6:45 PM ET, September 24, 2005
Raymond James Stadium, TAMPA, FL
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 games.
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 years.
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 season.
"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 quarter.
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 scary."
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 four times.
"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."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... South Florida's Chad Simpson took the second-half kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to make it 31-7.
Gameball goes to... WR Amarri Jackson led the Bulls to their biggest win by scoring two TDs and throwing for a third.
Stat of the game... 30: The Cards had scored at least 30 points in 13 straight games before the Bulls held them to 14.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-14||6-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-3||0-1|
|TD||9:37||ANDRE HALL 1 YD RUN (KYLE BRONSON KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||14:40||AMARRI JACKSON 51 YD RUN (KYLE BRONSON KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 66 yards.
|TD||8:19||AMARRI JACKSON 12 YD RUN (KYLE BRONSON KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||1:33||MICHAEL BUSH 1 YD RUN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 46 yards.
|FG||0:03||KYLE BRONSON 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 15 yards.
|TD||14:47||CHAD SIMPSON 94 YD KICK RETURN (KYLE BRONSON KICK)||7||31|
|TD||11:15||DEREK CARTER 11 YD PASS FROM AMARRI JACKSON (KYLE BRONSON KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 36 yards.
|TD||9:49||ANDRE HALL 3 YD RUN (KYLE BRONSON KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 55 yards.
|TD||5:24||MICHAEL BUSH 1 YD RUN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 67 yards.