Stew's Views: USF

Head coach Bill Stewart followed a familiar pattern on Monday, complimenting his previous opponent while trying to turn attention to the game at the end of the current week.

After again complimenting Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt for the third time in as many days, Stewart tried to minimize attention in that direction by discussing the upcoming foe as well as the accomplishments of West Virginia's senior class.

"Our sights our now set on USF, they have soundly whipped us the last two years so we are certainly going to have our hands full against them on Saturday," Stewart said.

While USF may not have had the type of success this year as they have in the past, Stewart made it clear that this team is still very talented and will be a difficult opponent.

"I just think USF is a heck of a football and it all starts at quarterback with Matt Groethe, I am a big Matt Groethe fan and they have two tremendous ends. I just really think they have a great football team," Stewart said.

Stewart explained the reasons that the Bulls have had so much success slowing down the West Virginia offense in recent years.

"Last season they had two great cornerbacks who were drafted and they locked up our receivers and put one extra man in the box so we had seven men to block to nine," Stewart said. "Our receivers have to beat press coverage to open up our running game."

Stewart also spoke about the outstanding USF defensive line, lead by George Selvie.

"I think that Selvie is the best rush end in the country. They have four defensive linemen that are all great players so we will need to figure out a way to slow them down," Stewart said. This season Selvie has been hampered by injuries, but has still been a force for the Bulls on defense.

Saturday night's regular season finale will be Senior Night at Milan Puskar Stadium. Stewart took time to look back at the senior class in general and Patrick White in particular, rehashing many of the lines he has used in the past.

"This has been a great group of seniors and Patrick White has been one of the best players I have seen in my nine years at West Virginia," Stewart said. "I think that Patrick White is the greatest winner in college football. Like Don Nehlen used to say, ‘Whatever ‘it'is,Patrick White has ‘it''."

Stewart went on to say that he felt White really benefited from staying an extra year because of what he has learned in the passing game from offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen.

"I think Patrick has learned a lot about football this year from Jeff Mullen in the new scheme we are trying to install at West Virginia," Stewart said.

The Mountaineers have lost their last two games to South Florida including a 21-13 defeat last year in Tampa. West Virginia will be attempting to avoid its first five-loss regular season since 2001.


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