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South Florida scores TD with 16 seconds left to win Birmingham Bowl

South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers (C) runs downfield during the first half the Birmingham Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Albert Cesare)

The Birmingham Bowl made up for a lackluster start to bowl season.

South Florida and Texas Tech scored 21 points inside the final five minutes of Saturday’s game and a touchdown pass from USF quarterback Quinton Flowers to wide receiver Tyre McCants with 16 seconds left gave the Bulls a 38-24 win.

(Via ESPN)

USF took its first lead of the game when Flowers hit a wide-open Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 64-yard touchdown with 4:26 left and a 31-27 advantage.

Texas Tech slowed itself down after getting the ball back but scored too soon when Nic Shimonek found T.J. Vasher all by himself in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown with 1:31 left.

Just look at how open Vasher was here.

(Via ESPN)

USF got the ball back knowing it could send the game to overtime with a field goal. But McCants beat his defender and scored his second touchdown of the day.

Flowers, playing in his final college game, had an incredible second half. He finished 17-34 passing for 311 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 14 carries for 106 yards and a rushing score and became the all-time American Athletic Conference leader in career total offense.

He won’t be discussed at the top of the draft with quarterbacks like (probably) Lamar Jackson, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen, but Flowers will be an intriguing mid-round pick for an NFL team in May.

The appearance in Birmingham was the second-straight for USF, which beat South Carolina a year ago. The win also gives the Bulls, 10-2, a second-straight season with 10 wins or more. Entering 2016, USF had never won more than nine games.

Outside of the final five minutes, the game was a relative defensive struggle. Tech’s defense — aided by some boring play-calling — stopped South Florida on fourth down three times, including once on a fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Shimonek was 32-59 passing for 416 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Tech finishes the season 6-7.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!