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USF notes: McCants emerging for Bulls

USF cornerback Deatrick Nichols had two interceptions Saturday night at SMU.

AP photo

USF cornerback Deatrick Nichols had two interceptions Saturday night at SMU.



After a few fits and starts and frustration, the emergence of WR Tyre McCants finally is transpiring.

The stocky third-year sophomore has three touchdown catches in his last two games -- two more than his career total entering 2016. His 28- and 65-yard catches from Quinton Flowers against SMU capped a career evening (three catches, 105 yards) and helped resuscitate a downfield passing game that recently appeared dormant.

"I feel like I've always had that confidence. It's just how our coaches say, 'Do your one-eleven.' ... "There's 11 people on the field. You have a job. Make sure that you're doing your job, and everyone else will do their job."

McCants underwent knee surgery as a freshman in 2014 and managed only seven receptions last season. He has six catches for 151 yards and three TDs in his last two contests.

"He got hurt his first year so he wasn't able to play that year, but he's come back strong," Coach Willie Taggart said.

"He's a really good football player. He's a strong kid (5-foot-11, 219 pounds) playing receiver, so it's tough bringing him down. I thought that (28-yard) catch in the end zone was big-time. That showed his strength; he took the ball away from the kid."

ANOTHER THRESHOLD: Seven weeks after carving an indelible mark in school history, Marlon Mack etched something for state lore.

The USF junior, whose senior-year plans are the subject of percolating speculation, moved into the top 10 of Florida's all-time college rushing list Saturday night. He formally crossed the threshhold on his second carry, a 60-yard touchdown on a dash around left end.

Mack, who became USF's career rushing leader in last month's win at Cincinnati, entered the evening in 11th place on the state list, just behind Miami's Ottis Anderson (3,331) and UCF's Alex Haynes (3,359). He finished with 129 yards on 18 carries, giving him 3,404 for his career.

He has a reasonable shot at the career state record held by UCF's Kevin Smith (4,679) if he chooses to remain in school for his senior season. Despite recent online reports that he's leaning toward staying at USF, Mack and his father said earlier this week no decision has been made.

"There's a bunch of things that have an impact (on the decision)," he said. "I have to finish school, bunch of things that's on that list that have an impact...but I never know. It's my future and it's a big decision that I have to make."

RECORD WATCH: Flowers now has 2,337 career rushing yards, breaking Grothe's record (2,206) for rushing yardage by a quarterback. He's now No. 2 on the all-time list Florida QBs list, trailing only Tim Tebow (2,947).

Meantime, Mack extended his USF records with his 19th career 100-yard rushing game and his 30th career rushing TD.

ODDS AND ENDS: MLB Auggie Sanchez's 14 tackles tied his career high. ... With two interceptions Saturday, CB Deatrick Nichols now has eight in his career. ... DL Mike Love of Countryside High had a career-best 2.5 tackles for loss. ... S Tajee Fullwood had a career-best 12 tackles. ... Former Bulls Terrell McClain -- now a Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle -- and Rafael Williams attended Saturday night's game.

AUDIBLE: He's a dude. The thing I like about Deatrick is...he got beat deep and came back and played the next play. ... He came back and made a play and made up for it and that's what you want out of your corners." -- Taggart on his junior cornerback.

[Last modified: Sunday, November 20, 2016 12:40am]


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