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Bulls Offense Struggles In Loss at West Virginia

Posted By Brian Joyce On Oct 15 2010 @ 1:04 pm In South Florida | No Comments

Struggling quarterback  B.J. Daniels threw three more interceptions in last night’s 20-6 loss to #25 West Virginia.  The  interception that cost him the most was the first one he threw.  It happened when the Bulls were trailing 10-3, and they were backed up in there own end. With just under a minute to go until the half, Daniels ill advised pass was picked off by Robert Sands and was returned to the Bulls 11 yard line. Followers of the South Florida Bulls has seen this act before from Daniels. Last night was the third time this season that Daniels has thrown an interception right before the half. It hurt him against Florida and it proved costly yet again last night.  On their first offensive play following the interception by Sands, West Virginia used a little trickery and scored on a hook and lateral  play with quarterback Geno Smith ( 24-31 219 yards and 2 touchdown passes )  throwing to wide receiver  Jock Sanders ( 10 grabs for 31 yards )   who then pitched it to running back  Noel Devine for the remaining 7 yards and that touchdown would make it 17-3 right before the half.  That was game, set, and match!

The Bulls offense has been kept out of the end zone in their first two Big East games, last week against Syracuse and again last night by West Virginia.  Right now the Bulls only offense,  is their kicker Maikon Bonani who made two field goals in as many attempts last night.  South Florida’s only touchdown in two Big East games this season came on a kickoff return against Syracuse. In two Big East games, the Bulls have scored a grand total of 15 points.  On the night Daniels was 20-30— but only 119 yards and was sacked five times and pressured several other times.  With his three interceptions last night, Daniels now has 10 interceptions and that surpasses the nine he threw a season ago. The 10 interceptions he has thrown already this season, leads the nation.  A lot of the passes were mostly screens, very rarely did they attempt to throw the ball down field.  They did try to throw it down field twice, one time they got a pass interference call which set up their first field goal.  Another time they threw it down field, Daniels overthrew an open Evan Landi, who had a step or two on the defender.  The only bright spot with the offense other than the kicker, was senior W.R. Dontavia Bogan who caught 11 passes for nearly 100 yards.

Next game: The Bulls hit the road and play at Cincinnati next Friday night.

State Of The Bulls: After this loss,  the Bulls are 3-3 overall and still winless in two conference games.   The offense is absolutely pathetic!   Daniels has totally regressed and he is making the same mistake, game after game. Will the Bulls change quarterbacks against Cincinnati? Will they go with two quarterbacks?  In the three losses this season, Daniels has thrown 1 touchdown and has been picked off nine times in 73 pass attempts.  Third down has been killing the Bulls all season long and nothing changed last night against West Virginia. South Florida was 1-11 on third downs last night, that will never get the job done. That is another area that the Bulls on offense must fix but when you have a lot of holes in the pipes, the question is, where do you start?  Let’s talk about the interceptions that Daniels has thrown this year.  How many have been B.J. Daniels’ fault? Personally I think most if not all of them are his fault. He is forcing the ball into tight coverage, safe to say he is feeling the “pressure” and he doesn’t look comfortable in the offense.   Another thing that is costing Daniels, he isn’t seeing the entire field and I’ve mentioned that on here a few times so far this season.  I’ll talk about the Bulls “D” briefly, they have been a bright spot so far this season but one negative about the defense….they haven’t forced many turnovers and that needs to change!

Brief summary about the Big East conference.  The Big East Conference has only one team that will be in the top 25 from this point forward and that is clearly West Virginia. The Mountaineers should run the table in this conference and put themselves in a BCS Bowl. I believe everyone else is playing for second place, but one of those teams will not be the Bulls. Only way the Bulls will make noise in conference play, is Daniels picks up the slack and does so in a hurry!

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