The USF Bulls (1-0) recovered from a slow start in a big way, scoring 42 consecutive points to earn a 42-22 win over San Jose State (0-1) on Saturday night in San Jose, California.
The game started poorly for the Bulls. After San Jose State hit a field goal on their second offensive possession of the game, they made it 10-0 after a dreadful three-and-out for the Bulls when Josh Love hit Bailey Gaither for a 10-yard touchdown. The Spartans set themselves up to start to blow the Bulls out when they blocked a punt late in the first quarter, and Bailey Gaither again grabbed a touchdown pass from Josh Love one play later to make it 16-0 late in the first quarter. However, USF would block the San Jose State PAT and begin to turn the tide from their.
The Bulls dominated play in the second quarter, beginning when Quinton Flowers hit Darnell Salomon for a 24-yard touchdown to make it 16-7. D'Ernest Johnson then scored on the ground to make it 16-14 at the end of a 12-yard Bulls drive that continued to eat time. The third touchdown of the second quarter came with 7:13 left when Flowers hit Temi Alaka for a 49-yard strike that gave the Bulls a lead they would never relinquish. D'Ernest Johnson ended the quarter on a brilliant note with a spectacular 50-yard touchdown run that made the score 28-16 in favor of USF going into halftime.
Darius Tice added a touchdown in the third quarter, and Quinton Flowers scored on a short run in the fourth quarter, to round out the scoring for the Bulls. The Spartans did get one more score when Justin Holmes grabbed a 22-yard score from backup quarterback Montel Aaron and the Bulls would claim their first victory of the season 42-22.
Flowers first game at quarterback this season was a successful one, going 11-for-22 with 212 yards and two touchdowns, and no interceptions, as well as 70 yards rushing and another touchdown on the ground. Josh Love went 18-for-36 at quarterback for San Jose State with 192 yards while throwing for two touchdowns and three interceptions before being pulled for Montel Aaron. Aaron went 7-for-13 for 86 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. D'Ernest Johnson finished with 99 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while Darius Tice ran for 94 yards and a score. Marquez Valdes-Scantling led all USF receivers with 91 yards in the air.
The Bulls begin the home portion of the 2017 season on Saturday, September 2nd, when they host Stony Brook. Kickoff between the Bulls and the Stony Brook Seawovles is set for 4 PM at Raymond James Stadium.