When: Thur, 8p, ESPN
Line: WVU -1
West Virginia Players to Watch:
Geno Smith, QB: 3,741 yards, 25 TD, 5 INT
Tavon Austin, WR: 82 rec, 2,086 all-purpose yards, 6 TD
Stedman Bailey, WR: 60 rec, 1,117 yards, 11 TD
Bruce Irvin, DE: 24 total tackles, 13.5 TFL, 7 sacks, 2 FF
South Florida Players to Watch:
Bj Daniels and Boby Eveld, QB: 2,713 combined pass yards, 18 total TD, 10 combined INT
Darrell Scott, RB: 722 yards, 6 total TD, 5.2 YPC
Sterling Griffin, WR: 40 rec, 493 yards, 2 TD
DeDe Lattimore, LB: 87 total tackles, 7 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FF
The BCS mess continues into the final week for the Big East. What needs to happen for WVU? First thing is a win. The Mountaineers can't afford to look past this game. A win gives them a chance to go BCS bowling. A loss puts them in Charlotte. Yes, they have to rely on Cincinnati to win, but the Mountaineers need to bethinking about one thing only this week: South Florida.
Tampa hasn't been kind to WVU. The Mountaineers have only won once at USF since the Bulls joined the conference. That one time was WVU's first conference trip back in 2005. There have been some disappointing losses that mostly have to do with lots and lots and lots of mistakes. WVU has to play more fluid and confident if they want to roll out of Tampa with a win.
Will B.J. Daniels be back? That's the big question going into Thursday night. Daniels posses a major threat against WVU. He is a duel-threat that has had success against the 3-3-5 defense in the past. Bobby Eveld is capable of winning, but is certainly not the talent that Daniels is. Either way, WVU needs to keep the pressure on. Look for Jeff Casteel to dial up the four-man rush with a linebacker joining the front to go after whoever is in the game.
What will the crowd look like? I imagine it will look much better than what we saw Friday against Louisville. The stadium was practically empty. But, it was the day after Thanksgiving so many were home for the holidays. But, still...that was weak. It looked like a Temple home game. Thursday night, with the students back should be much better. Plus, WVU should have a solid base of fans as well. Thursday night is going to be fun.