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After sluggish start, USF pulls away from East Carolina

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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.

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 [email protected]

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