In case you haven’t heard, Lou Holtz son, Skip, has himself a new job this season. The younger Holtz is now Head Coach of the University of South Florida Bulls (3-2, 0-1) who travel to Morgantown to mix it up with the 25th Ranked Mountaineers (4-1, 0-0) this Thursday night. Comparing the way both teams played this past weekend, it would appear that the Mountaineers will run away with this game in the same fashion as they did against UNLV.
Beginning with USF, just three days ago the Bulls suffered their program’s first ever loss to the Syracuse Orange by a score of 13-9. This is a very close score and from what I saw of the USF-SU game it was very competitive. However, by looking inside the numbers, it’s easy to see that the USF offense had a few issues. The Bull’s offense was held to 219 total yards, less than 100 rushing yards and turned the ball over twice. Those two turnovers were committed by sophomore quarterback, B.J. Daniels (he’s the guy who chewed WVU up in last year’s 30-19 USF win), who threw two interceptions in the red zone. Actually, USF’s only offensive points came from a second quarter field goal.
It seems like for everything wrong USF did offensively this past Saturday, Coach Bill Stewart’s WVU offense was able to do something right. According to the smart people who keep track of this type of stuff, for the first time this season and the eighth time in the past 31 games, the Mountaineer offense did not commit a turnover. WVU quarterback Gino Smith completed 12-16 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns (all to Bradley Starks). As a team, the Mountaineers compiled 445 yards of total offense, which of course are twice as many yards as USF compiled against Syracuse.
OK defensive fans, I haven’t forgotten the old saying about offense winning games and defense winning championships. Honestly, I think defense will be the side of the ball that decides this very game. Usually, USF has the faster, better pass covering defense but, this season, I truly believe WVU is not only faster, but also plays better pass defense. I don’t see the WVU offense putting up 445 yards against USF nor do I see Daniels and the Bulls struggling quite as much as they did against the Orange. More than likely, the series between the Mountaineers and the Bulls will be evened up at 3 games apiece following their Thursday night prime time match up on ESPN in large part because of the true heart of the 2010 Mountaineers, the defense.
About the Author
Written by Jason Lee
Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, I've been a sports fan probably since I was about 9 years old! A 2002 graduate of Mount Union College (Alliance, OH), I've had the opportunity to cover some great high school football on the radio in both Ohio (working with WHBC in Canton) and in West Virginia (I currently work with Bristol Broadcasting in Charleston). I also keep an on-line journal/blogs on my own website.