Monday, November 2, 2009

South Florida Ends Spiral and Jumps Into BCS

Bashed by the Bearcats and pounded by the Panthers, the South Florida football team was in a downward spiral.

After it's usual 5-0 start, it looked for all intents and purposes like yet another unexplained downward turn into Big East oblivion. It happened in 2007 and again in 2008 and it looked like the bad dream would resurface this season.

Then last Friday, on national television, USF quarterback B.J. Daniels picked up his team with his arm and his legs. He piled up 336 yards total offense, outdid West Virginia's team total and got his team out of the depths of a downward spiral with a 30-19 win.

It was complete and convincing. While Daniels ran the offense, the defense had an incredible outing. Mountaineer running back extraordinaire Noel Devine was battered and bruised and ended with just 42 yards on the night.

So impressive were the Bulls that they bounced right into the BCS standings this week, getting their horns in the door at No. 25.

Coach Jim Leavitt took the blame for Daniels' problems at Pitt. "I handcuffed him in the Pitt game. I didn't let him go out there and play," Leavitt admitted. Leavitt, a defensive-minded guy, said he was tired of interceptions.

Against the Mountaineers, Daniels got back to his form in the FSU game. He was simply unstoppable, West Virginia had no answer.

Linebacker Kion Wilson was all over the field with 12 tackles and was this week's Big East Defensive Player of the Week.

The Bulls can settle back, get a bit of a rest with a bye week and get ready for a Thursday night game at Rutgers.

Thursday nights have not been kind to the Bulls and games at Rutgers have been equally unkind.

They'll have to find a way to solve that.

They solved the West Virginia puzzle.

It stopped the bleeding and that is what this team really needed.

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