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College roundup: USF wins the biggest game of Taggart’s era

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Perhaps it wasn’t Willie Taggart’s signature victory.

On the other hand, it will do until a better one comes along.

Taggart, who was talking about being on the hot seat earlier as his team got off to a 1-3 start, now has a team that is bowl eligible.

The USF Bulls upset Temple, the nation’s 22nd ranked team, with a complete effort Friday night. The Bulls won 44-23 behind the Three Amigos, there three headed attack of running back Marlon Mack (230 yards), Quinton Flowers (who had 230 himself throwing and 90 rushing) and wide receiver Rodney Adams (seven catches for 142 yards).

Together, they were good enough for a 24-point second quarter. Mack’s total was the best of the year in the American Athletic Conference.

Temple had entered the game on a roll, losing by only four points to Notre Dame. Temple took a 7-0 lead in the game, but by the half, the Bulls led 31-10.

Mack scored on runs of 57 and 48 yards and caught a 20-yard pass for another. Flowers threw for two scores and ran for one. In all, the Bulls ran for 326 yards.

Temple quarterback P.J. Walker threw for 258 yards, but it took him 48 attempts to get it.

The Bulls play Cincinnati Friday night before winding up the regular season against UCF.

FSU 34, N.C. State 17: On second thought, Jimbo Fisher started the wrong quarterback.

Down 17-7 and facing an upset against North Carolina State, FSU coach Fisher replaced Everett Golson – who had missed the previous two games – with quarterback Sean Maguire. Maguire lit fire to the Seminoles, who finished with a big victory.

The Wolfpack took a 17-7 lead in the first period as Jacoby Brissett threw for one score and ran for another one.

Maguire hit 18 of 28 passes for 231 yards and two scores. Golson had three turnovers until being pulled, an old problem that hasn’t been evident this season.

Dalvin Cook rushed for 138 yards for FSU, and wide receiver Kermit Whitfield caught six passes for 117 yards.

The game ended with N.C. State stopped at the FSU one.

FSU plays Chattanooga Saturday.

Florida 24, South Carolina 14: Kelvin Taylor’s 53-yard run late in the game helped the Gators survive a late comeback by the Gamecocks and to close out their SEC East play undefeated.

The Gators built a 17-0 lead through three quarters on two touchdowns by Jordan Cronkrite, but a pair of touchdown passes by South Carolina in the final quarter made it a close game. The last score came on a 38-yard pass from Perry Ort to Pharoh Cooper.

Taylor broke loose on third-and-eight, however, setting up his own one-yard run to clinch the game. Taylor finished with 105 yards.

“Gotta tell you something about that locker room,” said Florida coach Jim McElwain. “We’ve got a bunch of winners.”

Quarterback Treon Harris had 242 yards through the air.

South Carolina rushed 23 times for only 21 yards. For the day, the Gators outgained South Carolina 404-201 in yardage.

The Gators are home against Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

North Carolina 59, Miami 21: Remember that 58-0 spanking the Hurricanes took from Clemson?

Turns out, that wasn’t even the most points given up by Miami all season.

The Hurricanes were embarrassed again Saturday, losing a lopsided game to the Tar Heels. North Carolina ran for 298 yards in the game. Elijah Hood ran for 132 yards and quarterback Marquise Walker for 102 more.

At one point, North Carolina led 45-0.

Quarterback Brad Kaaya threw for 326 yards, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Miami plays against Georgia Tech Saturday.

Middle Tennessee 24, FAU 17: FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson threw incomplete on two straight downs, and the Owls’ last-gasp effort died at the Middle Tennessee 19 Saturday afternoon.

The game was tied at 17 in the third period when Middle Tennessee quarterback Brent Stockstill hit Richie James on a 62-yard touchdown pass. Neither team scored in the final period.

Stockstill threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Blue Raiders. FAU dropped to 2-8 on the season. Middle Tennessee outgained FAU 178-75 on the ground as Shane Tucker gained 103. James caught nine passes for 198 yards.

FAU is at Florida Saturday.

Marshall 52, FIU 0: The Panthers were overwhelmed by Marshall Saturday on the 45th anniversary of the team’s fatal plane crash.

FIU was outgained 469-209. Quarterback Alex McGough threw for only 98 yards.

Marshall took a 17-0 lead and never looked back.

FIU plays Western Kentucky Saturday.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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