The Bulls, 8-4 (6-2 entering this game), won 44 to 3 over Central Florida is a huge win to end the regular season for the Bulls. USF led from the start and never looked back in the game. I was worried an upset could have happened, but Coach Taggart and his team did not allow that to happen in this game. It feels good to win this one.
USF was down 3 to 0 after the first drive by Central Florida, but the Bulls came right back and never looked back. The run game, the passing game, and the defense (along with special teams) got the job done and took care of business in this game.
The offense went off for 455 yards in this game, led by the incredible play of Quinton Flowers. Flowers was 14 for 21 for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns (ties the most passing touchdowns in a single season) and had 18 carries for 87 yards and 2 touchdowns. Flowers did it again with the arm and his legs, torching the Central Florida defense all game long. He has come a long way since the start of the season. In the run game, Marlon Mack had 18 carries for 102 yards, marking the 8th straight game he has rushed for at least 100 yards. Darius Tice had 11 carries for 41 yards. D’Ernest Johnson had 5 carries for 34 yards, but once again had 4 receptions for 68 yards to leading the receivers (he is just so versatile). Rodney Adams had 4 catches for 26 yards and Sean Price had 2 catches for 27 yards and 2 touchdowns (he has been a scoring machine late in the year). It was a dominating performance as the Bulls moved the ball, took care of it, and got the win. They did their job in this game.
Central Florida had been all year this season and the Bull Shark defense kept them in check, allowing just 203 total yards and no touchdowns against them (had 5 TFL and 2 interceptions in the game). Auggie Sanchez led the way with 8 tackles with 1 TFL. Devin Abraham had 6 tackles and 1 interception (Ronnie Hoggins had the other interception). Nigel Harries had 4 tackles in the game. They kept Justin Holman off all game, forced bad throws, and got off the field on third downs and gave the ball back to Flowers and the offense. I had a bad feeling Central Florida would draw up a ton of trick plays and surprise the USF defense, but they stayed at home and never got fooled in the game. They had a great game.
Special teams had a solid night as well. While there weren’t any big return plays for USF, they didn’t allow any either. Mattias Ciabatti had 2 punts, averaging 44.5 yards per kick. Emilio Nadelman impressed again, going 3 for 3 on field goals, hitting a long of 44 yards (all were in the 40 yard range). I, along with many, were ready to bench Nadelman a few weeks ago, and he has turned it all around, silencing the critics. He has been clutch and has added points to the board.
Now the Bulls have to wait and see where they will head next. If Uconn upsets Temple tomorrow, the Bulls will have a chance to head to the AAC championship game. If Temple wins, USF has to wait to see which bowl game they will head to. USF fans, be happy, kick back and relax this weekend, enjoy the other games, and don’t worry about anything. The Bulls have capped a great regular season and now get to play in the postseason.