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  1. USF Bulls

USF notebook: Tice hits century mark

Senior RB Darius Tice said he didn't find out he would be making his first start in nearly two years until right before kickoff Saturday.

That didn't stop him from being a little excited heading into Saturday's 48-17 win against Northern Illinois at Raymond James Stadium.

"He seemed like he just drank Red Bull all day today," Coach Willie Taggart quipped.

And in the absence of star TB Marlon Mack (concussion protocol), who was suited up and available but ultimately held out, Tice played like it, too.

The Miami native surpassed the century mark for the first time in his career, finishing with 19 carries for a game-high 120 yards and one touchdown. The score came on an 11-yard run to give the Bulls a 48-7 lead in the fourth quarter.

Tice, whose previous career-high was 95 yards in USF's 65-27 rout of Cincinnati last November, said he owed his success to Mack.

"I was hyped coming into this game, but Marlon Mack did a good job talking to us, as well," Tice said. "We're like a brotherhood so we all went up to him and talked to him like, 'I'm just going to let you guys know what I see when you're running the ball, so when you come to the sideline, I can help you out.'

"He got me actually pumped up even more, because to hear that from him ... I just fed off of that."

ROUGH DAY FOR GOLLADAY: A week after watching NIU WR Kenny Golladay torch Wyoming for 82 yards on six jet sweeps, the Bulls rendered the fifth-year senior a virtual non-factor Saturday. His final stat line: 48 total yards, including one carry for 5 yards.

"I think you have to set things and do things toward certain people, because if not, one guy will beat you," Bulls MLB Auggie Sanchez said.

"I think from a defensive standpoint and from a team standpoint, we can't let that happen. So you've got to try and force the hand of someone else and I think we've done a pretty decent job of that the past two games."

ODDS AND ENDS: QB Quinton Flowers now has 28 career touchdown passes, fourth on the Bulls' career list. With his career-long 73-yard TD pass to Ryeshene Bronson, Flowers now has eight completions of 50 or more yards, tied with Matt Grothe for fourth on USF's all-time chart. ... WR Rodney Adams has scored at least one TD in nine of USF's last 11 games. He has 12 total in that span (nine receiving, two rushing, one kick return). ... In its last four games at Raymond James Stadium, USF has outscored the opposition 62-10 in the first quarter.

AUDIBLE: "I fought back tears. It felt like being born again." -- Bronson, whose 73-yard TD catch Saturday was his first since last October's victory against Syracuse

AUDIBLE, PART II: "We just had an 'off,' we didn't have an offense." -- Taggart, referring to his first two seasons at USF. After Saturday's game, Taggart acknowledged this is the most productive offense he has been around as a coach.

Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.