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No. 22 USF starts slowly before rolling over Illinois 47-23

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) A big night passing for Quinton Flowers, three 100-yard rushers and another lopsided victory for No. 22 South Florida.

There was plenty for Charlie Strong to like Friday night in a 47-23 rout of Illinois, but nothing resonated more than the way Flowers led the Bulls back from a Hurricane Irma-layoff.

The dual threat quarterback threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns, moving ahead of Matt Grothe and B.J. Daniels into second place on USF's career touchdown pass list with 53.

The 2016 American Athletic Conference offensive player of the year also scored his 32nd rushing touchdown, tying Marlon Mack's school record.

''We can still improve,'' Strong said, ''but offensively it was a major step for us. Offensively we hadn't produced like that,'' in the first two games.

The Bulls (3-0) beat a Big Ten opponent for the first time on a night USF honored first responders who worked the past week to help victims of the massive storm that impacted the entire state of Florida.

''We felt like we had a chance to give back ... provide some relief for our communities, if only for a few hours,'' coach Charlie Strong said.

''I was really proud of how our team responded,'' to a short practice week that followed the postponement of last week's game at Connecticut, Strong said, adding that senior leadership provided by Flowers was one of the keys to the dominating performance.

''He goes about his work,'' the coach said, ''and guys follow.''

Illinois (2-1) stumbled in what also was a homecoming of sorts for coach Lovie Smith, who returned to the stadium where he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before being fired and accepting the challenge of rebuilding the Illini.

Illini freshman Mike Epstein scored on a 46-yard run and a 21-yard pass from Jeff George Jr., who replaced starter Chayce Crouch in the second half.

''A total breakdown, but, of course, it counts one game,'' Smith said. ''The good part about it is we're going to leave our nonconference schedule and get to Big Ten play.''

Flowers completed 15 of 25 passes, including TD throws of 39 yards to Deangelo Antoine, 17 yards to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 17 yards to D'Ernest Johnson and 13 yards to Tyre McCants. Flowers also scored on a 6-yard run on the last play of the first half and finished with a team-best 106 of USF's 376 yards rushing.

Johnson and Darius Tice joined Flowers in topping 100 yards rushing, with USF amassing 680 yards total offense to Illinois' 354.

THE TAKEAWAY

Illinois: Played like a young team that will struggle against strong competition. The Illini committed 12 penalties for 110 yards in the first half alone - embarrassing, unless you consider USF was even worse up to that point with 14 penalties for 115 yards. Epstein continues to be a reason to feel good about the program's future, finishing with 56 yards rushing, 27 receiving and two TDs.

South Florida: Despite being 3-0, the Bulls have yet to play a complete game. They've hurt themselves with penalties and breakdowns on special teams in every game, and once again the offense had difficulty finishing drives early. With Flowers accounting for 81 yards, the Bulls outgained the Illini 184-21 in the opening quarter, yet USF only led 9-2. Illinois kept it close by blocking a field goal, turning another block into a defensive extra point and intercepting Flowers in the end zone.

THANK YOU

USF provided first responders who attended the game up to four free tickets apiece. Coach Charlie Strong also offered every high school team in the state free admission to the nationally televised game, which began 37 minutes late because of a lightning delay.

The school said more than 80 prep teams, many of them idle because their games were canceled because of Hurricane Irma, accepted the invitation.

Attendance was announced as 35,404 in the 65,000-seat stadium.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

USF began the season ranked 19th and slipped three spots after having to overcome slow starts to beat San Jose State on the road and Stony Brook at home. Illinois might be the best of the teams they've faced but a less-than-sharp performance against the Illini likely won't do much to improve their position.

UP NEXT

Illinois: Off next week before the Big Ten opener at home against Nebraska on Sept. 29.

South Florida: Remain home for the American Athletic Conference opener against Temple on Thursday night.

