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West Virginia insists it isn't lacking for motivation against South Florida despite already clinching its first BCS berth and fourth Big East championship.

The No. 12 Mountaineers (9-1, 6-0 Big East) are one win from their fourth 10-win season in school history and their third consecutive Big East title and first outright since 1993. So though this WVU team is one of just 11 to win nine or more games, it appears to be focused on South Florida (6-4, 4-2), which has yet to even trail at home. West Virginia is undefeated on the road this season.

"If going out and getting a win isn't enough motivation, I don't know what is," senior safety Jahmile Addae said. "For somebody to say you can't get up for a game is pretty stupid."

There are plenty in the ignorance parade then. Many pundits have picked the underdog Bulls based on WVU's psychological nature instead of its talent. The statistics won't back that derailed train of thought, and the USF film study seems to have jarred any notions of an effortless game.

"Our guys can watch film and see athletes, and they will watch and see that USF has more than Pitt," WVU head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "They have big, tall wideouts. They can create jump balls, something we have not seen much."

And they have Andre Hall, the Big East's leading rusher with 1,181 yards and 13 touchdowns. He leads South Florida with 21 catches for 257 yards, ranking him second in the league in all-purpose yards.

"This isn't just buttering up for game time," Addae said. "He is the real deal."

Rodriguez agrees.

"Stop Andre Hall is the first key," he said. "He is one of the best backs in the country. He is so low to the ground that he does not give you a lot of surface area to tackle. People don't get good shots on him because of the way he runs. He runs inside, outside, the can catch. He is the key, no question."

Besides the talent level difference between USF and Pitt, the outside distractions are many. WVU expected to be finish the season against Pitt, but Hurricane Wilma pushed the USF game from Oct. 22 to Dec. 3. It will be WVU's latest regular season game ever and just its second in December.

West Virginia is also attempting to carry the conference's BCS ranking. Should WVU lose, it would fall out of the BCS top 12, meaning the Big East would be pressed to solidify its BCS berth before 2007, when all conferences are reviewed to insure that their automatic bid is worthwhile.

Add in the weather switch from a seven-degree wind chill to a 60-degree night game, and it is a concern for the entire team. The difference between warm and cold weather games?

"I'll tell you when we play the warm weather game," Rodriguez said. "In the cold game it is easier to lose your focus. I saw a lot of our guys, guys that we starters, whose lips were quivering against Pitt. I didn't say anything, but I thought, 'this isn't good.' I wasn't cold, but they were.

"The warm game is different in that it is easier to lose your wind and conditioning. It's not like it's going to be hot-hot. But we're used to our environment. We have been practicing recently in cold weather. That's why it was good to get a warm day to get outside. If it gets too cold, I still might take them inside and crank up the heaters."

The weather was thought to be a reason USF struggled at UConn. The Bulls are hoping the reverse holds true.

"That game was in the 30s," Rodriguez said. "Heck, that would have been a balmy day for us with our seven degree windchill. All that doesn't bother you as much as if it was wet."

Said tackle Garin Justice: "You prepare and work all year for 11, 12 games. It flies by as a senior. This is to give credibility to us, to say we were Big East champions and beat everybody. You don't want a loss hanging over you for a month. I always feel like crap the whole week until we play another game."

That next game will be WVU's fourth major bowl ever and its first in 12 years. Expected to be selected for the Sugar Bowl in Atlanta, the Mountaineers will likely play the winner of the SEC title game between LSU and Georgia.

"I grew up an LSU fan, so I am rooting for them," quarterback Pat White said. "But first things first with South Florida."

Recent headlines claiming that USF "handed" the Big East title to WVU have provided extra incentive. ESPN and other media outlets harped on the fact that USF controlled its own destiny without ever mentioning that West Virginia not only did the same, but had a more solid shot and would at least tie.

"People are saying we have already been handed the Big East. We want to show otherwise," center Dan Mozes said. "We haven't been handed it. We beat everybody so far and we want to finish that. We want the record of 10-1. We came into the season with goals of going undefeated, and to win the Big East championship. That's what we are going to do Saturday. We're going down with the attitude that the Big East is not won yet."

Addae will play his last regular season college game in the same stadium in which he ended his prep career. The 17-year old played a scholastic all-star game at Raymond James Stadium, the home of USF.

"Valrico is a suburb of Tampa, just 10 minutes away," Addae said. "I have been trying to help everybody out with tickets. I have so many requests that I told people that if their last name isn't Addae, I can't help them. It's a good opportunity for me to showcase what I have been working on for the last five years in front of people who supported me. It's something I don't take lightly. I'll try to put on a show."

He won't be starry-eyed by the stadium, though.

"I hated the Bucs for years," he said. "But then they changed their uniforms and got that Pirate ship in the stadium, and I guess I started to like them."

Addae knows several players on the USF roster, but said the Bulls did not recruit him.

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Rodriguez's next coaching prodigy is already ahead of pace. His son, Rhett, began shouting at the television for Connecticut to kneel the football with 1:30 left on a running clock after its last first down. South Florida had no timeouts remaining.

"He was yelling 'Just take a knee!'" Rodriguez said. "Then the coach handed the ball off twice, and Rhett says 'What are you doing? Just take a knee!' I was pretty proud of him. Seven years old and he understands you can run the clock out with 1:30 to go.

"His plans now are to play at West Virginia, maybe go pro for a couple years, then come back and coach for me. I said I didn't think I could last that long."

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