West Virginia seeks Big East title with win against South Florida
Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 23:11
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen made two changes to the offensive line halftime against Pitt.
He called upon redshirt freshman offensive linemen Quinton Spain and redshirt sophomore Curtis Feigt to start on the right side of the line for starters Pat Eger and Tyler Rader.
West Virginia ran 10 times for -2 yards in the first half. But, in the second half the team turned it around and ran for 115 yards on 20 carries, and running a majority of the time behind the big bodies of Spain and Feigt on the right side.
The offensive line's job does not get any easier tonight against South Florida, who ranks first in the country in sacks with 38.
"They don't bleed too much, which means those guys up front are probably pretty good," Holgorsen said of USF's defensive line. "By being able to create negative plays with just four guys up front is pretty good."
The Bulls stout defense is led by redshirt sophomore linebacker DeDe Lattimore, who has 13 tackles for loss and seven sacks on the season. Redshirt senior defensive lineman Claude Davis who has six sacks on the year, follows closely behind Lattimore.
"We've got to block them," Holgorsen said. "They're not the first two who do a good job of sacking the quarterback."
South Florida's defense is also top three in the nation in negative plays per game, according to Holgorsen, so the Mountaineers will have to be careful about the play calling they make throughout the game. However, Holgorsen feels he can exploit the Bulls' defense with the right schemes.
"They do it by not blitzing," Holgorsen said of South Florida's success. "They play back, they're sound, and they play good football. It's going to be up to us to block and win one-on-one matchups. If we can win one-on-one matchups, they're going to start adding people. Once they add people, there's more space."
Junior B.J. Daniels, USF's starting quarterback, missed his first game of the season last week, when the Bulls played Louisville, because of an injured right shoulder. He is listed as a game-time decision for tonight's game, but said he was feeling better after practice Monday.
Daniels has the ability to make plays on the run as well as with his arm. He has thrown for 2,359 yards and 12 touchdowns, while running for 578 yards and five touchdowns.
No matter if Daniels plays or not, WVU will be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Daniels' backup quarterback, sophomore Bobby Eveld, threw for 210 yards, with a touchdown and an interception in last week's game against Louisville.
"That's one of those things that you've got to be careful how you prepare for it. You don't know who you're going to see," Holgorsen said of the quarterback situation in South Florida.
"Daniels is a runner. He's a good football player. I've watched every one of their games … The other guy's probably not as much of a runner as Daniels is."
The Mountaineers have not won on the road against the Bulls since 2005. In order to make it to a BCS bowl, they will have to break that streak tonight.