LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- South Florida is making a habit of winning by a hair. The Bulls rallied in a nail-biter against Louisville, erasing a two-score deficit as they notched a 24-21 win in overtime on Saturday.
Sophomore kicker Maikon Bonani, who missed what would have been the game-winning field goal in regulation, hit a 37-yard field goal to give South Florida (6-3, 3-2 Big East) bowl eligibility for the sixth straight season.
The Bulls struggled early, falling behind 14-3 in the first half.
But Louisville's mistakes on offense and special teams allowed South Florida to get back into it.
With the game tied at 21 with two seconds left, the Bulls had a chance at victory on a 52-yard Bonani field goal. Louisville coach Charlie Strong twice called time out to ice Bonani, the second time just as he booted one that would have been successful, but was immediately waved off by the officials. Bonani's next attempt was wide to the left.
In the first overtime series, Louisville made it as far as the 4-yard line. With a fourth-and-inches situation, the Cardinals opted to try for the first down instead of a field goal but failed to convert on a quarterback sneak.
After the Bulls' offense ran the ball to the 20-yard line, Bonani easily hit his field goal for the win.
Louisville reserve quarterback Justin Burke threw for 146 yards and three touchdowns, while senior running back Bilal Powell added 140 yards on the ground -- his sixth triple-digit rushing game this season.
Louisville (5-5, 2-3) saw its first-half lead vanish after the Bulls capitalized on a botched punt and interception.
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