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Despite injury, Flowers to start against No. 22 Navy

Despite leaving the game against Temple with a hamstring injury, junior quarterback Quinton Flowers will start against Navy. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/JACOB HOAG

Late in the fourth quarter of USF’s 46-30 loss to Temple (5-3, 3-1) on Saturday, Quinton flowers left the field with a hamstring injury, leaving the game in sophomore Brett Kean’s hands.

When the Bulls suit up for Navy on Friday hoping to rebound from their first conference loss in eight games, Flowers will be under center, according to coach Willie Taggart.

"Quinton will be good to go," Taggart said Monday on the AAC weekly coaches teleconference.

Flowers had 277 total yards and three touchdowns in the game before exiting with Kean throwing an interception on the ensuing drive.

Flowers has since returned to full practice without much lingering effects from the injury.

Porous run defense could lead to personnel changes

 There was little USF could do to stymie the Owls’ rushing attack, which amassed 319 yards. Missed tackles were only part of the problem.

But Taggart said alterations to scheme and personnel are decisions he’s not quite ready to make — or at least unveil just yet.

"I think we'll have to wait until Friday to see that," Taggart said. "I think you can expect for everybody to be a lot better than we were this past week.

With a short week to prepare, USF (6-2, 3-1) has to shift its focus to No. 22 Navy’s exceptionally efficient triple-option scheme.

Navy  (5-1, 4-0) enters what could be a conference-championship-deciding game for both teams with the nation’s fourth-best rushing attack with which they average 293.2 yards per game. USF currently sits 100th of 126 teams, allowing an average of 206.3 yards per game.

"We weren't physical enough (at Temple), we at times didn't make gaps or at times we didn't have guys in the right position,” Taggart said. “We've got to play more physical, but more important with more energy and more passion, and I don't think we did that as a football team."

Streaks end in Philly

Three streaks came to a halt against Temple.

The Owls held USF to 162 yards rushing, breaking the Bulls nation-best streak of 12 games with at least 200 yards.

The Bulls also were held under 35 points and 440 yards — finishing with 352 — snapping yet another nation-leading streak.

The Bulls’ loss to the Owls was their first loss to an AAC opponent since a 29-17 loss to Navy on Oct. 31. This snapped a streak of seven consecutive conference wins.

Mack climbing the all-time list

With 67 yards against Temple, junior running back Marlon Mack now has 3,081 yards for his career, which passes former Florida Gators standout Fred Taylor for 14th place on the state's career rushing chart. With 51 yards against Navy, Mack could move past UCF's Willie English for 13th place.