Despite a home loss, South Florida may have taken a strong step in the right direction last week. It gave the then-No. 4 team in the nation all it could handle, and it showed signs of fight after dropping a pair of winnable games, a sign that the Bulls will not go quietly in the heart of Big East play.
They ride a three-game losing streak Saturday into Temple — which is playing its first Big East game since 2004 — with a chance to get things back on track. One key piece who should re-emerge is wide receiver Andre Davis, less than a month removed from a record-setting day.
Davis' 191 receiving yards in a Week 2 come-from-behind win at Nevada looked like it would be the start of something special for the sophomore, whom USF was expected to count on even more since Sterling Griffin was lost for the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered the same day.
Davis responded with eight catches for 84 yards the following week in a loss to Rutgers, but he hasn't been seen or heard from much since. He has three total catches for just 24 yards over the Bulls' past two games, both losses, and USF needs to get him back into a groove if it wants to make a run in the conference.
USF probably won't face a defense anything like Florida State's again until it hosts Connecticut next month, and the Bulls will need one of their biggest playmakers to step up if they hope to end their Big East woes and make their recent conference mark — 1-9 over their last 10 Big East games — a thing of the past.