College football: No. 22 South Florida rolls past Illinois after hurricane-caused layoff

College football: No. 22 South Florida rolls past Illinois after hurricane-caused layoff
South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against Illinois on a six-yard run Friday night. (Joseph Garnett Jr. / Getty Images)

Quinton Flowers threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns and No. 22 South Florida returned from a Hurricane Irma-imposed layoff to rout Illinois 47-23 on Friday night in Tampa, Fla.

Flowers moved ahead of Matt Grothe and B.J. Daniels into second place on South Florida's career touchdown pass list with 53. The 2016 American Athletic Conference offensive player of the year also scored his 32nd rushing touchdown, tying Marlon Mack's school record.


The Bulls (3-0) beat a Big Ten opponent for the first time on a night the university honored first responders who worked the last week to help victims of the massive storm that impacted the entire state of Florida.

Illinois (2-1) stumbled in what also was a homecoming of sorts for coach Lovie Smith, who returned to the stadium where he led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before being fired and accepting the challenge of rebuilding the Illini.

Illini freshman Mike Epstein scored on a 46-yard run and a 21-yard pass from Jeff George Jr., who replaced starter Chayce Crouch in the second half.

Flowers completed 15 of 25 passes, including TD throws of 39 yards to Deangelo Antoine, 17 yards to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 17 yards to D'Ernest Johnson and 13 yards to Tyre McCants. Flowers also scored on a six-yard run on the last play of the first half and finished with a team-best 106 of USF's 376 yards rushing.

Johnson and Darius Tice joined Flowers in topping 100 yards rushing, with USF amassing 680 yards total offense to Illinois' 354.

Arizona 63, at Texas El Paso 16: Brandon Dawkins scored six touchdowns — three passing and three rushing — to lead the Wildcats to the lopsided victory. Dawkins, who played only one series in the fourth quarter, threw for 155 yards on 18-of-22 passing and ran for 143 yards in 13 carries.

Arizona came into the game as a 25-point favorite, but struggled in the first quarter against winless UTEP before scoring 28 unanswered points. The Wildcats (2-1) scored on the first play of the second quarter when Dawkins found freshman J.J. Taylor for two-yard TD on fourth-and-goal, capping a 12-play, 78-yard drive. Dawkins connected with Shun Brown on a 36-yard touchdown pass followed by a five-yard Dawkins TD run three minutes later to push the lead to 28-0.

After UTEP (0-3) scored on a pass from Zack Greenlee to Tyler Batson with 2:50 remaining in the half, Dawkins scored his fourth touchdown on a 3-yard run as the Wildcats scored 35 second-quarter points to take a 35-9 lead.

at Temple 29, Massachusetts 21: Isaiah Wright made a one-handed, 13-yard touchdown catch with 3:48 left and the Owls held on to beat the winless Minutemen.

Logan Marchi's lofted pass to Wright in the corner of the end zone capped a 10-play, 72-yard drive for a 29-14 lead. UMass responded with a quick-scoring drive, punctuated by Andrew Ford's 3-yard sneak with 1:41 left.

The Minutemen kicked it deep and forced Temple into a three-and-out. But with three seconds left, UMass' trick play with backup quarterback Ross Comis was stopped near midfield.

Marchi threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns for Temple (2-1). Kicker Austin Jones moved into sixth on the Owls' scoring list and Quincy Roche had three sacks in the first half for his first career multi-sack game.

Ford finished with a career-high 377 yards passing and two touchdowns for UMass (0-4). The Minutemen were hurt by three missed field-goal attempts — of 23, 32 and 39 yards.



Lawyers for three former Michigan State football players accused of sexually assaulting a woman will be permitted to visit the apartment where the assault allegedly took place before a key court hearing next week. Josh King, Donnie Corley Jr. and Demetric Vance were dismissed from the team after criminal charges against them were made public in June. The woman reported being assaulted in the on-campus apartment's bathroom during a January party. . . . Florida International will play host to Massachusetts on Dec. 2, unless FIU is playing in the Conference USA championship game that day. The game fills the hole on FIU's schedule created by the cancellation of this weekend's planned matchup at Indiana because of issues related to Hurricane Irma.


11:20 p.m.: This report has been updated with the Arizona-Texas El Paso game.

This report was originally published at 9:20 p.m.