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USF has chance for a big upset against No. 21 Temple

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So here’s the good news. In his quest for an eye-opening victory, USF coach Willie Taggart has a chance.

If the Bulls could knock off 21st-ranked Temple, a team that has lost only to Notre Dame in a four-point game, that would be sure to catch some attention. It would be the Bulls’ first win over a ranked team since beating Notre Dame in 2011.

The Owls are ranked for a reason. They lead the American Athletic Conference in defense, they have the leading rusher in the league (Jahad Thomas has 970 yards) and quarterback P.J. Walker is coming off a four-touchdown performance. It’s led the school to be ranked for four straight weeks, the longest streak in school history.

That’s a lot for the Bulls to overcome. But with quarterback Quinton Flowers and running back Marlon Mack and home-field advantage, USF has to feel it has a shot. Three of the USF losses this year have been to FSU, Memphis and Navy.

A third member of the Bulls has been more and more dominant, however. Wide receiver Rodney Adams has scored a touchdown in four of the last five games (and the Bulls have won four of the last five). If Mack can run, Adams can be a deep threat during the game.

“I think this is one of the best teams in the conference and they are getting better, they are young and Willie Taggart is an outstanding coach,” Temple coach Matt Rhule told the Philadephia Inquirer.

In its history, USF has had a lot of big upsets: FSU, Auburn, Louisville, West Virginia, Miami and Notre Dame among them.

Temple isn’t as highly ranked as some of those were.

For Taggart, however, it would be a start.

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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