After returning to game action against East Carolina with 124 yards and a touchdown, senior receiver Andre Davis helped the Bulls win the biggest comeback in program history in Saturday’s 38-30 win at Tulsa.
Davis was named the AAC Offensive Player of the Week for his 154-yard, three touchdown performance and coach Willie Taggart said the team’s offensive revival has centered on Davis’ return.
“Coming into the season, we expected for (Davis to produce) and unfortunately Andre got hurt and you can tell that was a big loss to our offense, and a big loss to Mike (White),” Taggart said. “Ever since Andre’s been back, Mike’s been different — and not just Mike, but our offense and our entire football team.”
While Davis’ play has been exceptional, Taggart said his leadership has been essential to changing the team’s mindset.
“(Davis) is what you’re looking for as a leader,” he said. “Ever since I’ve been here, he’s always been the kid that shows leadership by example: doing things the right way, practicing the way you want him to practice; he’s always competing. Now that he’s a senior, he’s being a lot more vocal now and holding guys accountable.”
Up next: the Bearcats
USF (3-4, 2-1) is coming off its first road win of the season and will play away from Raymond James Stadium again this week when it travels to play Cincinnati on Friday night. The Bearcats (3-3, 1-1) snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday in a 41-3 victory over SMU. Taggart admitted the Bearcats will be a more difficult opponent than Tulsa.
“It’s going to be a tougher challenge this week, going up to Cincinnati to play the Bearcats,” he said. “It’s a football team that’s getting better by the week. They have a talented quarterback and some really good assets to throw to.”
The temperature at kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday will be 60 degrees, roughly 20 degrees lower than the warm Tampa climate. But despite the cold, Taggart said there will be no excuses for a bad performance.
“We can’t get caught up in that; we all have to play in it,” Taggart said. “I don’t buy that getting used to it. It’s going to be cold for everyone out there. We just have to go play and not use that as an excuse or something that’s going to keep us back.”