Sophomore quarterback Mike White connected with senior receiver Andre Davis for an 85-yard, go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter capping off the biggest comeback in program history.
The Bulls went down 27-7 early in the first half, but were able to claw themselves back into the game riding the arm of their young quarterback.
On the plane ride to Tulsa, the Bulls were watching film of Tom Brady — with White sleeping — coach Willie Taggart said. Taggart walked over, woke him up and made him watch the clips.
“Then when he wasn’t playing well and we came to the second half, I said, ‘Hey, go be Tom Brady. What you saw yesterday, just go do it,’” Taggart said. “He went out and took care of business and that was good to see.”
After throwing an early interception that resulted in a Tulsa touchdown, White finished the game completing 17-of-26 passes for 272 yards and three second-half scores.
Davis was on the receiving end of each of those touchdowns, moving him into a tie for the all-time receiving-touchdowns record with 14. Since returning to the field last week against East Carolina, Davis has amassed 278 yards with 12 catches and four touchdowns.
Davis knows the importance of these stats and records, but for now all of his praise goes to his coach.
“When we were in practice earlier in the week, he told us we have to respond,” Davis said. “Regardless of how the game goes in the first half we have to come out and respond in the second half, and that’s what we did.”
Marlon Mack also aided the comeback with 130 yards on 19 carries with two scores. This was Mack’s third 100-yard game of his career. He is now 10th on USF’s all-time rushing list with 770 yards.
The Bulls 20-point comeback was the largest in team history, beating out the old record of 17 points against Kansas in 2008.
“Not only did we come back and win, but we had a big deficit there,” Taggart said. “Anyone could have quit, and any team that hasn’t won in a while could have quit, but these guys have been fighting.”
The Bulls have kept it close in games this season, but have failed to seal the deal when the opportunity presents itself. On Saturday, they finished what they started and came away with a victory.
The Bulls are now 3-4 overall, but 2-1 in the conference which is tied for third place with Houston and Temple. The Bulls take on AAC foe Cincinnati on Friday at Paul Brown Stadium at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.