Adams, Mack power USF to 45-20 comeback against Syracuse

RETRANSMISSION TO CORRECT TEAM TO SOUTH FLORIDA - South Florida's Marlon Mack, left, celebrates with teammate Marquez Valdes-Scantling, right, after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Nick Lisi/AP

SYRACUYSE, N.Y. (AP)

Rodney Adams scored three touchdowns as USF's high-powered, quick-strike offense roared back from an early deficit to defeat Syracuse 45-20 on Saturday and remain unbeaten this season.

The Bulls (3-0) are 5-0 at the Carrier Dome. Led by Marlon Mack's 115 yards rushing, USF has won 10 of its last 12 games and gained at least 200 yards on the ground for the eighth-straight game. Mack, who rushed for two touchdowns against the Orange a year ago, added two more. D'Ernest Johnson returned a punt 83 yards for another score.

Quinton Flowers was 12 of 24 for 183 yards passing for the Bulls and rushed for 51 more. Eric Dungey was 32-for-48 for 350 yards and two TDs for Syracuse.

Playing with a depleted secondary and a defense that was torched by Louisville a week ago, Syracuse (1-2) dominated the opening quarter on both sides of the ball, outscoring the Bulls 17-0, outgaining USF 214-64 yards – 40 coming on a run by Mack on the quarter's final play. The Orange registered 12 first downs in the quarter, to USF's three and scored on pass plays of 24 and 47 yards from Dungey to Erv Philips and Brisly Estime, and a 40-yard field goal by Cole Murphy

South Florida has scored 149 points this season. The Bulls had four scoring drives under two minutes and blitzed Syracuse 45-3 after the first quarter.

TAKEAWAYS:

USF: Mack was held pretty much in check by the Orange – at least until late in the third quarter. Mack, who gained 184 yards against SU a year ago, had 55 yards on five carries in the first half, but 40 of those came on one play. He scampered untouched for a 52-yard touchdown late in the third quarter and now has 14 100-yard games, a South Florida record.

SYRACUSE: The Orange was playing without three-quarters of its starting secondary. Antwan Cordy and Juwan Dowels, who were both injured against Louisville, are out for the season with forearm and knee injuries, respectively, and Kielan Whitner also sat out Saturday.

UP NEXT:

USF: The Bulls host in-state foe Florida State next Saturday. Expect the Seminoles to be smarting from this week's drubbing at the hands of Louisville

SYRACUSE: The Orange goes out of conference for a road game Saturday against former Big East rival UConn.