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USF’s Marlon Mack rolls over Temple for Sunshine award

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He opened the door to a bowl game. He closed the discussion over whether his coach would be back. He led the team’s biggest upset in years.

Yeah, USF’s Marlon Mack deserves to be the Sunshine State Player of the Week, all right.

Mack rolled for 230 yards, including touchdowns runs of 57 ad 48 yards and added a 20-yard reception for a score. He also passed 1,000 yards for the second straight season. When you add it the meaning of the game, that the Bulls became bowl eligible and clinched that head coach Willie Taggart would be back, his performance took on even more meaning against the previously 21st-ranked Temple Owls.

Temple simply had no answers for the Bulls, who rolled up 44 points and 556 yards in knocking the Owls out of the top 25.

Mack had plenty of competition for the weekly award. FSU got great performances out of quarterback Sean Maguire, who came off the bench to lead a comeback win over N.C. State, and Dalvin Cook, who ran for 138 yards. At Florida, Kelvin Taylor ran for 105 yards, including a 53-yard run that clinched the game. Miami’s Brad Kaaya had 326 yards passing in a lopsided loss to North Carolina. And Mack got support from quarterback Quinton Flowers, who threw for 230 and ran for 90 yards, and wide receiver Rodney Adams, who caught seven passes for 147 yards.

This week, Mack was honored by three different organizations for his play against Temple: He was named National Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards, the AAC Offensive Player of the Week and the American Performer of the Week by College Football Madness.

Mack now has 1065 yards on the year. Mack passed Temple’s Jahad Thomas by 30 yards in the AAC rushing stats, although he averages more than two yards more per carry.

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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