Being down 17-0 to Syracuse was no problem for South Florida on Saturday. Not with its quick-strike offense. And not with the Bulls playing in the Carrier Dome, one of its favorite road venues.
“It’s a great environment, we just had to block out the crowd, come out and play football,” said receiver Rodney Adams, who scored three touchdowns. “The turf felt like a speed track. I liked it.”
The rest of his teammates did, too, especially after the first quarter when the Bulls (3-0) found themselves trailing big. All the Bulls did the rest of the way was outscore the Orange (1-2) 45-3 for a 45-20 win. The victory moved South Florida to 5-0 at the Dome.
“It was a slow start, but we had to just calm down and play football like we normally do,” Adams said. “That’s exactly what we did. Coach (Willie) Taggart preached about facing adversity. We calmed down and just played football.”
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Syracuse dominated the first 15 minutes but its offense stalled and defense yielded quick scores the rest of the way. The Bulls stormed back to win in a laugher.
“We’re got hit by a storm,” said running back Marlon Mack, who added two scores,” but Coach T said we just need to fight back and stay calm.”
“We knew we’d face adversity and I wanted to see how this 2016 team handled it,” Taggart said. “They didn’t flinch. They (Syracuse) threw the first punch and our guys kind of took it, then our guys settled down and thing started to really take off for us.”
“I thought the first part of the game we were able to do the things we wanted to do,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “I thought we started off well. Once the second quarter, third quarter, second half (started), we weren’t quite able to finish. I thought we could really win that game and I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t.”
Who: Florida State at USF
When: Saturday, noon
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
TV/radio: ABC/820 AM