Taggart vents about lack of national attention for USF's Flowers

Quinton Flowers is the first Division I-A QB from a Florida school to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
Quinton Flowers is the first Division I-A QB from a Florida school to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
Published Nov. 14, 2016

TAMPA — USF coach Willie Taggart, as social media savvy as they come, resorted to Twitter in Sunday's wee hours to vent over the national ambivalence toward his sleek, surreal, stupefying quarterback.

Quinton Flowers finishes 24/29 for 263 yards and 2 TDs + 210 rushing yds + 3 TDs. Can anyone tell me why is not up for any awards?#Heisman

Had he room for a few more hashtags, Taggart might have added #travesty or #PowerFivebias. Debate certainly can rage over whether the Bulls (8-2) should be ranked (they aren't). But no national recognition for Flowers? Even the major conference elites with their noses in the air might attest something smells with that.

"That guy has freakish abilities," Memphis coach Mike Norvell said.

Flowers, who eclipsed B.J. Daniels' 5-year-old USF single-game total yards record with 473 (and five touchdowns) in a 49-42 win Saturday at Memphis, is the first Bull to run for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 in the same season.

Flowers' 210-yard effort Saturday, his third career 200-plus-yard rushing game, gives him 1,131 on the ground this season. Louisville sophomore Lamar Jackson is the nation's only Division I-A quarterback with more (1,334). No other I-A quarterback from a Florida school has ever rushed for 1,000 yards in a season.

"You show me someone better," Taggart said.

Yet while Jackson is the clear Heisman Trophy front-runner, Flowers, a junior from Miami, can't even shoehorn his way into the conversation.

He's not among the 16 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. The American Athletic Conference's lone semifinalist: Houston's Greg Ward, who has 702 fewer rushing yards and a lower pass efficiency rating (147.5) than Flowers (154.2).

"Flowers has good vision," said Memphis linebacker Curtis Akins, who has faced Flowers and Ward this season. "Of all the guys we have played this year, I think (Flowers) has the best vision."

That awareness was never more evident than during USF's final scoring drive Saturday.

Sensing pressure from his blind side on third and 8, Flowers scrambled right, where nickel back Austin Hall got both hands around his upper legs. Just before Flowers' knees hit the ground, he flung the ball in the right flat to Rodney Adams, who ran 13 yards for the first down.

Two plays later, Flowers scored the winning touchdown from 22 yards.

"I told him he's got about eight eyes around his head or something because he sees everything," Taggart said.

"I mean, I don't know how he sees it. I don't know how he comes out of some of the stuff he comes out of. I said a couple of weeks ago, he's like a video game, he's got the cheat codes."

Today, one could argue awards panels are cheating him.