Davis stars at wide receiver

By Patti McDonald, STAFF WRITER
On September 19, 2011

Freshman wide receiver Andre Davis played in a college game for the first time last week against Ball State. In his second appearance with the Bulls, he made a statement.

Davis got on the field against Florida A&M in the second quarter Saturday, making catches on three straight plays, including a 27-yard touchdown pass for his first career score.

Davis said he finally calmed down and the pressure was alleviated after he recorded his first catch.

"It was nice, really nice to get out here and get the opportunity to get my first catch," he said. "After the first one, I felt relieved."

In the third quarter, Davis was in the spotlight again as he blocked a FAMU punt and returned it 11 yards for his second touchdown of the game.

"I blocked it," Davis said. "I was looking for it. I couldn't find it at first, but then I got my head around and I found it."

USF coach Skip Holtz, who wanted to get the second-team players some reps against the Rattlers, said he was thoroughly impressed with Davis' play Saturday night.

"The blocked punt wasn't even a block," he said. "He's the force guy. He just came flying off the edge and nobody blocked him, and (he) came free and went and blocked the punt. Andre Davis is going to be special - these are valuable reps for a guy like that."

Second-team gets reps

Holtz decided in the second quarter, with the Bulls already leading 28-7, that it was time for the second-team offense to get some early playing time. The second offensive unit also played all but one series in the second half.

"We got a good half of football with Bobby (Eveld) and Ruben (Gonzalez) and Andre Davis and a lot of these young guys getting an opportunity to get in and gain some valuable experience," Holtz said.

Though Holtz admitted few of the second-team players are ready to start this week, he said he hopes they will be closer by the time conference play opens.

"Our hope is that we can get them some reps early in the season so that by the middle of the year in conference play, they will be able to give us a solid 15, 20 reps during the course of a ballgame," Holtz said.

Backup wide receivers Deonte Welch, Ruben Gonzalez and Derrick Hopkins, as well as reserve tight end Mike McFarland, all had their first career catches Saturday night against Florida A&M.

Big East loses two

Pittsburgh and Syracuse both officially jumped from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the ACC announced Sunday morning. They are the fourth and fifth institutions to make that move since 2004, following Miami (FL), Virginia Tech and Boston College.

USF President Judy Genshaft and Athletic Director Doug Woolard issued a statement Saturday night before the move became official.

"This is certainly a time of tremendous change in intercollegiate athletics and, clearly, that change may continue," the statement read in part. "We have been monitoring the landscape and have been actively engaged in dialogue at the conference and national levels over the last 18 months. That will continue in earnest as we move forward."

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