LOUISVILLE — Despite running out of time on its final drive, the USF offense saw a positive in the reemergence of wide receiver Andre Davis, whose second touchdown put the Bulls up four late in their 27-25 loss against Louisville on Saturday.
After being labeled USF's play-making receiver for his late-game heroics at Nevada, the Jefferson High graduate got more attention from opposing defenses, totaling just five catches for 45 yards in the three games before Saturday. But Davis had a big second half against the undefeated Cardinals, grabbing four catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns.
Coach Todd Fitch said quarterback B.J. Daniels called the play that gave Davis his first catch of the game early in the third quarter.
On second and goal from the 12-yard line, Daniels noticed backup cornerback Luke Brohm on the field and decided to toss the larger Davis a jump ball in the corner of the end zone.
"All week we talk about their personnel," Daniels said. "They had a corner out there that I felt like Andre could take advantage of. I told the coaches and it worked."
Daniels found Davis again on a nearly identical play with three minutes left in the game. Both touchdown catches hinged on Davis getting behind his one-on-one defender near the back pylon.
Fitch said Louisville's defense allowed Davis to do what he does best.
"They're more of a man-free team — they single people up," he said. "That's his talent, Andre, he's able to go up and get that ball vertically and did a nice job with both those."
After completing just six passes for 66 yards in the first half, the USF offense came out strong after halftime — punctuated by the returned chemistry between Daniels and Davis.
"It felt real good being down the way we were, coming out of the first half, and find that intensity, that fight within us to come back in the second half," Davis said.
But the sophomore receiver's big second half wasn't enough to snap the Bulls' losing streak. Davis said that though he was able to once again impact the game, there were no moral victories during USF's fifth straight loss.
"I just want to keep doing what I can for the offense," he said. "I just want to be put in the predicament where I can … help the team out and get closer to winning. Everybody is feeling the hurt, but nobody is ready to give up. Nobody is willing to throw the white flag in. We are going to keep going out there and fighting."