Preview: West Virginia - South Florida

The South Florida Bulls charge in looking to stampede over the BCS hopeful Mountaineers.






BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Series: WVU 1-0
Sat 11/25 Noon
Morgantown, W. Va.

Milan Puskar Stadium
Record: 9-1
USA/Coaches: 7th
Last Game
Pitt W 45-27

Click for Morgantown, West Virginia Forecast
Record: 7-4
USA/Coaches: N/A
Last Game
U of L L 8-31
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2006 Schedule
First Meeting: 2005
Last Meeting: 2005
Rosters/Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2006 Schedule

Injuries:

WVU: Johnny Dingle (Ankle) Probable, Pat Liebig (Ankle) Probable, Owen Schmitt (Ankle, Knee (Probable)

USF: Jake Griffin (Foot) Probable, Brouce Mompremier (Shoulder) Probable, A. Cox (Eye) Probable, Jessie Hester Jr. (Undisclosed) Probable

Game Outlook:

WVU offense vs. USF defense

The South Florida defense is led by a one of the top linebacking corps in the nation spearheaded by middle linebacker Ben Moffitt(6-2, 240). The junior leads the team with 98 tackles and has racked up 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two pass break-ups and six quarterback hurries.

Joining Moffitt will be Stephen Nicholas (6-3, 225) and Pat St. Louis (6-1, 230). Nicholas is an All-American candidate that is the heart of the Bulls' defense. The senior has totaled 90 stops this season, including 11 behind the line of scrimmage, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, four pass break-ups and eight quarterback hurries. The Jacksonville native is a three-time member of the Butkus Watch List and was also named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List this season. St. Louis, a speedy backer from Miami, is third on the team in tackles with 80 and will be making his 34th straight start for the Bulls.

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Game Info
WVU 9-1, 4-1
USF 7-4, 3-3
Sat 11/25 Noon
Milan Puskar Stadium
Series: WVU 1-0
TV: ESPN2
BCS: WVU 7 - USF NR
Harris: WVU 7 - USF NR
Line: WVU -19.5
The South Florida defensive line has been statistically lead by freshman George Selvie (6-4, 255). Selvie has been a pleasant surprise for Bulls' defensive coordinator Wally Burnham, totaling 68 tackles, 5.5 sacks and nine quarterback hits, which is the best on the team.

Joining Selvie at defensive end will be Josh Julmiste (6-6, 275). Julmiste, brother of USF quarterback Pat Julmiste, will be making only his fifth start of his career against the Mountaineers. In limited action, the sophomore has 14 tackles and four QBHs.

Manning the middle of the USF defensive front will be Allen Cray (6-0, 295) and Woody George (6-3, 265). The duo has combined for 53 stops, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and five QB hits to date.

In the secondary Trae Williams (5-10, 185) and Mike Jenkins (6-0, 200) will get the starting nods at cornerback. Williams has been the most productive defensive back for USF, recording 47 tackles while leading the team with six interceptions. The junior also owns nine pass break-ups to date. Leading the team with 11 PBUs is Jenkins, a junior. The Florida native was named preseason first team Big East after being named Second team all-Big East in 2005.

The safety positions will be manned by Jerremy Burnett (6-1, 190) and Carlton Williams (6-4, 205). Burnett, a Purdue transfer, leads all USF defensive backs with 63 tackles and one interception. Williams, one of the biggest safeties in the conference, has 35 stops to date, and was named Honorable Mention Freshman All-America by The Sporting News at the end of last season.

By The Numbers :
WVU is ranked second in total offense (480.70 yds/game), second in rushing offense (330.10 yds/game) and 104th in passing offense (150.60 yds/game)

USF is ranked 27th in total defense (295.73 yds/game), 39th in rushing defense (119.27 yds/game) and 12th in passing efficiency defense (102.30 rating).

Advantage: WVU

WVU defense vs. USF offense

The South Florida offense has been lead by the surprising arm and feet of redshirt freshman Matt Grothe (6-0, 200). The Florida native leads the Bulls in rushing, passing and scoring with 2,776 total yards and 48 points. Grothe has connected on 62.8% of his passes (174-277) for 2,216 yards including 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also has totaled 560 yards rushing on 148 attempts for an average of 50.9 per game.

Joining Grothe in the backfield will be Benjamin Williams (5-7, 190). A former walk-on, Williams has averaged 3.6 yards per carry and has reached paydirt twice. He also has five receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown.

Hauling in passes from Grothe will be group of speedy receivers, six of which have caught at least 17 passes this season. Leading the receiving corps is Ean Randolph (5-9, 175). The Webber International transfer has 40 receptions for 414 yards and three touchdowns to date.

Joining Randolph will be Amarri Jackson (6-5, 195), Taurus Johnson (6-1, 190) and Marcus Edwards (5-11, 175). The trio has combined for an average of 94.2 yards per game and has a total of six touchdown receptionss.

The offenisve line has done a solid job of protecting Grothe. Starting at the tackle positions will be Marc Dile (6-4, 310) and Walter Walker (6-5, 305). Dile and Walker have made a combined 15 starts the season. On the interior of the line will be LG Matt Huners (6-3, 290), C Nick Capogna (6-3, 275) a converted TE and RG Ryan Schmidt (6-5, 305), a Kansas St transfer.

By The Numbers :
WVU is ranked 36th in total defense (307.50 yds/game), seventh in rushing defense (79.50 yds/game) and 32nd in passing efficiency defense (114.43).

USF is ranked 42nd in total offense (368.36 yds/game), 44th in rushing offense (148.55 yds/game) and 40th in passing offense (219.82 yds/game).

Advantage: WVU

WVU special teams vs. USF special teams

The South Florida special teams haven't been as special as head coach Jim Leavitt has hoped. While the punt return team has been solid, lead by returner Ean Randolph (5-9, 175) who is averging 15.1 yards on 21 returns including one touchdown, the other units have struggled.

Returning kickoffs will be Taurus Johnson (6-1, 190). Johnson, a sophomore, has averaged 22.8 yards on 13 returns with a long of 42 yards.

Starting punter Justin Teachey (5-11, 170) has averaged 37.5 yards on 34 attempts with only four punts resulting in a fair catch. Kickers Mike Benzer (5-8, 185) and Delbert Alvarado (6-0, 175) have been erractic in the kicking game, connecting on only 5 of 13 field goal attempts.

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By The Numbers:
WVU is ranked 63rd in net punting (34.67 yds/punt), 27th in kick returns (22.26 yds/return) and 44th in punt returns (10.05 yds/return).

USF is ranked 116th in net punting (29.38 yds/punt), 79th in kick returns (19.00 yds/return) and 19th in punt returns (13.13 yds/return)

Advantage: WVU

Picks to Click:

On Offense: Steve Slaton, Patrick White...take your pick.

On Defense: Guesly Dervil

Totally Useless Facts:

  • USF offensive coordinator Rod Smith played quarterback for Rich Rodriguez while at Glenville State, and was on the staff at WVU for a couple of months before moving to South Florida
  • The Bulls are upgrading their football schedule by adding games with Auburn, Florida, Miami, NC State and Michigan State over the next several seasons.
  • Of the 90 players listed on South Florida's roster, 82 (91%) are from the Sunshine State.

Prediction:

South Florida is a young team with a bunch of speed, athleticism and hope for the future, but it's also a team that lacks experience to win the big games. The Bulls own two victories over teams with winning records (7-4 McNeese State and 6-5 Pitt) with the average score of their four loses being 22-10. USF is a solid team that could give the Mountaineers fits over the next few seasons, but not this year.

WVU - 48 USF - 17


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