USF notes: Jet sweep resuscitated in Bulls win
USF's jet-sweep extraordinaire had been conspicously quiet the last several weeks. The end-around play on which senior Rodney Adams had gloriously subsisted early in the year had been stonewalled, sniffed out by suspecting opponents.
But on a chilly Saturday night at the Liberty Bowl, the only thing Memphis sniffed were Adams' figurative contrails.
The Lakewood High alumnus resuscitated his trademark play for a 92-yard first-quarter touchdown run to help propel USF past Memphis.
After running for four TDs in the Bulls' first three games, Adams had run for only 5 yards in their past six. His 92-yarder was the longest TD run from scrimmage in school history.
Adams finished with 270 all-purpose yards (86 rushing, 115 receiving, 69 on returns). His eight catches give him 117 for his career, tying him with Huey Whittaker for third place on the school's career list.
RECORD WATCH: At times Saturday, it seemed USF was breaking records with more frequency than ESPNU was breaking for commercials.
Quinton Flowers' proficiency was only part of this historic night. USF's 416 rushing yards broke the 2-week-old record (412) it set against Navy. Its seven TDs gave it 60 for the season, breaking the old mark (54) set in 2015.
The 1,279 yards collected by both teams were the most in a Bulls contest.
SECOND-GUESSING: Memphis first-year coach Mike Norvell, whose team ran for a season-best 283 yards, probably is being second-guessed for attempting three consecutive passes on second-and-goal on the Tigers' final scoring drive.
Veteran Bulls CB Deatrick Nichols helped break up all three, two of which went toward 6-foot-3 junior Phil Mayhue, who had a significant height advantage on Nichols.
"The second and third calls were both run-option plays and they were stacked in the box," Norvell said. "We took the one-on-one and we just came up a little short."
PATERNAL INSTINCTS? Coincidence or not, Flowers has flourished since joining the ranks of fatherhood.
Flowers, on hand for the birth of his daughter in south Florida on Sept. 26, has posted three 100-yard games -- and a 200-yarder -- since. His 210 rushing yards Saturday were a career-best, and his 473 total yards broke B.J. Daniels' 5-year-old record for a single game.
He has thrown 11 TD passes and only two picks since becoming a dad.
"My dad...he always wanted his family to be happy and that's what I want for my child growing up," said Flowers, who was 7 when his father was killed by a stray bullet near his home.
"So every day I go out on the field, I feel like there's somebody in my family I've got to feed. So I've got to do whatever it takes to get a win for the team, for Coach (Willie Taggart), for the organization, for the campus, everything."
SCARY START: Saturday's game began on a frightening note when Tigers senior B.J. Ross evidently was leveled -- TV cameras didn't even appear to catch the hit -- on the opening kickoff.
Ross, who hails from Melbourne, had his neck and legs stabilized on the field before a cart was summoned and Ross was transported to a local hospital. Memphis media-relations officials later said Ross had movement in all his extremities.
ODDS AND ENDS: USF is 8-2 for the first time since 2002. ... The Bulls are 11-2 in a 13-game conference span for the first time. ... The Bulls' 14-game streak of scoring at least 30 points remains the nation's longest. ... TB Marlon Mack (15 carries, 69 yards) now has 3,275 career yards, 11th on Florida's career Division I list. Mack also had a career-best nine catches for 61 yards.
AUDIBLE: "That guy has freakish abilities." -- Norvell on Flowers