Syracuse braces for USF and another dual-threat QB
Louisville's Lamar Jackson confounded the Syracuse defense in just about every way. Quinton Flowers is ready to keep the ball rolling against the Orange.
Flowers leads South Florida (2-0) into the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon, a week after Jackson led the No. 10 Cardinals to a 62-28 victory indoors. The Orange (1-1) allowed a school-record 845 yards as Jackson scored four times on runs and threw for another in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
''It was a tough loss,'' said Orange wideout Amba Etta-Tawo, who has 20 catches for 313 yards in two games. ''It was embarrassing. It hurt our pride a little bit, but we're not going to tuck our tails between our legs and run away and try to hide because we lost one game.
''It doesn't matter that they scored 60 or that they scored one more point than us. A loss is a loss,'' Etta-Tawo said. ''We just have to shake it off, just like you have to shake off a win. It's not being rattled. It's just getting ready for Saturday.''
And for what Flowers, another dual-threat quarterback, brings to the field. He accounted for 403 of his team's 658 yards of total offense and was named American Athletic Conference offensive player of the week after a four-touchdown performance in a 48-17 win over Northern Illinois.
''I think we saw what it looks like,'' first-year Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. ''We got the concentrated dose. Now, we'll get a version of that.''
The Bulls, who are chasing their first 3-0 start since 2011, are 4-0 in the Carrier Dome, those victories coming when both teams were in the Big East.
Other things to know when South Florida plays Syracuse on Saturday:
BETTER GET READY: Syracuse has averaged 87 snaps in its first two games with Babers' new up-tempo attack, and it's generated an average of 484 yards. Though Louisville won handily, the Orange attack was stopped four times by injuries to Louisville players, which came when Syracuse was driving and elicited choruses of boos from the hometown fans who figured a dose of fakery was involved.
''We just have to make sure we're sound when it comes to technique and fundamentals,'' USF coach Willie Taggart said. ''Our guys have to get the call and be able to line up. I think with this up-tempo stuff, that's where you get in trouble is when your guys don't line up.''
MIRROR IMAGE: USF's Gulf Coast offense also is fast and ranks 10th nationally in scoring at 50.2 points per game, the Bulls' best start ever. USF is averaging 551 yards per game and has had eight TD drives of two minutes or less. The Bulls' longest touchdown drive this season is 3:56.
''We just get better and better,'' said senior Darius Tice, who rushed for a career-high 120 yards last week.
MACK ATTACK BACK: South Florida tailback Marlon Mack returns after missing the previous game while going through a concussion protocol. He suffered a tough hit against Towson in the season opener. Mack needs 251 yards to match USF's career rushing record of 2,731 yards, set by Andre Hall in 2005.
DYNAMIC ORANGE DUO: Etta-Tawo, a redshirt senior, and junior wideout Ervin Philips each has 20 receptions. That tops the ACC and is tied for third nationally. Syracuse is the only school with two receivers in the top 10.
DANGEROUS DUNGEY: Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey leads the ACC and ranks eighth nationally in completions per game (29.5). He also ranks third in the conference and 15th nationally with 610 passing yards.
AP college football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org
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