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South Florida's B.J. Daniels Befuddles Louisville

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer INovember 21, 2009

Jim Leavitt's self-described "up and down" South Florida football team was exactly that on Saturday against Louisville.

The Bulls were up more than they were down and B.J. Daniels was an offensive monster who led his team to a 34-22 win over the down-and-out Cardinals for the homecoming victory at Raymond James Stadium.

It's no secret around the Big East that as Daniels goes, so go the Bulls.

In this game, Daniels was on the go, bigtime. He ran  for 141 yards, passed for 304 to spark the win that made USF bowl-eligible.

It was supposed to be easy for USF in this game. This is a USF team that beats lesser opponents and loses to teams with equal or greater talent.

Daniels' 445 yards were 12 short of Matt Grothe's school record 457 (Cincinnati 2007).

Looked like it would be a blowout. The Bulls scored on their first two possessions, two nice 80-yard drives that produced a 14-0 lead.

But alas, this inconsistent football team saw Louisville score 16 in the second. A late drive and field goal by Eric Schwartz gave USF the 17-16 halftime edge.

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USF came out and scored on its first two second half possessions and that was about all it needed to stay in front of the Cardinal team that has managed only one conference win. USF moved to 7-3 and 3-3 in the Big East. Louisville, with head coach Steve Kragthorpe under fire, is now 4-7, 1-5.

"I thought we did some really good things," Leavitt said afterward then admitted: "we did so many foolish things out there. We've gotta get better. There were so many freshmen and sophomores out there."

After the first two scores, the homecoming crowd became fairly disinterested. Wasn't a large crowd as many USF followers shrugged this game off as a gimme.

Yes, it was a gimme, but with Louisville scoring 22, Leavitt has to have concerns when his team goes up against Miami next Saturday.

The offensive output by Daniels shows where the Bulls are so very vulnerable. Stop Daniels and you stop USF and that was exactly the case in the huge losses to Cincinnati, Pitt and Rutgers.

But on this day, Daniels ran free and passed easily.

Louisville had no answer for him.

That may not be the case next Saturday.

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