South Florida Bulls (3-2, 0-1 BIg East) VS (25) West Virginia Mountaineers (4-1, 3-0 home) @ Mountaineer Field on The Score, 7:30 PM ET
Line: WVU by 10
Reason to watch: WVU is making headway in the Big East again, and sophomore QB Geno Smith (97-146,1139 yds, 12 tds) has really stepped up to fill the whole left by Pat White and Jarrett Brown. WVU has beaten up mostly on weaker opponents like non-conference teams Coastal Carolina (W 31-0), @Marshall (W 24-21), Maryland (W 31-17), and last week versus UNLV (W 49-10). Those teams have a combined record of 7-15 with Maryland accounting for 4 of those wins. WVU had it’s toughest match-up two weeks ago against undefeated LSU (L 20-14). QB Geno Smith was solid in the LSU game with 119 yds, 2 tds, and 1 int, but senior RB Noel Devine was shut down by a stout Tigers D with 14 carries, 37 yds only averaging 2.6 ypc.
Now we get to Noel Devine (475 yds, 4 tds), once considered shoe-in for at least one Heisman through out his stay in Morgantown, doesn’t look like he’ll be making a run this year either. Devine is still one of the more explosive players in college football ranking 10th in the nation in rushing, but his yards per average has gone down every year since his freshman season. In 2007 he averaged 8.6 ypc, in 2008 on 206 carries 6.3 ypc, and in 2009 on 241 carries 6.1 ypc. This year Devine is averaging 5.3 ypc while suffering from a toe injury that limited him to only 3 rushes for 84 yards and 2 tds against UNLV.
South Florida is a different team under new head coach Skip Holtz. Holtz the former East Carolina coach, should have a confident group tonight with his Bulls beating a then top 10 WVU 30-19 home win Oct. 30, 2009. The Bulls rely on sophomore QB B.J. Daniels (50-95, 684 yds, 4 tds) in SFU two toughest games against Syracuse (L 13-9) and @Florida (L 38-14) Daniels was terrible. Against Florida, Daniels was 5 of 20 for 84 yards with 1 td and 4 picks, then against conference rival ‘Cuse he was 9 for 23 for 124 yds with no TD’s and two more picks.
But you never know what you’re going to get on Thursday night.