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Louisville 27, South Florida 25

The SportsXchange

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- After falling behind with 3:26 to play, Louisville scored with 1:34 left to turn back upset-minded South Florida 27-25 on Saturday in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

South Florida, which had been badly outplayed in the first half but trailed only 14-3, dominated the second half and took a 25-21 lead with 3:26 left on a 12-yard alley-oop touchdown catch by Andre Davis of a pass from B.J. Daniels.

It was the second Daniels-to-Davis TD connection of the second half, with the 6-foot-1 Davis outleaping 5-8 defensive back Stephan Robinson each time.

Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville's brilliant sophomore quarterback, then moved the 16th-ranked Cardinals 75 yards, mostly through the air, in eight plays, capped by his 11-yard scoring pass to Eli Rogers with 1:34 left to account for the winning margin and keep the Cardinals undefeated at 7-0, 2-0 in the Big East Conference.

South Florida lost its fifth straight game and fell to 2-5, 0-3.

Bridgewater, who came in completing 71.8 percent of his passes, was even better against South Florida, going 21 of 25 (84 percent) for 256 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

On Louisville's final drive, he was 5 of 7 for 53 yards. He also scrambled for an 11-yard gain, with 11 yards tacked on for unnecessary roughness (half the distance to the goal line) because he was pushed down while going out of bounds. That put the ball at South Florida's 11, and on the next play he hit Rogers in the back of the end zone.

South Florida took the opening kickoff and marched 71 yards to Louisville's 19 before stalling. Maikon Bonani then booted a 36-yard field goal.

The Bulls managed just five first downs the remainder of the half, with three of them coming on their final possession of the half.

Louisville mounted two long scoring drives in the half -- 53 and 80 yards -- each covering 10 plays and capped by scoring runs.

South Florida came out a different team in the second half, marching up and down the field on their first four possessions. The only time they didn't score a touchdown was when Louisville mounted a goal-line stand late in the third quarter, stopping the Bulls three times inside the 1, the final two times from inches away.

After Louisville scored for the final time, South Florida moved from its 24 to its 47. Needing only about 20 yards for a decent shot at a winning field goal, Daniels threw two incompletions and then was intercepted by Adrian Bushell on the final play.

NOTES: Louisville's John Miller, a first-team freshman All-American guard last season, was out of the starting lineup after missing last week's game with an ankle injury. That necessitated a shake-up in the offensive line, with senior Alex Kupper moving over to left guard from left tackle, sophomore Jamon Brown moving from right tackle to left tackle, and freshman Ryan Mack getting his first career start at right tackle. After the Cards were unable to run the ball effectively on their first possession, Miller entered the game on their second possession and played every other series the remainder of the game. When he was in, the line reverted to the lineup used in the first five games. ... Louisville sophomore starting cornerback Terrell Floyd (wrist) missed almost the entire game and was replaced by sophomore Stephan Robinson. After Robinson was burned twice by Davis, Floyd played on South Florida's final series. ... South Florida senior guard Mark Popek limped off the field early in the second quarter, unable to put any weight on his right leg. He was replaced by redshirt freshman Brynjar Gudmundsson.
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