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

Olivia Stacey



Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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