RENO, Nev. (AP) — B.J. Daniels passed for 363 yards and three touchdowns, including a 56-yard scoring toss to Andre Davis with 38 seconds left in the game Saturday, to help South Florida come from behind to beat Nevada 32-31.
"B.J did a great job," Holtz said. "Boy, he was poised. Even to the point where he was starting to (tick) me off a little bit, he was so calm. "I was saying "B.J. let's go, let's go.' He was like, "Calm down. We've got this,' " he said.
Daniels also threw a 51-yard TD to Davis, who finished with 12 catches for 191 yards, and a 52-yard score to Chris Dunkley with 2:37 remaining.
"We ended up four or five times on the losing end of these games a year ago," Holtz said. "To see these guys compete and finish it, hopefully they can gain a little bit of confidence from this."
Daniels said those tough losses helped prepare him better for Saturday's contest. "I've seen it before," he said. "I've been through the highs and lows and ups and downs. I was just making sure we stayed focused -- not trying to hurry, just win," he said.
Lindsey Lamar added 85 yards rushing on just 8 carries for the Bulls (2-0), who trailed 21-6 in The Opening quarter.
Cody Fajardo passed for 271 yards and a touchdown and ran for 134 yards and two more scores, and Stefphon Jefferson ran for 135 yards for the Wolf Pack (1-1), who won their opener last week at Cal and had lost only once in their last 18 home games.
"That's a real difficult loss," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "They're a really good football team, no question about it."
Nevada, which moved this season from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West, dominated early and led 21-13 at the half but Lamar ran 35 yards for a touchdown on South Florida's opening drive of the second half to cut the lead to 21-20.
"We have a lot of playmakers on this team and today we were able to utilize them," Lamar said.
Fajardo answered with passes of 23 yards to Brandon Wimberly and 19 yards to Kendall Brock before faking a hand off and rolling around the right side 14 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the third quarter to make it 28-20.
Allen Hardison's 35-yard field goal put Nevada ahead 31-20 with 8:16 left in the game before the Bulls of the Big East Conference mounted their comeback.
"We all kept saying, "Don't look at the scoreboard just do your job,' " said linebacker Michael Lanaris, who had a team-high 10 tackles for the Bulls.
Daniels, who also ran for 53 yards on 11 carries, completed 22 of 40 passes on the game but was 10 of 17 for 227 yards in the fourth quarter alone. Demitri Murray added 60 yards rushing for the Bulls.
"B.J. Daniels is a great athlete," Nevada safety Duke Williams said. "He's mobile. He's one of the better quarterbacks I've ever faced in college. He has great receivers around him which makes him even better."
"I give all the credit to South Florida, they came over here 2,500 miles and came out with a win," he said. "It's a hard loss. We were up pretty much the whole game and they took it from us. The better team won."
Fajardo, a sophomore, completed 27 of 38 passes on the game. He was practically flawless early, leading Nevada to touchdowns on its first three possessions, rushing for 88 yards in the first quarter and completing 9 of his first 10 pass attempts, including a 29-yard scoring toss to Joe Huber that put the Wolf Pack on top 21-6.
After a roughing the quarterback penalty against defensive end Brock Hekking, Demetri Murray got loose for an 18-yard run to set up his own 1-yard touchdown dive and Maikon Bonani converted the extra point this time to cut it to 21-13 9:20 before the half.
Nevada was driving again before Sam Barrington forced Jefferson to fumble and Jaquez Jenkins recovered on the USF 14. After Markus Smithwas called for interfering with Sterling Griffin near midfield, Daniels completed a 57-yard pass to Terrence Mitchell at Nevada's 13, but the officials ruled Mitchell had stepped out of bounds before that and the Bulls had to punt again.
Griffin, who was USF's leading returning receiver from a year ago, later apparently injured his right knee and left the game at the half without a reception.
The Bulls also lost defensive lineman Elkino Watson late in the second quarter and defensive back Kayvon Webster in the third quarter to apparent knee injuries.
Fajardo would have had three rushing touchdowns but fumbled in the end zone at the end of a 26-yard run on Nevada's opening drive and tight endZach Sudfeld recovered for his first career TD and a 7-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the game. Click here for more info or to share your thoughts with other USF insiders -- get the inside scoop!