Jacksonville Sports Day

USF: No. 19 Bulls Improve to 2-0 With Win in Home Opener

TAMPA  – Powered by a 24-point second half, 19th-ranked USF improved to 20-1 in home openers with a 31-17 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday.

Tyre McCants put USF (2-0) ahead for the final time with a 65-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter and led the team with 74 receiving yards.

Darius Tice’s second touchdown of the day extended the Bulls’ nation-leading streak of 30-plus point games to 19.

Senior quarterback Quinton Flowers threw two touchdown passes and led the Bulls’ rushing attack with 67 yards to move into a tie for second on USF’s career rushing list with 2,731 yards.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling gave USF its first lead with a 6-yard TD catch in the third quarter and led the Bulls with four receptions.

USF’s defense limited Stony Brook to 229 yards  and posted five sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss. The Bulls also collected at least two takeaways for the second straight outing.

Mazzi Wilkins  set up USF’s final score with an interception deep in Stony Brook territory and Devin Abraham hauled in his second pick of the season in the final minute.

Auggie Sanchez posted a team-high 12 tackles and had one of USF’s 12 tackles for loss. Fellow linebacker Nico Sawtelle  recorded a career-high 10 tackles and registered one of the Bulls’ five total sacks.

Down, 7-0, USF evened up the score on its third drive of the game with a 1-yard touchdown run by Tice. USF’s nine-play, 73-yard drive was highlighted by Flowers’ 14-yard run and a 17-yard catch by Elkanah Dillon that set the Bulls up at the Stony Brook 6-yard line.

Stony Brook (0-1) took a 10-7 lead to the halftime locker room before the Bulls got things rolling on offense late in the third quarter.

Valdes-Scantling’s acrobatic 6-yard touchdown catch gave USF its first lead with 2:43 left in the quarter and capped an 18-play, 80-play drive. Mitchell Wilcox’s 20-yard reception got the Bulls into Seawolves territory and Temi Alaka’s 15-yard catch set USF up for the score.

Tajee Fullwood’s 46-yard punt return on the ensuing drive put the Bulls back in the red zone, where USF was 4-of-4 on the day, and Emilio Nadelman extended the lead to 17-10 with a 33-yard field goal with 32 seconds left in the third quarter. Fullwood finished with a career-high 85 punt return yards and just three returns.

After Stony Brook tied things up at 17-17, USF jumped back ahead in explosive fashion with McCants’ 65-yard touchdown reception with 11:23 remaining.

Wilkins’ second pick of the season set USF up at the Stony Brook 25 and Tice put the game away four plays later with a 14-yard touchdown run with 1:40 remaining.

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