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Place: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky
Unbeaten Louisville returns home for the first time in more than a month to play struggling, but dangerous, South Florida on Saturday. The No. 14 Cardinals opened the Big East season by coming from behind to beat Pittsburgh 45-35 last weekend while putting their balanced offense on display.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has completed almost 72 percent of his passes and running backs Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright combine for more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns rushing. South Florida has not been good defensively, averaging 30.3 points against during a four-game losing streak.
The Bulls have also been inconsistent on offense and quarterback B.J. Daniels has been hampered by an ankle injury. South Florida owns a 5-4 edge in the series and beat the Cardinals their last trip to Louisville in 2010.
South Florida Bulls (2-4, 0-2 Big East): The Bulls had a week off to try to recover physically and mentally from a rough month. South Florida’s defense just hasn’t made enough plays. The Bulls are the only FBS team without an interception and only one team has gained less turnovers than USF (four).
Daniels has accounted for almost 300 yards of total offense per contest, but has eight interceptions and the team has lost six fumbles. Still, there is plenty of talent in the lineup to turn it around. Daniels must reconnect with sophomore wide receiver Andre Davis, who has five receptions the last three games after catching 20 in the previous two.
Louisville Cardinals (6-0, 1-0): The Cardinals still need to refine their play on the defensive side of the ball. Louisville had five sacks at Pittsburgh, which doubled its season total, and has only two interceptions. The offense has done a good job keeping its defense off the field, averaging 7:10 more possession time – seventh-best in the nation.
The Cardinals have not played at home since Sept. 15 and Bridgewater completed 81.8 percent of his passes in the first three games at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Nine players have at least nine receptions for Louisville, which averages 167 yards rushing and 242.2 passing.
1. Louisville has rushed for 17 touchdowns, already four more than all of last season.
2. Daniels needs two touchdown passes for 50 in his career and has 24 career rushing TDs, tied with Andre Hall for first on the school’s all-time list.
3. Louisville has been outscored 41-33 in the fourth quarter.