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