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After slow start, USF blows away Syracuse in 45-20 rout

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For a quarter, USF wasn’t such a high-powered football team, after all.

Fifteen minutes in, and the Bulls trailed Syracuse, 17-0. Quarterback Quinton Flowers had thrown for only six yards. The Bulls had only 64 yards of offense.

And then they awoke.

From that point on, the Bulls moved the ball easily, taking a 45-20 victory. The Bulls outscored Syracuse 45-3 after the first period.

The thing I liked about our guys is nobody flinched on the sideline (when the team trailed by 17,” said coach Willie Taggart. “They stayed wide-eyed and they looked adversity in the face and said, ‘Bring it on.’ That was great to see our guys respond that way.”

Wide receiver Rodney Adams scored three touchdowns, one on a 27-yards reception from Flowers and two on sweeps of nine yards and 19. Running back Marlon Mack, who missed last week’s game, rushed for 115 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown. Mack also scored from two yards out.

De’Ernest Johnson scored on an 83-yard punt return.

The victory left the Bulls at 3-0. They are home Saturday against Florida State.

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

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