Bits & Bytes: West Virginia - USF

A final collection of informational notes and nuggets for the last regular season game of the 2008 football season.

BlueGoldNews.com Game Scorecard
Sat 12/6/08 8:00 PM

Morgantown, WV

Mountaineer Field
Record: 7-4
BCS: NR
Last Game
Pitt L 15-19
TV: ESPN2
Radio: Sirius, MSN
Web
BlueGoldNews.com
Record: 7-4
BCS: NR
Last Game
UConn W 17-13
Rosters/ Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2008 Schedule

Series: USF 2-1
First Meeting: 2005
Last Meeting: 2007
Rosters/Bios
Press Release
Season Stats
2008 Schedule

Click for Morgantown, West Virginia Forecast


SHARING THE LIMELIGHT

This week's trivia question is a bit nebulous, but it does have a USF tie. The USF football practice facility will host the AFC Champion in preparations for this year's Super Bowl XLIII. Once this occurs, USF will be one of only six programs to play their home football games in a stadium that has hosted multiple Super Bowls while they have been a tenant. Can you name the other five schools?

THIRD QUARTER SHOWDOWN

Both teams have been dominant in the third quarter this year. West Virginia has outscored foes by the count of 95-14 in that stanza, while USF has been nearly as impressive, topping opponents by the tally of 75-28. WVU has been able to extend that strength to the fourth quarter, however, while USF has been outscored in the final 15 minutes.

VYING FOR THE TOP

Matt Grothe and Pat White will be competing for the Big East record books on Saturday. Both quarterbacks are within striking distance of 10,000 career yards of total offense, although Grothe would need a very big night to get there. White has 9,961 (5,576 passing, 4,385 rushing) entering the game, while Grothe has 9,670 (7,732 passing, 1938 rushing). No player in Big East history has ever accounted for 10,000 yards of total offense. Pat White will be playing in his 49th game on Saturday, while Grothe will be playing in his 38th career game. Donovan McNabb (Syracuse, 1995-98) owned the record of 9,950 entering the season.

Grothe, a junior, will certainly pass White next year, but probably won't be able to win the race to become the first Big East player ever to top the 10K mark.

PETTY

USF boasts that it has the largest student section in the Big East at 12,501. This, according to the Bull athletic department, exceeds the size of West Virginia's section by exactly one seat.

This sort of one-upmanship might be expected from schools such as Marshall, but USF should be beyond it. Then again, when Tennessee was building its new basketball arena a few years back, it modified the plans and added some very remote seats to ensure that its new building had more seats than Kentucky's Rupp Arena.

Can we leave the "my stuff is better than yours" and one-upmanship crap out of the discussion, please?

GETTING OFF THE FIELD

West Virginia's defense has struggled to get "three-and-outs" this year – in fact, that's one of the few play phases in which the Mountaineer defense could improve. USF, while giving up more points than WVU, has been very successful in that regard.

USF has held opponents without a first down on 56 of 138 drives this season. That works out to a staggering number -- 40.6% of the time, USF foes have not been able to get a single first down. Overall, USF is only allowing 16.0 first downs per game, which is the 13th-best mark nationally. On the flip side, West Virginia has recorded just 195 first downs this year while yielding 213.

If WVU has four or five three and outs, it will be very hard pressed to come up with a win in the regular season finale.

HAIL TO THE SENIORS

Everyone knows it's Senior Day, but there's probably not enough credit given to the handful of players that makes it through four or five years of school and football. That it's more difficult than most think is demonstrated in the small numbers that do make it. Every year 20-25 scholarship players, plus a number of walk-ons, hit campus for their freshman seasons. Five years later, there are usually only 15 or so left. Each player, no matter his level of contribution in games, deserves a big cheer and notice for his achievement.

This year's senior class includes: John Bradshaw (OL), Mike Dent (OL), Jake Figner (OL), Chris Glenn (K), Tito Gonzales (WR), Adam Hughes (LS), Mortty Ivy (LB), Dorrell Jalloh (WR), Jim Lewis (LB), Pat Liebig (DL), Stephen Maw (OL), Sammy Morrone (TE), Doug Slavonic (DL), Ryan Stanchek (OL) and Pat White (QB).

One and all, thank you for all you've done for the Mountaineer football program.

TRIVIA ANSWER

The others five schools who have had stadiums host multiple Super Bowls while they were tenants are USC, UCLA, San Diego State, Miami and Tulane.


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