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Will the Bulls Rebound?

Posted By Brian Joyce On Oct 13 2010 @ 9:18 am In South Florida | No Comments

USF is coming off an ugly loss to Syracuse and they hit the road for only the second time this year and are playing a ranked  West Virginia team on a short week. In other words, South Florida has no time to feel sorry for themselves. No pity parties as Skip Holtz said after the loss to Syracuse. On the flip side, West Virginia is coming off a blowout win against UNLV and is back in the top 25.  The Mountaineers only loss of the season was at L.S.U. and Tiger Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in all of college football.  West Virginia is clearly the best team in the Big East conference.

Thursday nights haven’t been kind to South Florida over the last three seasons. The Thursday issues have handed them their first loss in each of the last three seasons and each time the Bulls were ranked. Clearly it’s a little different for the Bulls this time around, perhaps they’ll play spoiler tomorrow night in Morgantown.   Overall the Bulls are 0-5 on Thursday night games.  South Florida will be playing their second ranked opponent of the year. The first game against a ranked opponent, was a loss at then #6 six ranked Florida in front of 90,000 screaming Gator fans.  The Bulls hung around for nearly three quarters in that game but eventually got smoked in the end! That game in Gainesville was against a very fast Florida team, the Bulls hope that game will help them when they face a “fast” Mountaineer team. The Bulls have speed as well but overall West Virginia is the fastest team in the conference.   Head coach Skip Holtz does have some history against West Virginia. Son of Lou got one of his biggest wins in his young coaching career back in 2008, when his East Carolina Pirates  beat #8 West Virginia 24-3 in what was Bill Stewart’s second game as head coach. Skip Holtz’s history in Morgantown is clouded with bad memories though,  not only losing twice but giving up a bunch of yards in each loss.

B.J. Daniels and the offense is coming off  a  sluggish showing on Saturday. The Bulls offense never founds it’s rhythm and was out of synch for most of the game.  Syracuse blitzed from just about every angle and the O.L. had protection problems the entire game. Daniels looked confused and it showed in his performance. Twice in that game he had wide open receivers but he never saw them. Daniels isn’t seeing the entire field and that is a major concern for the Bulls offense.  Did Daniels regress in that loss against Syracuse?  In the 2 losses for the Bulls this season,  Daniels has thrown only 1 touchdown, six interceptions and is a pathetic 14-43. That needs to change and change quick if the Bulls want to make any noise in the conference this year.  The Bulls will sink or swim with Daniels as the quarterback this year because his backup is true freshman and walk-on Bobby Eveld. South Florida can help themselves tomorrow night by having Daniels in more of an option read offense.  It seems to me that Daniels is more effective and he looks more comfortable when running those particular plays.   Another negative when talking about the the Bulls offense is they have 10 turnovers, which ties them with West Virginia, most in the Big East.  West Virginia like Syracuse will be bringing the blitz as well  and this Mountaineer “D” is MUCH better than Syracuse. West Virginia has the Big East’s No. 1 scoring defense ( 13.6 points per game–254 yards per game )  Also the forecast from what I have read ” calls for some rain and temps. in the 50′s.  Clearly taking care of the football is priority number one and the Bulls at times don’t do a good job of doing that, even in ideal weather conditions.  In a game that could be close, it could come down to the kicking game. Advantage West Virginia, the Bulls have missed a bunch of field goals already this year and even had an extra point blocked last week against Syracuse. South Florida’s return game has been solid overall this year, even returning a kickoff for 94 yards for a touchdown last week, the Bulls only touchdown of the game.

Prediction West Virginia 22 South Florida 14

Vegas Line: West Virginia favored by 8

State  Of  The Bulls: South Florida is coming off a conference loss at home against Syracuse. This will be West Virginia’s first Big East game. USF has won 3 of the last 4 games against the Mountaineers. Daniels ate up West Virginia last year, does he have a repeat performance tomorrow night?

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