Story by Yousaf Khan
The University of South Florida Bulls are having a historic season with 7-0 record, #14 ranking and a slew of streaks. USF currently has the nation’s longest winning streak at 12 and haven’t lost since Oct 21, 2016. The Bulls also have the NCAA record for most consecutive games scored with 30 points or more and that’s currently stands at 24. Bulls fans hope both records continue into next season as it would mark the best season in USF history.
One big reason why the Bulls are having so much success is their emphasis on the running games, especially under new coach Charlie Strong. Senior quarterback Quinton Flowers and running backs Darrius Tice along with D’Ernest Johnson lead a rushing offense that is averaging over 300 yards a game on the ground. It all starts with dual threat QB Quinton Flowers as he as currently has 613 yards rushing and 7 TD’s on the ground and sets the pace. In his junior season he had 1,530 yards along with 18 TD’s on the ground and has over 3,200 career rushing yards and 37 TD’s.
Senior Darius Tice form Miami, FL is having his best year to date and actually leads the Bulls in rushing with 634 yards rushing and 9 TD’s. It has been a nice bounce back season for Tice, who broke his ankle in the FSU game last season and missed the remainder of that year. The last member of the triumvirate is senior D’Ernest Johnson from Immokalee, FL, who is probably better known for his receiving skills out of the backfield over the years. For the current year he has 569 yards and 5 TD’s on the ground and has been a great 1A-1B punch with Tice. He has also been Mr. Versatility throughout his USF career, with 2 passing TD’s, 14 running TD’s, 11 receiving TD’s, and 1 return TD.
Looking at the trio’s rushing stats and you begin to wonder if all three can eclipse a 1,000 yards each rushing. After researching (and I might be off) but it looks it has been one time in 2009 by the Nevada Wolfpack that was highlighted by QB Colin Kapernick and 2 RB’s. USF has 4 regular season games left to play and could play in the in their conference championship (a win vs UCF will probably determine that) and a bowl game. So we are looking at 5, maybe 6 more games left to add stats since bowl games and conference games count towards the statistics for the year. On a per game average for rushing yards, Tice is avg 91 ypg, Flower 87 ypg, and Johnson 81 ypg so it definitely seems within reach. In fact if they play 6 games, they should easily pass it, if they play only 5 games Johnson would be the only one to fall short with projected yardage of 974.
So it will be exciting to see if USF the Firm of “Flowers, Tice, and Johnson” can become the second team in NCAA history to have 3-1,000 yard rushers on the same team and remember you heard it here first folks.