SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Quinton Flowers threw two touchdown passes and D'Ernest Johnson had two TD runs in a dominant second quarter that helped No. 19 South Florida overcome an early 16-point deficit to beat San Jose State 42-22 on Saturday in the first game under new coach Charlie Strong.
The Strong era got off to a rough start with the Bulls being held to 22 yards in the opening quarter, the defense allowed two early TD passes by Josh Love and two ineffective punts setting up two scores for the Spartans.
But the tides turned when Josh Black stuffed Malike Roberson for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-1 from the South Florida 33 in the closing minute of the first quarter with San Jose State leading 16-0.
It took less than nine minutes for the Bulls to turn that big early deficit into a lead with help from a pair of interceptions off deflected passes by Josh Love. Flowers started the comeback with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Darnell Salomon, Johnson followed with a TD run on fourth-and-goal from the 2 and Flowers followed with a 49-yard scoring strike to Temi Alaka.
Johnson capped the four-touchdown, 271-yard quarter with a tight-rope act down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown run that made it 28-16 and the rout was on in the second half.
Flowers added a touchdown run in the fourth quarter and finished 11 for 23 for 212 yards passing and 70 yards on 18 carries.
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