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Old 12-23-2017, 07:47 PM
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Default South Florida 38 Texas Tech 34
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., DEC. 23, 2017 Quinton Flowers cemented a stellar legacy as the program's most outstanding player as he accounted for 417 total yards and five touchdowns to lead the Bulls to a thrilling 38-34 comeback win over Big 12 foe Texas Tech in Saturday's Birmingham Bowl

The game's most valuable player for the second straight season, Flowers capped off his four-touchdown pass day with a 26-yard scoring toss to Tyre McCants that put USF ahead for the final time with 16 seconds remaining. Flowers' final throw as a Bull, and his 71st career TD toss, helped USF (10-2) repeat as Birmingham Bowl champions and post back-to-back double-digit win seasons for the first time in program history.

Flowers (Miami), who entered the game with 27 school records, finished his career with The American's total offense record (11,802 yards) and became just the fourth player in FBS history to eclipse 8,000 passing yards and 3,500 rushing yards. With 106 yards on the ground Saturday, his 16th career 100-yard game, Flowers also became USF's career rushing leader with 3,672 yards in his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season. It was one of seven additional school marks he added under his name on the day to give him 34 on his career.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (St. Petersburg) set a new USF season receiving record (879 yards) with three catches for 133 yards and a touchdown after putting the Bulls ahead for the first time with a 64-yard score with 4:26 remaining.

McCants (Niceville, Fla.) also helped USF produce 561 yards of offense with six catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Darnell Salomon (Miami) completed a solid sophomore season with four receptions for 47 yards and USF's second TD catch of the day from 17 yards out.

Senior defensive tackle Deadrin Senat (Immokalee, Fla.) registered a career-high three sacks while the USF defense used two interceptions to move up to a tie for the national pick lead with 20.

Deemed a shootout heading into the action, the Birmingham Bowl began with both defenses keeping things close early on.

Trailing 10-3, USF's defense delivered with Jaymon Thomas' first-career interception in the end zone. He returned it to the Bulls' 18 with 3:18 left in the half. Senat also stepped up with three first-half sacks, including one on fourth down deep in USF territory in the opening quarter.

Senat's third sack helped set USF up for a late score that tied the game at 10-10. McCants hauled in a 21-yard touchdown catch with 51 seconds left and Devin Abraham's team-leading fifth interception of the season gave the Bulls more momentum heading into the break.

No. 23/24 USF's offense continued to heat up with Flowers' 17-yard touchdown pass to Salomon that tied the score at 17-17 midway through the third quarter.

After grabbing USF's career rushing lead, Flowers used his feet to get the Bulls back on even ground once again. Flowers' 41st-career rushing touchdown from 5 yards out tied the game up at 24-24 with 9:30 remaining.

Texas Tech took a 27-24 lead with 5:02 left on a 33-yard Clayton Hatfield field goal. Needing a big play, Flowers found Valdes-Scantling for a 64-yard touchdown on the Bulls second play on the ensuing drive to give the Bulls their first lead of the game, 31-27, on a drive that took just 44 seconds.

The Red Raiders (6-7) pulled back ahead with 1:31 remaining on 25-yard pass from Nic Shimonek to T.J. Vasher. But, Flowers and the Bulls were not going to be denied from securing their fifth bowl victory in the past six trips.

Head coach Charlie Strong on the Bulls sending out the seniors the right way:
"It showed the leadership we've had all yearlong with this group of seniors. I just kept preaching this bowl season, 'We have to end it the right way.' The only way we could end it the right way, we had to make sure they go out the right way. Just the resiliency, to get down and we just kept battling back. You look at it, we had a great game there against Central Florida and we bounce back against Tech."

Strong on feeling confident the Bulls could get the job done late:
"When you get the ball back, you have a guy like Q, who can make plays. He can make the throws, and he can get the ball into the position where it needed to get to. You always feel like you have a chance."

Strong on getting to coach Flowers:
"You look at Q, a very unselfish football player. The players have so much respect for him. They know they always have a chance to win when the ball is in No. 9's hands. He's a special player and the thing you look is just how he carries himself on the field, as well as off the field. He's going to be really missed around here."

Strong on how much the win means for momentum heading into next season:
"You get a jumpstart for next year. You get to move forward now and guys have something to really build on. We came into this season, everybody said you were going to go undefeated. Expectations were very high and we needed to win this bowl game, so we could end it just the right way."

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Old 12-23-2017, 09:40 PM
E's Army E's Army is offline
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Flowers is a heck of a player
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:37 PM
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This was a really fun football game to watch. Great back and forth! The Red Raiders almost pulled off the upset...

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

-Mahatma Gandhi
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