by Ben Ennis
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Last year at the Birmingham Bowl, University of South Florida (USF) quarterback Quniton Flowers threw a touchdown on the first play of the game in overtime to defeat South Carolina 46-39.
This year with 16 second remaining, Flowers threw a touchdown pass to pull out a stunning 38-34 win over Texas Tech.
When speaking about the confidence Head Coach Charlie Strong has in Flowers he said, “Not only myself but our whole team has that confidence in him. It was like a minute thirty to go and will we have enough time. We just need a field goal. I think it was a big third down that he scrambled and went and got the first down and that’s okay.”
“On the sideline before our series started, coach King and I talked and he told me I had to stay locked in and that’s what I did out there and as the plays were coming in I’d just know what was going to happen before
it happened,” said Flowers. “I was telling myself I have to hit my guys in the chest and just give them a chance. I went out there and my coach called a play that I wanted and Tyre (McCants) did what he was supposed to do and I did what I was supposed to do and we came out with the victory.”
Offensively, USF struggled for three quarters, giving up two turnovers and being stopped on two fourth down attempts. And Texas Tech held USF potent offense to just 130 total yards in the first half.
USF defense missed some key stops throughout the game but picked off two interceptions to tie for the national lead with 20 interceptions this season. USF linebacker Auggie Sanchez recorded eight tackles in
he game to become the team’s all-time leading tackler with 388 stops.
Flowers was named the game’s MVP for the second straight years. Flowers threw for 311 yards and four passing touchdowns and ran for 106 yards and one rushing touchdown.
Photos by ZAMANI FEELINGS