(Tampa, FL) The USF “Gulf Coast” offense put on another great show with a dominant performance for Willie Taggart’s Bulls in a 48-17 blowout victory over Northern Illinois University Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium. Quinton Flowers threw four touchdown passes and 350 yards while Darius Tice rushed for 120 yards in 19 carries and a touchdown leading the Bulls to its first 2-0 start since 2012.
Marlon Mack, the Bulls leading rusher did not play due to a concussion he suffered in last week’s win over Towson. Mack’s absence, though missed, did not slow down a relentless, no huddle Bulls offense that racked up 662 yards in total offense against the Huskies.
The Bulls scored on its second possession of the game when Rodney Adams scampered into the end zone from 11 yards out capping off a 10-play, 80-yard drive.
After an NIU 3 and out, Quinton Flowers connected with Ryeshene Bronson in stride down the sideline for a 73-yard touchdown in a speedy, 3-play, 84-yard drive in 1:15 to put the Bulls ahead 14-0. It was Flowers longest touchdown pass so far of his career.
After a 31-yard Emilio Nadelman field goal early in the second quarter, the Bulls quarterback fired a 26-yard strike to Rodney Adams wrapping up another patented Bulls lightning quick 74-yard scoring drive in 2:06 opening a 24-0 lead over the shell-shocked Huskies.
Emilio Nadelman added another field goal from 36 yards ending an impressive first half of offensive football for the Bulls who racked up 370 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes.
Quinton Flowers added touchdown passes of 13 yards to D’Erne Johnson and 6 yards to Chris Barr in the second half to equal his career high.
Darius Tice topped a fine rushing night with a 13-yard touchdown run for the Bulls 6th end zone appearance of the game.
Ryeshene Bronson led all USF receivers with 113 yards and a touchdown.
The Bulls hit the road for the first time in 2016 next Saturday in upstate New York against Syracuse. Kick-off is scheduled for 3:30 PM.
Coming into tonight, the Bulls had won 6 of their last 7 home games at Raymond James Stadium, averaging 45 points per game.
Sarasota’s Marlon Mack who is 252 yards away from breaking the all-time USF rushing record, did not play due to concussion suffered in last week’s game against Towson.
Tonight’s win against NIU gave the Bulls a 2-0 mark to start the season for the first time under Head Coach Willie Taggart. The last time USF started 2-0 was 2012.
USF and NIU last played each other in the 2009 International Bowl in Toronto, Canada, which the Bulls won 27-3.
The Bulls defeated NIU 37-6, in 2002 here in Tampa. NIU beat USF, 20-17 in DeKalb, Illinois in the school’s first meeting in 2001.
The Bulls are not scheduled to play NIU on the road until 2025.
The last time NIU played a game in Florida was October 9, 2004 in Orlando against UCF.
Tonight’s game was televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
The Bulls wore their all green uniforms with gold numbers and gold helmets with the green Bulls logo tonight.
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