Series History Notebook: Louisville & USF

This week’s game will be the 10th meeting all-time between Louisville and USF with the Bulls holding a slim 5-4 advantage overall. The two schools have split the last four meetings and the Cardinals are 3-1 all-time against USF at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Prior to the seven BIG EAST Conference matchups, the two programs met twice as Conference USA foes in 2003 and 2004.

In the most recent meeting on Nov. 25, 2011, Louisville got three touchdown passes from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to defeat USF 34-24 at Raymond James Stadium and clinch a share of the BIG EAST championship. Louisville, which rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the first half, took the lead for good on Bridgewater’s 10-yard pass to DeVante Parker with 9:38 remaining. The Cardinals added to their lead on Dominique Brown’s 9-yard touchdown run with 4:12 remaining. Bridgewater finished 19 of 28 for 241 yards, while Parker finished with two scoring catches.

  • Last year’s win for the Cardinals halted the Bulls’ two-game winning stretch, which marked the first time either program had won back-to-back games in the series.

  • In 2011, the Cardinals defeated the Bulls in Tampa for the first time in series history, while in 2010, Louisville lost at home to USF for the first time in history of the series.

  • In six of the nine meetings between the two programs, the winning margin has been 10 or more, including last year. However, two of the three games with a margin of 10 or less have required overtime to settle.

  • Louisville head coach Charlie Strong coached with USF head coach Skip Holtz, Bulls’ offensive coordinator Todd Fitch and USF defensive coordinator Chris Cosh at South Carolina from 1999-2002.

Notable Louisville-USF Results

  • USF 24, UofL 21 – OT – (11/13/2010 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium): The Bulls rallied in a nail-biter against Louisville, erasing a two-score deficit as they notched a 24-21 win in overtime. 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 USF bowl eligibility for the sixth straight season. The Bulls struggled early, falling behind 14-3 in the first half. 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 head 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.

  • USF 34, UofL 22 – (11/21/2009 – Raymond James Stadium): B.J. Daniels threw for 304 yards and ran for 141 more in South Florida‘s 34-22 victory over Louisville. Daniels threw for one touchdown and ran for two others while leading four scoring drives of at least 75 yards. With a combined 445 yards, the redshirt freshman finished 12 shy of the school record set by BIG EAST career total offense leader Matt Grothe in 2007. Daniels was 20 of 34 passing Saturday and compiled his fourth 100-yard game rushing on 22 carries.

  • UofL 24, USF 20 – (10/25/2008 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium): Hunter Cantwell threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Scott Long, their second scoring connection of the game, with 7:07 left in the fourth quarter and Louisville upset penalty-plagued South Florida 24-20. The 14th-ranked Bulls committed 14 penalties for 109 yards, including a defensive holding on a missed field goal by Louisville that would have given USF the ball back late in the fourth quarter. South Florida’s Matt Grothe threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns, but he also was picked off twice. His fourth-quarter interception gave the Cardinals the ball at USF 27 and allowed the Cardinals to run out the clock.

  • UofL 31, USF 8 – (11/18/2006 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium): Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns and the Cardinals defense avoided a second-half collapse as No. 10 Louisville revived its hopes for a BIG EAST title with a 31-8 win over South Florida. The win, coupled with Rutgers’ loss at Cincinnati, vaulted the Cardinals into a three-way tie atop the BIG EAST. The Cardinals, who went on to win their first league title later in the season, avenged a 31-point loss to the Bulls the previous year by playing with a business-like efficiency on offense and an aggressive approach on defense that limited South Florida to 286 yards and sacked quarterback Matt Grothe six times.

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