EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — While enjoying one of his most prosperous nights as a Bull, Quinton Flowers indirectly inserted another possible story line into the season-ending showdown at UCF on Nov. 24.
Saturday's triumph was Flowers' 28th as Bulls starting quarterback, tying Matt Grothe for second place on the school's career list. Flowers is two victories shy of tying Marquel Blackwell for the USF record, meaning he could match Blackwell in Orlando.
Flowers also became only the seventh player in Division I-A history to reach 7,000 passing and 3,000 rushing yards for a career. His 516 total yards marked the 16th time he has amassed at least 300 yards in a game (a USF record). Additionally, he recorded his 13th career 100-yard rushing effort (16 carries, 131 yards).
"(The numbers) mean a lot. That's the reason I came here," Flowers said.
"I just sit back and think about it, when I first committed to the University of South Florida, this school was 2-8, and I always had a dream to go to a school and change the program. I'm here, I'm doing it now, and I've got the chance to just add on and put myself on the list to have people remember me as a guy that did whatever it takes."
Saving it for senior night? The upside of MLB Auggie Sanchez's modest statistical production (three tackles) on Saturday? He'll almost certainly become USF's career tackles leader at home, on Senior Night against Tulsa on Nov. 16.
Sanchez will enter that game with 364 tackles, three shy of the mark held by Kawika Mitchell. Saturday was his second-lowest tackles output of the season; he had none against Illinois.
Jackson ejected: Strong said he mildly protested the fourth-quarter targeting call on fourth-year junior WLB Vincent Jackson, ejected after inflicting a hard shot on Connecticut starting QB Bryant Shirreffs. Huskies coach Randy Edsall told reporters afterward that Shirreffs sustained a concussion.
Strong said Shirreffs — a targeting victim several times in his career — appeared to be trying to block for WR Quayvon Skanes on the perimeter, and Jackson was simply trying to make a play.
"I called (referee Mike Roche) over and said, 'Mike, I didn't think it was targeting because the guy was trying to block us … and he's gonna cut him if Vincent doesn't run him over,'" Strong said. "But it's something they can review and everything."
Odds and ends: Strong said WR Deangelo Antoine exited with an apparent twisted ankle. … With an 11-yard catch, senior D'Ernest Johnson finally took sole possession of the school's career record for receptions by a running back (69). Much to the chagrin of USF fans, he needed nine games to do it. An infrequent target out of the backfield, Johnson has seven receptions after collecting 28 last season. … The Bulls finished 9-of-14 on third down. … TE Mitchell Wilcox's 12-yard touchdown reception was his first scoring catch of the season.
Audible: "Me and Mitch (Wilcox), we were talking to him, and when he caught the ball we were like, 'What are you doing? Just get down.' … I guess he saw something, but they closed quick." — WR Tyre McCants on Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who snagged a late UConn onside kick and tried to return it (and lost 3 yards)
Contact Joey Knight at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.