They were on their heels. The game was slipping away. Finally, USF had underperformed, and it seemed as if the day might get away from them.
There was 6:58 to play, and suddenly, East Carolina was lining up to go for a two-point conversion to tie the game. The Pirates, behind 24-6 at one point, had scored 16 straight and were only the two-pointer from tying things.
And then USF took over. Finally.
The Bulls stopped East Carolina’s two-point conversion, then dominated the rest of the game. They scored twice to win 38-22, and had a third touchdown called in the final moments. In all, that final half a quarterback did away with much of the ragged afternoon by the Bulls, who are now 5-1 on the season.
“I thought this ballgame showed a lot of character in our football team,” USF coach Willie Taggart said. “We let East Carolina get back in it and we didn’t flinch. Our guys made plays when we needed a play. That was great to see out of our football team.”
USF had solid performances from its stars. Running back Marlon Mack had 162 yards rushing, his 16th 100-yard day. Receiver Rodney Adams caught seven passes for 113 yards. And dual threat quarterback Quinton Flowers passed for 250 yards and rushed for 129.
For East Carolina, reciever Zay Jones caught 18 passes for 152 yards.
USF is home against UConn next week.