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No. 19 USF overcomes slow start, beats Stony Brook 31-17

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Charlie Strong insisted he knew No. 19 South Florida was in for a stern test against Stony Brook.

Now, his players realize the Seawolves love a challenge , too.

Quinton Flowers threw for 186 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns, helping the Bulls shrug off a slow start to win their home opener under Strong, 31-17 on Saturday.

''They didn't surprise us. We knew what we were getting,'' Strong said. ''As a ranked team, we're going to get everyone's best.''

Tyre McCants' 65-yard TD reception put USF (2-0) ahead for good with 11:23 remaining. Mazzi Wilkins' interception set up a late TD that ended any hopes for Stony Brook (0-1) to rally for an upset.

''It's 24-17 and we've got the ball moving, and we've got a chance to be in position,'' Stony Brook coach Chuck Priore said. ''They made a play, and I give them credit. Their kids kept on playing, and they had to keep on playing. We made them keep on playing.''

Darius Tice scored on runs of 1 and 14 yards for the Bulls, who overcame a slow start for the second straight week.

The Seawolves led 10-7 at halftime and put themselves into position to pull off a shocker when Stacey Bedell swept left end on a 54-yard TD burst that made it 17-all with just over 13 minutes to go.

Flowers was superb after falling behind San Jose State 16-0 in USF's opener, and the senior's composure was a factor again Saturday.

He threw a 6-yard TD pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 14-10 lead late in the third quarter, then put his team in front for good with a deep sideline throw to McCants.

Stony Brook's Augie Contressa recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to give the Seawolves an early lead.

Joe Carbone completed 17 of 34 passes for 137 yards with two interceptions. Bedell finished with 71 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Flowers, meanwhile, was 19 of 32 passing with two TDs and one interception. He also led USF in rushing with 67 yards on 18 attempts.

''Coming into the game, we know that we can play with anybody, we can compete with anybody,'' Carbone said. ''It just comes down to execution, and we didn't execute at the end of the game.''

THE TAKEAWAY

A tougher than expected test against Stony Brook reinforced the message Strong delivered to his players after last week's rout of San Jose State - that there's no room for complacency if USF wants to achieve its goals this season . The Bulls figure to be favored in most - if not all - of their games. Saturday showed, however, that they are still learning that being ranked in the Top 25 puts a target on their backs every week. Stony Brook, which hasn't had a winning season since 2012, showed it's plenty capable of competing with everyone else on its schedule

CONFIDENCE BUILDER

Stony Brook dropped to 1-8 all-time against FBS opponent. The lone victory came against Army in 2012. Saturday was the first time the Seawolves faced a ranked FBS team. USF won the only other meeting between the schools 59-14 in 2010.

IMPRESSIVE STREAK

Tice's second touchdown, with 1:40 remaining, extended USF's streak scoring at least 30 point to 19 consecutive games. The Bulls outgained Stony Brook 339 yards to 229, including a 153-92 edge rushing. Tice gained 57 yards on 16 carries.

Priore was not surprised that Stony Brook came close to ending the streak

''Whether you know this or not, two years ago we were No. 1 in the country in total defense,'' the Seawolves coach said. ''Last year we were No. 3, so we play D. And we play it physical.''

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Shrugging off slow starts to rout San Jose State and Stony Brook in the first two games won't do much to improve the Bulls' position in the rankings. The challenge Saturday was to resist the temptation to take a heavy underdog lightly, and instead view Stony Brook as an excellent opportunity to get better heading into next week's American Athletic Conference opener at Connecticut.

