South Florida loses today at home to Pittsburgh 17-10 in front of their largest crowd of the season. Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis ran for 102 yards on 22 attempts, including the game winning touchdown from 22 yards out when he broke three tackles on the first play of the fourth quarter. With this win today by Pittsburgh, they still have sole possession of first place in the Big East. The Panthers can clinch the Big East and a automatic berth in a BCS Bowl, by winning their two remaining conference games, home in six days against their biggest rival West Virginia and on the road against Cincinnati. The loss for the Bulls snapped their three game winning streak and it’s also their first loss since October 14th when they lost at West Virginia.
The Bulls only touchdown was scored by true freshman and Tampa native Terrence Mitchell on a 45 yard touchdown run to tie the game at 10-10. Other than that, the Bulls offense was nonexistent most of the day. Quarterback B.J. Daniels had a rough day passing, he was 14 for 29 ( 122 yards ) and on the last play of the game, Daniels was intercepted by Cornerback Antwuan Reed who was flagged for pass interference four times. Overall the Panthers committed 11 penalties for 116 yards, but the Bulls never cashed in on the Panthers mistakes.
After Pittsburgh missed a 43 yard field goal with 1:31 left in regulation. South Florida still had one chance remaining to tie the game. On that final possession which started at their own 26 yard line, the first play went for a sack and the second play was a 4 yard completion inbounds. That pretty much sums up the Bulls on offense in this game and at times this season. In all four losses for the Bulls this season, they have scored 14 points or fewer. Other than a first quarter possesion that started at the Pittsburgh 35 yard line, South Florida didn’t take a snap from inside the 35 yard line.
Next game: Next Saturday at Miami
My Thoughts: With this loss today, the Bulls have zero chance to win the Big East. When the season started, I thought like many it was between West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Clearly Pittsburgh is in the drivers seat for the Big East title in 2010. Who thought Syracuse would ever be invited to the party? Just about anyone and everyone picked the Orange for last place, but they have been a very pleasant surprise in the Big East. Both West Virginia and Pittsburgh were ranked in the top 25 before the season started but neither team stayed for very long. Pittsburgh lost at Utah and a couple weeks later got smoked at home against Miami and suddenly the Panthers didn’t look very good. West Virginia struggled against Marshall, I don’t care if they are in the same state or not. Certainly the talent level isn’t on the same level and the Mountaineers needed to come from behind and eventually go into overtime before beating the Thundering Herd. After watching both Pittsburgh and West Virginia struggle or lose to teams they should have beaten, I felt the Big East would be wide open and maybe, just maybe the South Florida Bulls could finally win the conference. The Bulls were 5 days away from Thanksgiving before they were eliminated from conference play. Not bad. USF still has one conference game remaining, in two weeks against Connecticut. With this loss today, it sounds like the Bulls will be going bowling about 25 miles from campus and end up in St. Pete. Now that is exciting! Not!
One More Thought: This is why the BCS stinks! We’ve heard the jokes about the BCS ( Bad Computer System or take away the letter C and you have BS ) If the Big East can’t even get a team in the top 25, how can this conference even get an automatic berth? Why is the BCS rewarding mediocre football? Aren’t you supposed to earn it? I believe if you are in a BCS Conference, you should have to be in the top 15 in order to qualify for a major bowl. If not, then some other team from another major conference gets the berth. When I was growing up, the teams that played in the major bowls were your elite teams in the nation. That is not the case anymore, I guess I’m getting old!
About the Author
Written by Brian Joyce
Hi my name is Brian and I currently reside in the Sarasota area. I'm currently an online student with Southern New Hampshire University going for my Bachelor's in Communications. New Hampshire is close to my heart because I got married there in October of 2011. I was an intern with the local ABC station here in Sarasota last summer and it lasted until the winter. I had a blast and loved putting together highlights for the live sportscasts. I have also interned at WSRQ radio in Sarasota. Currently working for State College of Florida with their hoops team and softball team. I was at Tropicana Field, back in October of 2008 when the Rays won the AL. David Price came out of the bullpen that night and got Jed Lowrie to ground out and the dome went nuts! TB had a losing season every year until 2008, it was a magical season for the Rays.