Game Preview: WVU vs. USF

[caption id="attachment_293" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Dana Holgorsen"][/caption]

The Mountaineers' final game of the season kicks off tomorrow as West Virginia heads to the Sunshine State to play the University of South Florida.  This should be an easy matchup as USF is only 1-5 in Big East play.


Coming off a close victory to Pitt the Mountaineers definitely have their work cut out for them.  In that game Geno Smith went 22/31 for 244 yards and one touchdown. Smith should have an easier time on Thursday as the Bulls’ secondary seemed lackadaisical against the Louisville Cardinals as they allowed Teddy Bridgewater to throw for 241 yards and three touchdowns. This week the Bulls will face a steadier and deadly pass attack for the Mountaineers. The highest receiver last week was Tavon Austin, who recorded ten receptions for 102 yards. Stedman Bailey had three catches for eighty yards and one touchdown. Look for both these receivers to have huge games as they look to dismantle South Florida’s secondary. Shawne Alston had a good game on the ground as he had eleven carries for thirty-four yards and two touchdowns. The Mountaineers still need to establish a more destructive ground if they want to tire the opposing defenses out. The running backs have been scoring touchdown, but they need to increase their yardage although it seems like they are mostly used as goal line carriers

The defense looked a little shaky in the first quarter as they allowed two touchdowns that put the Panthers up 14-0.  After that, they showed complete domination as they only allowed two field goalslater on. Darwin Cooke picked off Tino Sunseri once and returned it twenty-one yards. Julian Miller sacked Sunseri 3.5 times and the rest of the Mountaineer defense came away with the other 2.5 sacks. This was probably the most sacks the Mountaineers had in one game this season. If they can keep this up then there should be no problem getting to backup quarterback Bobby Eveld since it could be possible that B.J. Daniels does not play because of a shoulder injury. If the Daniels does in fact not play, the Mountaineer defense should have a field day with Eveld.

The special teams had its ups and downs as usual.  The Mountaineers tried out two punters with Corey Smith having the most success out of the two with four punts for 229 yards. Tyler Bitancurt was perfect with extra points going 3/3. Tavon Austin received one punt that he muffed and was recovered by the Panthers. If the Mountaineers can stay with Smith as the punter then there shouldn’t be too much to worry about in that department. The special teams play has improved since the season began, but there are still some areas they have to work on.

If everything can go the Mountaineers' way then this should be an easy win for them.  If the Mountaineers come away with a win then there is a very good chance that they could be featured in the Orange Bowl.

Prediction: WVU-34  USF-10

Player of the Game: Geno Smith 24/35  355 yards 3TDs

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