Once again the USF Bulls showed explosive offense, and for the second straight Saturday night on the road, it was their defense that sealed the deal in a 35-27 over SMU in Dallas.
QB Quinton Flowers hit receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling with a 77 yard TD on the first play of the game and USF was off and running again on offense. RB Marlon Mack added a 60 yard TD run later in the first for a 14-7 lead. Then, the Bulls got two more Flowers TD passes to build a 28-14 third quarter lead.
But, behind QB Ben Hicks, who threw for 380 yards, the Mustangs stayed in the game. Hicks hit WR Courtland Sutton for a 54 yard score to cut the lead to 28-21 and led two subsequent field goal drives as the Ponies got within 35-27 in the fourth.
That’s when the Bulls defense made the game saving plays necessary. First, with under 5:00 remaining DB Deatrick Nichols picked Hicks off at the USF 15 yard line to stop SMU from getting closer. Then with under 1:30 to go the Bulls stopped SMU on 3rd and short and next, fourth and one inside their 25, to take over and run the clock out.
Flowers finished with 195 yards passing with the 3 TD’s and also ran for another 142 yards. He also became USF’s all time single season leader in total yards from scrimmage, and still has one more game to go.
The Bulls scored 30+ points for a staggering 15th straight game and are 9-2 matching their best season win total ever.