No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers at South Florida Bulls Preview

NCAA Football Betting Preview
No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers (6-1) at South Florida Bulls (5-2)
Friday October 30th, 8:00PM Eastern betting line – West Virginia -3.5

Just two weeks ago South Florida had hopes of bringing home a Big East Title this season. The Bulls fell to Cincinnati in a big Thursday night game, but still held those hopes close even after that big loss. However, a week ago the Bulls were destroyed by Pittsburgh in a huge 41-14 loss putting the season back in perspective. South Florida now turns their focus back towards just getting a win as they have dropped two straight and face a tough West Virginia team this Friday night with the possibility to drop yet another game.

West Virginia sports the no. 20 ranking in the country and their only loss this season was a close battle with Auburn when the Tigers where playing well earlier this year. Still, the Mountaineers have yet to face the quality portion of the conference schedule and many feel that West Virginia has yet to prove them selves. However, the Mountaineers will get that opportunity in front of the nation this Friday night against a South Florida team who is hungry for a victory. The Bulls have won two of the last 3 games over the Mountaineers and look to keep that momentum alive when they get the luxury of hosting the contest Friday night.

South Florida did not exactly have a great game plan in last week’s loss to Pittsburgh as they allowed the Panthers to score on all 5 first half possessions. The Bulls rush defense could not stop running back Dion Lewis and they will have their hands full again this week with the Mountaineers talented running back Noel Devine. Devine has 912 yards on the season which is 2nd in the Big East behind Lewis and ranks 7th individually in the country. Devine will look to rip apart the Bulls defensive front as he has to most defenses all year. The Mountaineers top rusher over the past few seasons is averaging a stout 6.7 yards per carry and has 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Devine will definitely be the big difference for West Virginia in the ball game, but also look for WR Jock Sanders to get some action as well. Sanders leads the conference with 53 receptions and he consistently gets his hands on the football. QB Jarrett Brown has been fairly solid this year completing 67% with 8 scores, but does have 6 interceptions on the season as well. If Devine is shut down it will give the South Florida defense some confidence back. However if the ground game does deliver, look for the rest of the offense to benefit in a big way.

The Bulls offense is rather simple. Keep the ball in the hands of B.J Daniels. Daniels has performed very well in his first year, but is coming off a fairly terrible outing last week against Pittsburgh where he completed just 4 of 8 passing. Daniels has proven he can make throws with his arms this year, but his biggest threat remains his ability to run the football. Daniels leads the team in rushing with 415 yards and did not even play the first two games of the year as Matt Grothe was the starter until suffering a season long injury. Daniels must throw the ball better this week and make some plays to compliment their heavily favored rushing style. The Bulls were held to a season low 212 yards last week, but they will look to bounce back this Friday night and topple a West Virginia defense that is allowing over 21 points per game.

Pick – South Florida +3.5