(Tampa, FL) The 20th season of USF football began with a roar as the Bulls soundly defeated the Towson Tigers 56-20 Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Head Coach Willie Taggart in his 4th season at the helm of the Bulls watched his high octane, no-huddle offense roll over the Tigers defense in the season lid lifter.
USF jumped ahead quickly 1:39 into the game when Quinton Flowers zipped a pass to Darius Tice who eluded several defenders and rumbled into the end zone from 43 yards out capping off a speedy 6-play, 80-yard drive.
Marlon Mack tallied the Bulls second score with a 7-yard touchdown run set up by a 57-yard kickoff return after a Towson field goal to make it 14-3. Mack would later leave the game after a hard hit which caused a fumble early in the second quarter. He walked off the field on his own power but would not return to the game.
Quinton Flowers tossed his second touchdown pass of the game a 51-yarder to Marquez Valdes-Scantling at the 6:56 mark of the second quarter and then ran one in from 5 yards out on the Bulls next possession to put USF ahead 28-10 at the half.
The Bulls quarterback added another rushing touchdown midway through the 3rd quarter before leaving the game to his backup Brett Kean, who threw 2 touchdowns of his own.
Flowers completed 8 of 18 for 178 yards with 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and 58 yards on the ground. Kean went 5 for 7 with 2 touchdowns.
Marlon Mack rushed 9 times for 58 yards and 1 touchdown.
Darius Victor led all runners with 78 yards on 23 carries and 2 scores for Towson. Tiger quarterback Morgan Mahalak completed 16 of 36 with no touchdowns and 1 interception.
Tonight’s game marked the start of the 20th season of USF Bulls football and 17th at the FBS level.
Coming into tonight, the Bulls were 14-5 in season openers and 18-1 in home lid lifters.
Former Booker Tornado (Sarasota) high school standout Marlon Mack who was the offensive juggernaut for the Bulls on the ground last season brought a streak of 5 straight 100-yard games into tonight’s contest against Towson.
Mack led the AAC in rushing for the second straight season last year averaging 115 yards per game, 1381 overall. He has 2422 career rushing yards, 309 away from setting a new school record.
WR Rodney Adams set a USF record with 822 receiving yards last season.
Junior quarterback Quinton Flowers returns as the Bulls field general. Flowers tossed 22 touchdowns in 2015 and ran for 12.
USF has been picked by many to win the East Division of the American Athletic Conference.
In addition to the USF radio network, tonight’s game was broadcast nationally on the American Sports Network and ESPN 3.
This was the first meeting between the two schools.
Former Manatee Hurricane Willie Taggart enters his fourth season as head coach of the Bulls and seventh overall.
The Bulls were 8-5 overall and 6-2 in the AAC in 2015.
15 starters return to the Bulls lineup this season from last year.
The Bulls are 126-101 overall in their 19 year history and 106-88 in the FBS. USF has a 4-3 record in bowl games.
The Bulls wore all green uniforms, green helmets with fluorescent yellow numbers tonight.
This was the first game ever for the Towson Tigers in the state of Florida.
Earlier today in the AAC, #15 Houston upset #3 Oklahoma 33-23.
The Bulls host Northern Illinois next Saturday (Sept. 10) at Raymond James 7PM EDT.
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