TAMPA — After two lackluster showings, USF's offense traded punches throughout Saturday's 37-34 loss to Cincinnati.
Junior B.J. Daniels led the way by throwing for a school-record 409 yards. They included a 10-yard touchdown to freshman Andre Davis that put the Bulls ahead with 1:27 left in the game.
"It felt good. Our backs were against the wall," Daniels said of the go-ahead drive. "The offense needed to do something to get the job (done) and make a play. A lot of guys on offense made plays and got us down the field."
Daniels went 31-for-47 for three touchdowns and completed passes to 10 receivers.
Davis caught four passes for 60 yards and the touchdown.
But the breakout player was redshirt freshman Deonte Welch, who caught five passes for 130 yards, both career highs. He caught four passes of longer than 22 yards, helping the Bulls on their final scoring drive with receiver Sterling Griffin sidelined due to an ankle injury.
"I'm proud of (the young receivers)," Bulls offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said. "That's what we thought Andre Davis was going to do for us; go up and make some vertical catches.
"And Deonte has shown flashes of being a really good player, and now his role has kind of jumped out a little bit more. I thought both of them played really solid games overall."
Griffin caught eight passes for 73 yards and the touchdown that gave the Bulls an early 7-0 lead. Victor Marc caught four passes for 33 yards.
USF, however, left points on the board with mistakes, including an interception by Daniels on a deep ball in the fourth quarter.
"I've just got to keep working to get better," said Davis, a standout at Tampa's Jefferson High. "I had an okay day. But as a team, we got the loss. So we've got to come back and do better next game."