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Taggart: Flowers will start against Navy

USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) suffered a mild hamstring injury late in Friday's loss at Temple.

AP photo

USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) suffered a mild hamstring injury late in Friday's loss at Temple.



Bulls QB Quinton Flowers, who hobbled off Lincoln Financial Field with a tweaked hamstring late in Friday's 46-30 loss at Temple, is expected to start this Friday against No. 22 Navy, Bulls coach Willie Taggart said.

"Quinton will be good to go," Taggart said Monday on the American Athletic Conference weekly coaches teleconference.

When asked if Flowers has been able to do everything in practice since Friday's game, Taggart said, "Yes sir."

Elsewhere, however, Bulls fans might see a new starter or two.

Missing a litany of missed tackles and gaps, USF's defense allowed 319 rushing yards to the Owls, who converted 10 of 16 third-down opportunities.

"I think we'll have to wait until Friday to see that," Taggart said when asked if any changes in personnel or scheme were forthcoming. "I think you can expect for everybody to be a lot better than we were this past week."

USF enters the Navy game ranked 100th nationally against the run (206.3 ypg). The Midshipmen, who continue operating arguably the nation's most proficient and punishing triple-option attack behind Newsome High alumnus Will Worth, have the country's fourth-best run game (293.2 ypg).

"We weren't physical enough (at Temple), we at times didn't make gaps or at times we didn't have guys in the right position," Taggart said.

"We get a punt blocked. It was everything. You just can't do that on the road against a good football team. ... We've got to play more physical, but more important with more energy and more passion, and I don't think we did that as a football team."

WORTH HONORED: Worth, who ran for a career-best 201 yards and totaled five TDs (three rushing, two passing) in Saturday's 42-28 victory against Memphis, was named AAC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.

The backup entering the season, Worth (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) stepped in when Tago Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener against Fordham. He has posted 100-yard rushing efforts in three of his last four games, and has thrown only two picks -- both against Air Force -- in 62 attempts.

"The way he's playing right now is pretty much inspiring our whole team, just because of his toughness and his will and his passion," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said.

ODDS AND ENDS: Navy ranks first nationally in fewest penalty yards per game (19.3); USF is 82nd (60.4). ... TB Marlon Mack ranks 36th nationally in rushing (94.1 ypg), one spot ahead of Flowers (93.1 ypg). ... ESPN's Mark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy both still project USF to play in the St. Petersburg Bowl, against Georgia Tech and Central Michigan, respectively.

AUDIBLE: "No, he didn't surprise us. We felt like he was a really good back going in. He ran the ball really hard. He runs like a running back, he's built for that offense. He's powerful, strong and he can run, so it wasn't a surprise at all. They did a good job and we did a bad job." -- Taggart, when asked if he was surprised by Temple RB Ryquell Armstead's performance (20 carries, 210 yards, two TDs) against the Bulls

[Last modified: Monday, October 24, 2016 1:32pm]


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