SOUTH FLORIDA WON: B.J. Daniels threw touchdown passes of 52 and 56 yards in the final three minutes to help USF outlast Nevada in a 32-31 shootout victory. Daniels' final heave with 38 seconds left dropped right into Andre Davis' hands as he sprinted toward the goal line, and Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo couldn't get the Wolf Pack into scoring position before time expired.
HOW SOUTH FLORIDA WON: By hanging around and making enough big plays. Fajardo was outstanding, throwing for 271 yards and rushing for 134. He made all the correct reads in the patented Wolf Pack pistol attack, and running back Stefphon Jefferson added 135 yards rushing on 30 carries. But while Nevada wore down South Florida's visibly exhausted defense, Daniels and the Bulls' offense were racking up yards as well. Davis set a single-game school record with 191 receiving yards on 12 receptions, and running backs Demetris Murray and Lindsey Lamar combined for 145 yards on 21 carries. Daniels, no stranger to big performances, threw for 363 yards and three 50-plus-yard touchdowns.
WHEN SOUTH FLORIDA WON: Daniels' touchdown to Chris Dunkley with 2:37 remaining seemed like desperation that worked out well. It got the Bulls back into the game and gave them some momentum with a dash of hope. But the game-winning score with 38 seconds left was the killstroke of a confident team. All of the thin air in Mackay Stadium left as the rowdy fans stood in silence and watched the celebration on the Bulls' sideline.
WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA WON: As Skip Holtz noted in his post-game comments to CBS Sports Network, the Bulls lost five close games last season -- all games that USF could have/should have won but lost because of a few mistakes or bad bounces. This is the type of win that can re-energize a team that hasn't had a lot go its way in the last two years.
WHAT NEVADA LOST: The Wolf Pack have a chance to win the Mountain West in their first season of membership, and that is not lost at all. With Boise State looking less invincible, it is possible Fajardo can be their kryptonite. If Nevada plays the way it has against Cal and USF in conference play, it will have a chance to claim the league title. Losing this game does not affect Wolf Pack's biggest goal, but a win could have launched them into the national spotlight -- possibly inching them closer towards a Top 25 ranking.
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