Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Louisville Cardinals hand USF Bulls fifth loss in a row

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — If the frustratingly familiar loss at Temple two weeks ago was like Groundhog Day for coach Skip Holtz, then Saturday's 27-25 loss at No. 16 Louisville was simply a rerun.

Read this carefully: The Bulls struggled early, erased a 12-point second-half deficit, took the lead on a fourth-quarter touchdown, then watched their defense allow the Cardinals to drive 75 yards and score a touchdown with 1:08 left and escape with a victory when B.J. Daniels was intercepted on the final play.

Problem is, that's the story from Ball State last month.


The Bulls struggled early, erased an 11-point second-half deficit, took the lead on a touchdown with 3:09 left, then watched their defense let the Cardinals drive 75 yards for a touchdown with 1:35 left and escape with a victory when Daniels was intercepted on the final play.

Same hand, different Cards.

"Seems like we've been here before," coach Skip Holtz said after the Bulls (2-5, 0-3 Big East) lost their fifth game a row, a first in the program's 16-year history.

"We had our opportunities today. … It's a painful feeling to put both your feet in as much as this team has, to jump in as much as they have, to believe in each other, to work as hard as they work and compete as hard as they do and continually end up on the short end in a game like this."

USF trailed 14-3 at halftime but clawed back in the game, getting three touchdowns from Daniels, two on red-zone lobs to receiver Andre Davis, including the go-ahead score. That one had the Bulls in position to knock off the undefeated Cardinals (7-0, 2-0) and end the losing streak.

"I felt we were going to bring it home," Davis said. "Unfortunately, we ended up on the wrong side of the stick.

"We just have to take it as an L. We get the L as a team."

Louisville's Teddy Bridge­water, who was 21-of-25 for 256 yards, completed passes of 12 and 14 yards, then converted a third-and-10 play with a 16-yard strike to running back Jeremy Wright. Bridgewater rushed 11 yards to the 22 and USF cornerback Kayvon Webster was flagged for a late hit, putting the Cardinals at the USF 11. On the next play, Bridgewater connected with Eli Rogers for the winning score.

"Of course it's tough. We pride ourselves in becoming better finishers. We had a chance to finish there," USF linebacker Sam Barrington said. "With two minutes left, I'm sitting there confident, like God finally blessed us and helped us win. Now I'm talking on the other end."

The Bulls blocked the extra point, however, so a field goal could have still won it. With USF starting on its 24 with 1:35 left, Daniels was sacked for a 10-yard loss, and by the time a penalty gave the Bulls the ball back at the 24, there were only 50 seconds left. USF used its final timeout after a first-down run with 43 seconds left, opting not to run up for a spike, a move that forced a scramble in the final seconds.

Daniels completed a 10-yard pass to Davis with 26 seconds left and officials stopped to measure the play, but after it was ruled a first down, seven seconds ran off the clock before the snap. Daniels threw an incompletion out of bounds, leaving USF with only 11 seconds. Another pass went incomplete, and with three seconds left, USF was still at its 47, out of field-goal range; Daniels' last pass was intercepted by cornerback Adrian Bushell.

"I'm trying to get the next play in, make sure we can do whatever we can to put ourselves in position to kick a field goal," Daniels said.

The offense deserves a share of the loss as well — the Bulls had a 4-yard Lindsey Lamar touchdown overturned on replay in the third quarter, with the ball placed inside the 1-yard line. Three times, the Bulls lined up with three backs behind Daniels, and three times they were stopped short.

Louisville Cardinals hand USF Bulls fifth loss in a row 10/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip


    After spliting the four-game series with the Angels to log a winning homestand and get back to .500 at 25-25, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day, country-crossing road trip against the surprising Twins.

    The Twins are leading the AL Central with an impressive 25-18 record, though they have not played …

  2. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety


    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]
  3. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)


    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  4. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  5. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.