Five takeaways from USF’s win over Tulane
1. Darius Tice is the USF offense lifeline: Throughout the season, running back Darius Tice has been arguably the most consistent player on the USF offense — averaging 6.2 yards per carry and 90 yards rushing per game. He proved it again Saturday night when the Bulls were struggling to move the ball midway through the second quarter, where he was handed the ball and broke off a 45-yard touchdown run. After Tulane clawed their way back into the game late, Tice bounced another run for 30 yards on 3rd and 3 to seal USF its 12th win in a row.
2. Flashbacks to the 2016 defense: Entering the game, USF was in the top 10 in total defense. Against the Green Wave in the second half, however, the Bulls allowed 21 unanswered points, which almost cost USF the game.
3. An up-tempo offense is the best option for USF: The Bulls scored three of their five touchdowns against Tulane in under two minutes. USF offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert has been touted for his relentlessly fast paced offense when he joined the USF staff, but it wasn’t until Saturday’s game against Tulane that it was in full effect. While Quinton Flowers is quarterback, USF’s offense operates more smoothly with as little time in between plays as possible.
4. Flowers is still a Heisman candidate: Entering the 2017 season, Flowers was nationally heralded as a bona-fide Heisman trophy candidate. Six games into the season, however, it seemed as though he had disappeared from that conversation, despite putting up solid numbers — 1,118 yards passing, 475 rushing and 16 total touchdowns — but none of a Heisman caliber. Against Tulane, Flowers reminded everyone how dynamic of a player he can be when not restricted, with 127 yards passing, 138 yards rushing, a rushing touchdown and two passing touchdowns. All against USF’s toughest opponent of 2017 yet.
5. Return of the block? Early in the 2017 campaign, USF struggled on the special teams side of the ball. It had a blocked kick or punt in each of the first three games, but as the season moved along, the Bulls did too. Or so we thought. In Saturday night’s game USF allowed for a blocked point after touchdown (PAT) and field goal attempt, resurfacing one of the team’s weaknesses.