---

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
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Two Point Conversion 6:13
3-J.George complete to 18-M.Dudek. 18-M.Dudek to USF End Zone for 2 yards. Conversion is good.
plays
yds
pos
23
47
Touchdown 6:13
21-R.Bonner runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
4
plays
79
yds
01:35
pos
21
47
Field Goal 7:58
35-E.Nadelman 29 yards Field Goal is Good.
5
plays
-32
yds
01:22
pos
15
47
Point After TD 10:47
35-E.Nadelman extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
15
44
Touchdown 10:47
9-Q.Flowers complete to 8-T.McCants. 8-T.McCants runs 13 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
16
yds
02:36
pos
15
43
Missed Two Point Conversion 13:30
3-J.George incomplete. Intended for 4-R.Smalling.
plays
yds
pos
13
37
Touchdown 13:30
3-J.George complete to 26-M.Epstein. 26-M.Epstein runs 21 yards for a touchdown. Penalty on USF 98-M.Love Offside declined.
3
plays
80
yds
00:33
pos
15
37
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 5:08
35-E.Nadelman extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
9
37
Touchdown 5:08
9-Q.Flowers complete to 2-D.Johnson. 2-D.Johnson runs 17 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
15
yds
02:49
pos
9
36
Point After TD 9:54
35-E.Nadelman extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
9
30
Touchdown 9:54
9-Q.Flowers complete to 11-M.Valdes-Scantling. 11-M.Valdes-Scantling runs 17 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
2
yds
03:47
pos
9
29
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:00
35-E.Nadelman extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
9
23
Touchdown 0:00
9-Q.Flowers scrambles runs 6 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
32
yds
02:18
pos
9
22
Point After TD 2:18
43-C.McLaughlin extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
9
16
Touchdown 2:18
26-M.Epstein runs 45 yards for a touchdown.
6
plays
22
yds
01:31
pos
8
16
Point After TD 9:12
35-E.Nadelman extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
2
16
Touchdown 9:12
6-D.Tice runs 10 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
34
yds
03:13
pos
2
15
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:54
35-E.Nadelman 29 yards Field Goal is Good.
5
plays
-44
yds
00:56
pos
2
9
Missed Point After Touchdown 8:20
35-E.Nadelman extra point is no good. blocked by 94-T.Odenigbo. 8-N.Hobbs to USF End Zone for 75 yards. Conversion is good. Team penalty on ILL Personal Foul declined. Team penalty on USF Personal Foul declined.
plays
yds
pos
2
6
Touchdown 8:20
9-Q.Flowers complete to 14-D.Antoine. 14-D.Antoine runs 39 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
26
yds
01:26
pos
0
6
Team Stats
1st Downs 15 38
Rushing 3 21
Passing 8 14
Penalty 4 3
3rd Down Conv 6-15 12-18
4th Down Conv 0-0 0-0
Total Net Yards 341 669
Total Plays 55 98
Avg Gain 6.2 6.8
Net Yards Rushing 67 376
Rush Attempts 15 66
Avg Rush Yards 4.5 5.7
Net Yards Passing 274 293
Comp. - Att. 20-40 17-32
Yards Per Pass 6.9 9.2
Sacked - Yards Lost 2-13 3-11
Penalties - Yards 18-156 22-180
Touchdowns 3 6
Rushing TDs 2 2
Passing TDs 1 4
Other 0 0
Turnovers 3 1
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 0-0
Int. Thrown 3 1
Punts - Avg 7-40.7 3-40.7
Return Yards 92 80
Punts - Returns 0-0 2-8
Kickoffs - Returns 4-92 2-18
Int. - Returns 1-0 3-54
Kicking 1/1 7/9
Extra Points 1/1 5/6
Field Goals 0/0 2/3
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Illinois 2-1 2701423
22 South Florida 3-0 914141047
274 PASS YDS 293
67 RUSH YDS 376
341 TOTAL YDS 669
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
J. George Jr. 3 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
54.5% 211 1 2 131.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
54.5% 211 1 2 131.9
J. George Jr. 12/22 211 1 2
C. Crouch 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
44.4% 76 0 1 68.8
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
51.6% 328 1 3 91.7
C. Crouch 8/18 76 0 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
M. Epstein 26 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 56 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
8 56 1
M. Epstein 8 56 1 45
C. Crouch 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
28 56 1
C. Crouch 5 10 0 13
R. Bonner 21 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 1 1
R. Bonner 1 1 1 1
P. Nelson 21 DB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
P. Nelson 1 0 0 0
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
R. Smalling 4 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 99 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 99 0
R. Smalling 3 99 0 76
M. Dudek 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 65 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
14 158 1
M. Dudek 6 65 0 27
L. Dorsey 19 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 62 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 62 0
L. Dorsey 3 62 0 32
M. Turner 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 27 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
11 97 0
M. Turner 4 27 0 11
M. Epstein 26 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 27 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 27 1
M. Epstein 2 27 1 21
T. Davis 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 7 0
T. Davis 2 7 0 5
C. Reams 13 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
C. Reams 1 5 0 5
R. Bonner 21 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
R. Bonner 0 0 0 0
A. Hayes 27 DB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
A. Hayes 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
S. Adesanya 47 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
S. Adesanya 1-0 1.0 0
T. Oliver 96 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
