For all of the offense, for all of the highlight plays, for all of the touchdowns, it came down to a defensive stand.
The USF Bulls won a wild one in Memphis Saturday night, holding the Tigers on their last possession, winning 49-42 on a goal-line stand.
With 1:23 to play, Memphis moved inside the Bulls’ 10 with a first-and-goal. On first down, Darrell Henderson ran for five yards to the Bulls’ three. But USF broke up three straight passes by Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson, two of them by Deatrick Nichols. On fourth down, it appeared that Nichols grabbled Memphis receiver Anthony Miller by the arm, but there was no call.
Except for those final few plays, the night was mostly about offense. USF outgained Memphis with 679 yards to the Tigers’ 608. USF quarterback Quinton Flowers threw for 263 yards and ran for 210, accounting for five touchdowns on the way. For the year, Flowers has more than 2,000 yards passing and more than 1,000 yards rushing, figures matched by only Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, the Heisman front-runner.
“The last time we were on the road (at Temple), when we had adversity we didn’t respond well,” coach Willie Taggart said. “We talked about it all week, and when things got tough for us in this game, again, our guys didn’t flinch.”
Receiver Rodney Adams also had a huge game, going 49 yards on a pass from Flowers and running 92 yards on the jet sweep.
Ferguson threw for 331 yards. Receivers Miller and Daniel Montiel each caught 10 passes; Miller gained 153 yards and Montiel 100.
Nate Godwin had 10 tackles for USF.
“I hope the whole country was watching this game tonight, especially whoever has people up for awards at the quarterback position,” Taggart said.
The Bulls, 8-2, visit SMU Saturday.