---

More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
No Scoring Plays
Team Stats
1st Downs 0 29
Rushing 0 17
Passing 0 10
Penalty 0 2
3rd Down Conv 0-0 3-19
4th Down Conv 0-0 3-3
Total Net Yards 0 533
Total Plays 0 100
Avg Gain 0.0 5.3
Net Yards Rushing 0 315
Rush Attempts 0 74
Avg Rush Yards 0.0 4.3
Net Yards Passing 0 218
Comp. - Att. 0-0 13-26
Yards Per Pass 0.0 8.4
Sacked - Yards Lost 0-0 3-15
Penalties - Yards 0-0 18-134
Touchdowns 0 6
Rushing TDs 0 4
Passing TDs 0 2
Other 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 0-0
Int. Thrown 0 0
Punts - Avg 0-0.0 11-41.1
Return Yards 0 64
Punts - Returns 0-0 1-0
Kickoffs - Returns 0-0 1-16
Int. - Returns 0-0 3-48
Kicking 0/0 6/6
Extra Points 0/0 6/6
Field Goals 0/0 0/0
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Stony Brook 0-1 730717
19 South Florida 2-0 70101431
0 PASS YDS 218
0 RUSH YDS 315
0 TOTAL YDS 533
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Defense T-A SACK INT
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
Q. Flowers 9 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 212 2 0 160.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 212 2 0 160.9
Q. Flowers 11/22 212 2 0
B. Kean 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 21 0 0 94.1
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 21 0 0 94.1
B. Kean 2/4 21 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
D. Johnson 2 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
22 99 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
22 99 2
D. Johnson 22 99 2 50
D. Tice 13 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
20 94 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
20 94 1
D. Tice 20 94 1 18
Q. Flowers 9 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
18 70 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
18 70 1
Q. Flowers 18 70 1 22
D. Sutton 27 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 47 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 47 0
D. Sutton 10 47 0 16
M. Valdes-Scantling 11 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 3 0
M. Valdes-Scantling 1 3 0 3
B. Kean 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
B. Kean 1 2 0 2
T. Sands 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 0 0
T. Sands 2 0 0 0
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Valdes-Scantling 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 91 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 91 0
M. Valdes-Scantling 6 91 0 50
T. Alaka 12 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 49 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 49 1
T. Alaka 1 49 1 49
D. Salomon 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 43 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 43 1
D. Salomon 2 43 1 24
T. McCants 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 24 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 24 0
T. McCants 1 24 0 24
J. Phillips 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 13 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 13 0
J. Phillips 1 13 0 13
D. Dukes 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 8 0
D. Dukes 1 8 0 8
D. Tice 13 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
D. Tice 1 5 0 5
C. Barr 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
C. Barr 0 0 0 0
S. Clerveaux 86 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
S. Clerveaux 0 0 0 0
M. Wilcox 89 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
M. Wilcox 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
D. Nichols 3 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
D. Nichols 7-0 0.0 0
J. Thomas 18 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
J. Thomas 6-0 0.0 0
B. Hector 60 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
B. Hector 6-0 0.0 0
N. Sawtelle 54 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 1 0.0
N. Sawtelle 5-1 0.0 1
R. Hoggins 19 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
R. Hoggins 5-1 0.0 0
K. Pinkney 96 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
K. Pinkney 4-1 0.0 0
A. Sanchez 43 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
A. Sanchez 4-0 0.0 0
T. Fullwood 13 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
T. Fullwood 4-2 0.0 0
D. Abraham 20 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
D. Abraham 3-0 0.0 1
M. Hampton 14 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
M. Hampton 2-0 0.0 0
K. Kegler 90 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
K. Kegler 2-0 0.0 0
N. Ferguson 37 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
N. Ferguson 2-0 0.0 0
J. Bayes 4 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Bayes 2-0 0.0 0
J. Black 55 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Black 2-0 0.0 0
G. Reaves 41 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
G. Reaves 2-1 0.0 0
K. Livingstone 94 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
K. Livingstone 1-0 1.0 0
J. Brown 56 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Brown 1-0 0.0 0
M. Wilkins 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
M. Wilkins 1-0 0.0 1
K. Johnson 34 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Johnson 1-0 0.0 0
A. Polk Jr. 12 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
A. Polk Jr. 0-2 0.0 0
M. Love 98 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
M. Love 0-1 0.0 0
D. Senat 10 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
D. Senat 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
E. Nadelman 35 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 6/6
SEASON FG XP
0/0 6/6
E. Nadelman 0/0 0 6/6 6
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Hernandez 44 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
11 41.1 3
SEASON NO AVG IN20
11 41.1 3
J. Hernandez 11 41.1 3 55
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Johnson 2 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 16.0 16 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 16.0 16 0
D. Johnson 1 16.0 16 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. McCants 8 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
T. McCants 1 0.0 0 0