TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Amarri Jackson saw no reason why South
Florida shouldn't beat Louisville.
"I'm not saying Louisville is a bad team. They're a great
team," the sophomore receiver said Saturday night after running
for two touchdowns and throwing for a third to pace a 45-14 rout of
the ninth-ranked Cardinals in the Bulls' Big East debut. "I just
thought we were just as good as them talent-wise."
After barely playing a role in the offense in his team's first
three games, Jackson was Mr. Versatile in helping South Florida
(3-1) beat a ranked opponent for the first time in six tries and
stop the nation's third-longest Division I-A winning streak at nine
Louisville (2-1) had not lost since a 41-38 setback at Miami
last Oct. 14. The Cardinals entered the Big East opener with one of
the country's most prolific offenses, but never fully got on track
in losing to South Florida on the road for the second time in three
USF, which is in its ninth season, also upset Louisville two
years ago in the Bulls' Conference USA debut. The Bulls and
Cardinals left C-USA for the higher profile Big East after last
"This is the type of game that challenges a team's
leadership," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "We can either
come together or fall apart."
Jackson, who had two receptions for 15 yards in South Florida's
first three games, set up Andre Hall's 1-yard, first-quarter TD run
with a 57-yard catch-and-run on the Bulls' second offensive play.
The 6-foot-5 receiver scored on a 51-yard reverse up the right
side of the field to make it 14-0, then circled around the left end
on a 12-yard reverse for a 21-0 lead midway through the second
Three minutes after South Florida's Chad Simpson returned the
second-half kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, Jackson struck again
when took a handoff from quarterback Pat Julmiste and tossed an
11-yard scoring pass to Derek Carter to put the Bulls ahead 38-7.
Louisville's second fumble set up the touchdown pass.
"We felt good about our ability to come back in the second
half, but the kick return and fumble really swung the momentum in
their favor," Petrino said. "We needed to make plays. But as it
turned out, USF was the team able to do that."
Jackson finished with 63 yards rushing on two carries and two
receptions for 75 yards. Hall, who added a 3-yard TD run in the
fourth quarter, gained 83 rushing on 22 attempts, while Julmiste
was 4-for-9 for 93 yards passing.
"We still haven't seen our best performance yet. I just don't
believe we have," Jackson said. "Once we connect, it's going to
Despite the lopsided score, Louisville again compiled some gaudy
offensive statistics with Brian Brohm completing 29 of 47 passes
for 389 yards, and the Cardinals amassing 493 yards total offense
to South Florida's 355.
But a week after Brohm threw for five touchdowns to help the
Cardinals overcome a slow start to beat Oregon State 63-27, the
sophomore quarterback was intercepted once and stymied repeatedly
by penalties and a relentless pass rush.
Louisville had 15 penalties for 118 yards and Brohm was sacked
"The score made it look easy, but it was a fight," South
Florida defensive end Johnnie Jones said. "After every touchdown
we said: 'Zero, zero. Zero, zero' because we couldn't lose focus."
Michael Bush scored both of Louisville's touchdowns on 1-yard
runs. He finished with 81 yards rushing on 18 carries, while Mario
Urrutia had five receptions for 123 yards.
"We just didn't come ready to play," Brohm said. "We hurt
ourselves with penalties and were never able to get going
offensively. ... It came down to not being able to execute. They
made plays and we didn't."