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Flowers Continues to Flourish


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Flowers Continues to Flourish

By TOM ZEBOLD

USF Senior Writer

TAMPA, OCT. 26, 2015Quinton Flowers continues to flourish during USF football’s longest winning streak since 2011.

Flowers was named to The American’s weekly honor roll after shattering USF’s single-game rushing record for a quarterback with 201 yards in a 38-14 win over SMU on Saturday. Flowers’ rushing total was the most by an FBS quarterback this season and his three touchdown runs tied the program’s single-game QB record.

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Flowers’ performance landed him a spot in the New York Times’ best moments in college football last week and helped the Bulls win for the third straight time, the longest active winning streak among Florida schools.

“Each week he’s getting better and that’s what we focus on is trying to get better each and every week,” head coach Willie Taggart said Monday. “I think as he continues to do that, our entire football team has improved.“

USF (4-3, 2-1) moved up to 14th in the FBS in rushing yards (236 per game) despite not having star back Marlon Mack, who was out with a hamstring injury. Flowers made sure the Bulls didn’t miss a beat in the ground game with a 23-carry day that marked the eighth 200-yard rushing game in program history.

“He loves playing the game and he loves doing whatever it takes to help this team win,” Taggart said.

Flowers leads the Bulls with seven rushing touchdowns this season and he’s in hot pursuit of another USF record. With 563 yards, Flowers needs 310 more in the Bulls’ next five games to top USF’s single-season rushing mark by a quarterback set by Matt Grothe in 2007.

“He’s just a phenomenal athlete. We have been saying that from Day 1 and he’s just getting better every week. He’s growing up,” Taggart said.

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Eight starts into his collegiate career, Flowers has made strides in becoming a complete quarterback. Heading into SMU, Flowers had completed nearly 70 percent of his passes with five touchdowns during a three-game span. Flowers’ 10 total TD tosses had the sophomore ranked second in the conference heading into last week’s action.

“He can throw the ball as well, he’s getting better at that,” Taggart said. “It’s tough, it puts a lot of pressure on the defense to try and cover every guy.”

Flowers continues to impress Taggart with his decision-making in the read-option attack and the Miami native picked great times to run against the Mustangs. Flowers’ career-long 67-yard sprint set USF up to take the lead in the second quarter. Flowers fooled the defense once again on his third touchdown run, an 18-yard sprint that included an acrobatic leap into the end zone in the fourth quarter.

“I was going through my reads, going through my progressions and just letting things happen,” Flowers said.

The evolution of Flowers has helped USF move up to second place in The American’s East Division heading into Saturday’s noon game at Navy. The Bulls are looking to post three straight league wins for the first time since 2010 and extend their winning streak to four for the first time since 2011.

“We’ve got a little momentum and hopefully we continue that momentum going into Navy,” Taggart said. “It’s a tough football team, so it’s going to be a big challenge for our guys on the road, but we’re excited about it.”

Watch Taggart and select players talk about the win over SMU and the Navy game during the program's weekly press conference Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. on GoUSFBulls.com.

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