T. Oliver 1-0 1.0 0
T. Adams 6 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 1.0
T. Adams 1-0 1.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
C. McLaughlin 43 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 1/1
SEASON FG XP
3/4 4/4
C. McLaughlin 0/0 0 1/1 1
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
B. Hayes 14 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
7 40.7 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
7 40.7 1
B. Hayes 7 40.7 1 49
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Foster 22 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
4 23.0 28 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
6 21.7 28 0
K. Foster 4 23.0 28 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
Q. Flowers 9 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.6% 280 4 1 184.1
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.6% 678 8 2 153.5
Q. Flowers 15/27 280 4 1
B. Kean 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 24 0 0 100.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 45 0 0 97.3
B. Kean 2/4 24 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Q. Flowers 9 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
25 106 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
61 243 2
Q. Flowers 25 106 1 12
D. Tice 6 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 105 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
48 256 4
D. Tice 12 105 1 23
D. Johnson 2 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
17 101 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
52 215 2
D. Johnson 17 101 0 19
T. Sands 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 43 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 43 0
T. Sands 8 43 0 13
D. Antoine 14 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 31 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 46 0
D. Antoine 2 31 0 26
B. Kean 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -8 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 -6 0
B. Kean 1 -8 0 -8
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Valdes-Scantling 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 96 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
14 202 2
M. Valdes-Scantling 4 96 1 43
D. Antoine 14 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 93 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 109 1
D. Antoine 4 93 1 39
D. Johnson 2 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 37 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 37 1
D. Johnson 2 37 1 20
T. McCants 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 33 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 131 2
T. McCants 2 33 1 20
D. Dukes 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 24 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 32 0
D. Dukes 2 24 0 13
S. Clerveaux 86 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 12 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 12 0
S. Clerveaux 2 12 0 10
T. Alaka 12 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 76 1
T. Alaka 1 9 0 9
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
T. Steinke 80 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
T. Steinke 0 0 0 0
E. Dillon 85 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 20 0
E. Dillon 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
B. Hector 60 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
B. Hector 1-0 1.0 0
G. Reaves 41 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
G. Reaves 1-0 1.0 0
T. Fullwood 13 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
T. Fullwood 0-0 0.0 1
R. Hoggins 19 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
R. Hoggins 0-0 0.0 1
K. Johnson 34 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
K. Johnson 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
E. Nadelman 35 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/3 5/6
SEASON FG XP
3/4 15/16
E. Nadelman 2/3 29 5/6 11
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Hernandez 44 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 40.7 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
20 42.7 1
J. Hernandez 3 40.7 1 49
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Tice 6 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 9.0 11 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 9.0 11 0
D. Tice 2 9.0 11 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
T. Fullwood 13 S
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 4.0 6 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
5 18.6 6 0
T. Fullwood 2 4.0 6 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:11 ILL 30 1:17 3 -3 Punt
8:20 ILL 25 2:02 8 -3 Punt
3:00 ILL 20 1:03 4 -4 INT
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 ILL 29 2:25 7 9 Punt
9:12 ILL 25 1:40 6 20 Punt
3:49 ILL 20 1:31 6 22 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:52 ILL 28 1:04 3 -2 Punt
9:45 ILL 27 1:37 4 9 Punt
5:08 ILL 25 1:24 6 18 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:03 ILL 20 0:33 3 80 TD
10:47 ILL 25 1:08 5 11 INT
7:48 ILL 21 1:35 4 79 TD
2:18 ILL 4 1:40 6 77 INT
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 SFLA 25 3:38 12 56 FG Miss
9:46 SFLA 34 1:26 9 66 TD
6:10 SFLA 29 3:02 9 28 INT
1:50 ILL 16 0:56 5 9 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:25 SFLA 13 3:13 10 87 TD
7:25 SFLA 20 3:29 12 38 Punt
2:18 SFLA 25 2:18 11 75 End of quarter
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:41 SFLA 40 3:47 10 2 TD
7:57 SFLA 27 2:49 9 73 TD
3:36 SFLA 13 3:09 9 40 End of quarter
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:23 SFLA 29 2:36 10 71 TD
9:20 ILL 33 1:22 5 -32 FG
6:05 SFLA 13 3:36 9 47 Punt
0:31 ILL 19 0:00 1 -2 End of game