South Florida 36, Western Carolina 31: Marlon Mack set a American Athletic Conference record with 275 yards rushing and matched another school record with four touchdowns in his first college game as the host Bulls survived the Catamounts.
Mack gashed FCS foe Western Carolina for scoring runs of 62, 60, 3 and 56 yards for South Florida (1-0), which ran for 294 yards and put last year's six-game season-ending losing streak to rest. The Bulls' success overshadowed a poor effort from quarterback Mike White, who went 9-of-26 for 181 yards and an interception.
Troy Mitchell went 46-for-66 for 374 yards and two touchdowns for the Catamounts (0-1), who dropped their 22nd straight road game. Western Carolina did not appear to miss suspended receiver Karnorris Benson - a second team All-Southern Conference selection - as Terryon Robinson (15 catches for 121 yards and a TD), Willie Police (12 for 86) and Spearman Robinson (eight for 69 and a TD) all played key roles in the Catamounts' passing attack.
Western Carolina was up to the task of defeating a FBS foe for the first time in school history in the early going, jumping ahead on Mitchell's 4-yard run before building a 14-3 advantage on Darius Ramsey's 2-yard plunge as time expired in the first quarter. South Florida drew within 14-6 on Marvin Kloss' second field goal and Mack broke loose for his first TD run before the Catamounts settled for a 17-16 halftime lead after an exchange of field goals.
Mack put the Bulls in front for the first time 10 minutes into the third with his second big scoring run, racing past the Catamounts off right tackle again before finding the end zone for a third time with 12:21 remaining. Spearman Robinson's 6-yard TD catch pulled Western Carolina within six, but Mack sprinted down the left sideline for his final touchdown with 4:40 to go.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The start of the game was delayed over an hour due to lightning. … South Florida WR Andre Davis extended his school record streak of 31 games with a reception by hauling in a 44-yard pass, but fell on the ball on the play and did not return. … Mack shattered the school's previous freshman rushing record of 179 yards set by Rafael Williams in 1997 and tied the program mark set by Andre Hall at Alabama-Birmingham in 2004.