Brown throws for 435 yards, accounts for 3 TDs, South Florida beats Rice 42-29 in an AAC opener

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Byrum Brown threw for 435 yards and accounted for three touchdowns to lead South Florida to a 42-29 victory over Rice on Saturday in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

Brown’s 1-yard touchdown run gave South Florida a 20-14 lead about a minute into the third quarter. He added a 49-yard touchdown pass to Naiem Simmons late in the third and an 8-yarder to Sean Atkins that stretched the Bulls’ lead to 34-21 with 13:22 remaining.

Nay’Quan Wright’s short-yardage TD run made it 42-21 for USF (2-2, 1-0) with 8:52 to play.

Brown was 22-of-29 passing and had 82 yards rushing on 14 carries. Simmons caught eight passes and finished with 272 yards, an average of 34 yards per catch. Atkins added 73 yards rushing on eight carries.

JT Daniels was 27-of-40 passing for 432 yards and threw three touchdown passes for Rice (2-2, 0-1). Luke McCaffrey had nine catches for 199 yards receiving. Dean Connors added six receptions, two for scores, and finished with 98 yards.