USF Takes Home “War On I-4” Trophy
Wrapping up the 2016 regular season at home, the University of South Florida Bulls defeated the University of Central Florida Knights, 48-31, to set a new program record 10th win and extend their nation-leading streak of games with at least 30 points scored to 16.
The contest was the inaugural game of the “War On I-4,” officially established in September as a 14-sport athletic competition between the two teams that are separated by approximately 100 miles of Interstate 4.
It was the eighth meeting overall between USF and UCF, fourth at Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls have now won consecutive games over the Knights after dropping each of the prior two in 2013-14 and lead the overall series, 6-2.
The win also means that USF will finish with six wins in seven tries at home, the second consecutive season and ninth overall finishing with one or fewer losses at home.
Rodney Adams, one of 16 seniors honored prior to kickoff and 19 total on the roster, once again led the pass game while Marlon Mack capped off his junior season with his seventh 100-yard rushing performance of the season and 20th over his career.
Adams finished with a career-best nine receptions for 78 yards, the seventh time this season the St. Petersburg native led the Bulls in receptions and sixth time he led in receiving yards.
Mack, who entered play 18 yards shy of 1,000 on the year and 17 yards shy of becoming the program’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards, finished with 20 carries for 155 yards and a pair of 40-plus yard touchdown runs.
He also set a pair of other USF records, establishing a new season record with 14 rushing touchdowns while becoming the first Bull to post three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Mack joins Florida State’s Dalvin Cook as the first two players in the state of Florida FBS history to post three 1,000-yard seasons.
Oh, and Quinton Flowers had quite the game was well, completing 17-of-26 passes for 152 yards and carrying the ball 20 times for 152 yards. Flowers also added a pair of rushing touchdowns, including a 62-yard score in the opening possession of the second half that broke USF’s all-time single-season rushing record set by Mack in 2015 (1,381 yards).
On top of the individual accolades, the Bulls also surpassed the 6,000-yard mark in total offense, easily a new program record (prev. 5,741 in 2015).
USF finishes the regular season 10-2, 7-1 in AAC play and a Temple loss away from competing in a conference championship for the first time in program history.
UCF (13:10): 3-yd. run by J. Hamilton; M. Wright kick good (Knights lead 7-0)
– Scoring Drive: 60 yards in 6 plays across 1:50
USF (6:46): 43-yd. run by M. Mack; B. Behr kick good (tied 7-7)
– Drive: 67 yards in 5 plays across 1:57
USF (4:15): 22-yd. fumble return by J. Brown; B. Behr kick good (Bulls lead 14-7)
USF (10:08): 33-yd. field goal by B. Behr (Bulls lead 17-7)
– Drive: 45 yards in 7 plays across 2:09
USF (5:36): 56-yd. run by M. Mack; B. Behr kick good (Bulls lead 24-7)
– Drive: 78 yards in 6 plays across 2:08
UCF (5:14): 72-yd. pass, T. Payton to T. Smith; M. Wright kick good (Bulls lead 24-14)
– Drive: 72 yards in 1 play across 0:22
USF (14:04): 62-yd. run by Q. Flowers; B. Behr kick good (Bulls lead 31-14)
– Drive: 75 yards in 3 plays across 0:56
UCF (9:40): 37-yd. field goal by M. Wright (Bulls lead 31-17)
– Drive: 65 yards in 11 plays across 4:24
UCF (4:55): 3-yd. run by J. McGowan; M. Wright kick good (Bulls lead 31-24)
– Drive: 44 yards in 8 plays across 2:18
USF (8:38): 24-yd. run by Q. Flowers; B. Behr kick good (Bulls lead 38-24)
– Drive: 24 yards in 1 play across 0:07
USF (4:20): 30-yd. field goal by B. Behr (Bulls lead 41-24)
– Drive: 44 yards in 9 plays across 4:00
UCF (2:50): 41-yd. pass, J. Holman to T. Smith; M. Wright kick good (Bulls lead 41-31)
– Drive: 75 yards in 6 plays across 1:30
USF (0:11): 1-yd. run by D. Johnson; B. Behr kick good (Bulls lead 48-31)
– Drive: 8 yards in 4 plays across 1:33