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Late defensive stand (imagine that) allows Bulls to win shootout

in Sports/Top Headlines by

For all of the offense, for all of the highlight plays, for all of the touchdowns, it came down to a defensive stand.

Figures.

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.

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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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