Written by Parker Boyce
#21 South Florida is off to a great start to the season with a 3-0 record, yet they have not had any true tests yet. Thursday night they will start their pursuit of a first-ever conference title. South Florida will welcome the visiting Temple Owls to Raymond James Stadium under the lights Thursday night at 7:30 pm on ESPN.
In the Bulls’ last game against Illinois, South Florida dominated with 683 yards of total offensive production against the Fighting Illini. The Bulls Senior quarterback Quinton Flowers was 15-27 passing for 280 yards along with four touchdowns through the air. On the ground, Flowers added 106 yards and one touchdown run.
South Florida forced three turnovers against Illinois, and better be ready to face another challenge against Temple. It will not be easy against the Owls who know how to protect the ball, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi has yet to throw an interception in three games so far this season. Logan Marchi has 767 passing yards and five touchdowns so far.
Temple’s wins have not come easy for them in the past. Temple saw a 13-0 lead disappear against the FCS program Villanova. Temple needed a late field goal to win, which they were able to put through the uprights to seal their win. Temple would go on to beat Villanova 16-13.
South Florida struggled against non-ranked opponent San Jose State during week one as the Bulls would trail 16-0 early on. Trailing by 16, South Florida woke up and got the win against San Jose State with the score being 42-22. The Bulls would then move on to face the FCS opponent the Stony Brook Seawolves. South Florida had a blocked punt and again found themselves down, this time 7-0 against Stony Brook. South Florida was all tied up in the 4th quarter before pulling away with a 31-17 victory.
Playing San Jose State and Stony Brook, South Florida has had plenty of time to go through growing pains. South Florida learned that you should never judge a book by its cover. No matter what college football division you are playing, you are always going to expect the unexpected. This is college football, and you never know what can happen. They will need to maintain focus for a full 60 minutes as conference play begins for them.
How Can South Florida win? If Quinton Flowers finds his receivers as well as he did in the last game and can make the big passing plays, then USF is likely to have another successful game. Another asset for Flowers is his running game, when rushing outside the pocket he is hard to contain. Watch out for Flowers dual-threat capabilities as they take on Temple, this is likely to be a key factor in the game if the Owls are unable to contain him.
How can Temple win? Again, it goes to USF’s QB Flowers, if the Owls can get pressure and stop him from rushing outside of the pocket then they will be on the right track. Stop Flowers, means stopping the Bulls offensive capabilities.
This should be a great conference game as Temple and South Florida clash under the big lights at Raymond James Stadium.