No. 21 South Florida faces Temple in AAC opener
By The Associated Press
Sep. 21, 2017
Temple (2-1, 0-0 AAC) at No. 21 South Florida (3-0, 0-0), Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN).
Line: South Florida by 18 ½.
Series record: Temple leads 2-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
American Athletic Conference opener for teams that have developed a little bit of a rivalry over the past two seasons, with USF routing then No. 21 Temple 44-23 at home in 2015 and the Owls handing the Bulls their only league loss 46-30 in Philadelphia a year ago. Both finished 7-1 in league play, with Temple advancing to the conference championship game, where the Owls defeated Navy. USF hasn't lost since falling to the Owls, winning eight straight to tie the program record.
Dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers, coming off accounting for 386 yards and five touchdowns in USF's 47-23 victory over Illinois, against a Temple defense that also has to be concerned about containing RBs Darius Tice and D'Ernest Johnson, who joined Flowers in topping 100 yards rushing last week. Flowers paced a season-best 680-yard attack by throwing for 280 yards and four TDs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Temple: QB Logan Marchi will be the best passer USF has faced. The sophomore has completed 57 percent of his passes for 767 yards, five TDs and no interceptions. RB Ryquell Armstead is the Owls' leading rusher, while WRs Keith Kirkwood (12 receptions, 185 yards, 2TDs), Jsaiah Wright (9-180-1), and Adonis Jennings (8-146-1) have been the team's most productive receivers.
South Florida: When Flowers hands off, Tice (12 carries, 105 yards vs. Illinois) and Johnson (17-101, one TD) are potent options. The senior QB has even more to work with when the Bulls take to the air, with WRs Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Tyre McCants and Deangelo Antoine among six players with TD receptions.
FACTS & FIGURES
Both teams have changed head coaches since last year's meeting, with Charlie Strong replacing Willie Taggart, who left USF for Oregon, and Geoff Collins taking over at Temple after Matt Rhule departed for Baylor. ... Temple had nine sacks during last week's 29-21 victory over UMass. ... USF has scored at least 30 points in a nation-leading 20 consecutive games. The Bulls are 17-3 over the stretch that began in November 2015.
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