Fearless Picks: WVU - USF

Things tightend up considerably going into the final weekend of the regular season. Do any of the pickers dare go against Patrick White in his final home game?


Although it was no cause for celebration, Greg, Chris and Matt moved back into contention with their picks of Pitt last week. Have to give them credit for accuracy, no matter how much they had to hold their noses to do it. Also, kudos to Andy for this week's score selection!


The loss to the Panthers was enough angst for everyone, so no jabs are being dealt out this week. WVU is getting enough of that "friendly fire" to last us all for a long while.

Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 7-4 Pt Diff: 185
USF dominated WVU the past couple of years, and it's possible that will continue this time around as well. Still, it's hard to imagine Pat White will go out softly in his final Mountaineer Field performance. He's pulled plenty of magic rabbits from the hat, and you have to think he has one more left in him.
Pick: West Virginia 21-17
Patrick Curry Last Week: L Season: 7-4 Pt Diff: 194
Once again I am going to pick West Virginia to win as I have all year. I still firmly believe that this team could have won every game on its schedule, but it didn't work out that way. In a perfect world this game will be close heading into the fourth quarter until White, in his last game as a Mountaineer, drops back to pass and takes off leaving USF defenders in his wake as he breaks off a 50 yard touchdown run to seal the game. In reality, USF may not have been the team most thought they would be this year but they still have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. This game will be close but in the end the emotions of senior night will win out.
Pick: West Virginia 24-17
David Velegol Last Week: L Season: 7-4 Pt Diff: 194
The cold weather will play a role in this game. Florida teams have historically struggled in cold temperatures, whether it be the Tampa Bay Bucs or the Miami Hurricanes. I said this last week, but I just cannot see the team letting Pat White go out as anything but a winner.
Pick: West Virginia 27-13
Matt Keller Last Week: W Season: 7-4 Pt Diff: 196
It'll be cold, it'll be dark, it'll be a white out, perhaps both on the field and in the stands - though the money is on the former before the latter. South Florida's lousy, West Virginia's one step above. One has to think the quarterback play, in this tilt, does the same toward the Mountaineers. There's really little to gain or lose either way, and the primary motivating factor is revenge. Somehow all of these, after this sorry season, seem more important than the tangibles, the plays, the Xs and Os of match-ups long past enjoyed. Greg Hunter's still clinging to a lead over me and his long-held notion that a day of football's better than a day of hoops anyday. Chris Richardson's leaving issues of Hoops and Slam all over hotel rooms, Kevin Kinder's rooting for the Sun Bowl for the tequila possibilities and Bill Gleason's sitting in last place. Some things, I suppose, don't change.

I'm giving the advantage to the home team here, leaning on the idea that it's very difficult to defeat a foe three consecutive times, especially one with decent talent. There's not much else. USF doesn't block well, they tackle more poorly than at any time in recent memory, and they are not executing much of anything. The vouch's for West Virginia being just a bit better. This was supposed to be for the Big East championship. Now it's merely serving as the post-entree dinner mint to basketball's titianic clash with Cleveland State. Enjoy.

Pick: West Virginia 24-21
Cam Huffman Last Week: L Season: 7-4/td> Pt Diff: 215
I have no idea hoe to forecast this team'd fortunes these days, but I'm not about to pick against Pat White in his final home game.
Pick: West Virginia 26-20
Taylor Jones Last Week: L Season: 7-4/td> Pt Diff: 221
I predict an impressive performance by the Mountaineer seniors against USF. This is their last game at home, and I think they will all be giving a great effort. With the game being a Saturday night and the White Out in effect, I think this will be a game to remember for the great senior class.
Pick: West Virginia 35-17
Jane Donovan Last Week: L Season: 7-4/td> Pt Diff: 224
And so we come to the last home game of the greatest player ever to wear the Blue and Gold. I have never bet against Pat White and I never will. If there is a way to beat South Florida, he will find it, doubtless in highly dramatic style, with another of the great long runs that will be burned into our collective memories long after he hangs up his cleats. Hopefully, all of his colleagues will also bring the best game of their careers in honor and appreciation for the one and only #5. A WhiteOut is a grand gesture and I hope the Mountaineer Faithful conduct it and themselves with grace and style, the only appropriate way to honor Him Who Shall Never Be Forgotten. Thanks, Pat, for all that you have been and done and for all the joy you have brought us.
Pick: West Virginia 24-17
Chris Richardson Last Week: L Season: 7-4/td> Pt Diff: 232
One year ago, West Virginia entered its regular-season finale with hopes of sewing up a spot in the BCS national title game. This year? Win, and the Mountaineers might be making their way to El Paso and the Sun Bowl.

OK, so the ridiculous preseason expectations of many haven't exactly come to fruition. However, that isn't unique to West Virginia. It's also quite apparent at South Florida, where the Bulls climbed high in the rankings early on only to take a nose dive once Big East play began. Needless to say, this game will not have the hype many expected when the season began.

As hard as the Mountaineers have been to predict all year, this game is pretty straight forward. Simply put, Patrick White is not losing his final game at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Pick: West Virginia 34-20
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 7-4 Pt Diff: 237
I'm sure when the Big East set its football schedule in the summer that it didn't expect to see a combined eight losses between WVU and USF for the showdown on Championship Saturday. Pat White and the rest of the seniors are 1-2 against the Bulls, so revenge may play a part in this contest. The Mountaineers will be in white, the crowd will be in white, so the score is easy to pick.
Pick: West Virginia 5-0
Bill Gleason Last Week: L Season: 6-5 Pt Diff: 235
All year long we've heard how we're not going to let teams like Pitt and USF stack the box on us because we're going to throw the ball. This past week I saw a Pitt program beat WVU with a straight up defense with two deep safeties, a look that last year's Mountaineer program would have torched. Eleven games into the season people say this team has yet to find an identity on offense. I say it found it eight games ago. This may be the least physical Mountaineer offense in more than 20 years.
Pick: USF 42-13

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