USF comes out of its bye week with a new starting quarterback in freshman Quinton Flowers, who will lead the Bulls in an American Athletic Conference game at SMU on Saturday. Coach Willie Taggert opened quarterback competition during the off week and coaches liked what they saw in Flowers, who has appeared in three games and is 2-of-5 for six yards and two interceptions and has 35 yards rushing on seven carries. “He’s a lot different today than he was in August,” offensive coordinator Paul Wulff said. “He’s learned the system and he’s getting more and more comfortable.”
The game features two teams that have struggled this season, none more so than the Mustangs, who are winless and have lost 10 straight games dating to last year. SMU will also have a young quarterback when Matt Davis gets his second start after setting a school record for rushing yards by a QB with 181 and scoring two touchdowns last week against Tulsa. Davis was 21-of-32 for 212 yards, a touchdown and two picks as the Mustangs scored their most points (28) in a game this season.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: USF -11
ABOUT USF (3-6, 2-3): Marlon Mack leads the Bulls’ rushing game with 828 yards and eight touchdowns on 158 carries. Andre Davis (416 yards and five touchdowns on 20 catches) and Rodney Adams (21 receptions for 315 yards and two scores) are the primary receiving targets. The Bulls are in danger of suffering their fourth straight losing season after having gone to six bowl games in a row from 2005-10.
ABOUT SMU (0-8, 0-4): Davis sparked a moribund Mustangs offense against Tulsa last week when he threw 64 yards to Der’rikk Thompson for a first-quarter touchdown and the Mustangs’ first lead of the season. SMU is averaging 9.6 points per game while allowing nearly 47 and has used four different quarterbacks. The running game has especially struggled, averaging 3.0 yards a carry and 89 yards per game.
1. SMU has created just six turnovers and has yet to score after an opponent’s miscue while allowing 197 points on 11 interceptions and 10 fumbles.
2. USF is fifth in FBS with a dozen fumble recoveries.
3. Davis needs 42 receiving yards to become the first Bulls player to reach 2,000 in a career.PREDICTION: USF 32, SMU 17