West Virginia vs. South Florida Preview + Free Pick
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Posted on 9/27/2007 5:28:33 PM
NCAA Football Free Picks – West Virginia vs. South Florida
No. 5 West Virginia Mountaineers (4-0) vs. No. 18 South Florida Bulls (3-0)
Thursday, September 28th — Raymond James Stadium, Tampa — 8:00pm EST
Bovada – Opening college football line: West Virginia -7 (56)
In a brutal Big East Battle, the West Virginia Mountaineers (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) will visit the South Florida Bulls (3-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) in a matchup the Mountaineers have circled on their calendar since the onset of the season. The Bulls pulled off a massive upset last season when they beat West Virginia 24-19 at the end of the season. Is another upset in the works for the boys from No.18 South Florida?
West Virginia Offense vs. South Florida Defense
This is going to be an important game for the secondary of South Florida because the Bulls defense will have to throw their front seven into a containment defense to offset quarterback Pat White’s mobility. Trae Williams and Mike Jenkins are solid man-on-man covers.
The Bulls defense is only ranked thirteenth in the nation, allowing only 15.3 points per game. A huge chunk of that success is due to defensive-end George Selvie who leads the nation in sacks with 8.5 on the season. But White is as elusive as they come, and won’t be slowed by the ankle injury that basically cost West Virginia the game last season.
Steve Slaton who is a gamebreaking running back in the backfield, can take it a country mile every time he touches the ball. The West Virginia rushing offense ranks second in the country with 357.0 yards per game, while the offense is ranked eighth overall with 530.0 total yards on average. To put it simply, the Bulls will have their hands full trying to contain the combo of Slaton and White, especially with vengeance on their minds.
South Florida Offense vs. West Virginia Defense
Matt Grothe is an elusive and smart quarterback who can make plays when protection breaks down, which is important because the front four for the Mountaineers will bust through the Bulls offensive line without relative ease. But Grothe is fun to watch because he’s so deceptive. He sells the play-action well, and leads the team in rushing attempts. He has 652 passing yards and four passing touchdowns on the year.
But Grothe has a gunslinger’s mentality and, when a play breaks down, he takes too many risks. West Virginia will turn those risky throws into turnovers and that could very well turn the tide in the game. West Virginia has given up 17.0 points per game and their defense is predicated on speed, which will cause problems for the nimble Grothe. The key will be keeping the 6-foot-0 Grothe in the pocket, because he is not an efficient pocket passer.
NCAA Football Betting Trends
-West Virginia and South Florida are both 5-0 SU in last 5
-total has gone OVER in 7 of last 10 games for West Virginia
-South Florida is 5-0 SU in last 5 at home
-West Virginia is 10-3 ATS in last 13 road games
The double edged offensive sword of the Mountaineers, with White shredding the secondary and Slaton carving up the front seven, is going to be far more effective then the one man army of Matt Grothe. This is a statement game for the Mountaineers in a lot of ways. They need to reassert themselves in the Big East after last year’s loss to the Bulls and Pat White needs a big game to vault himself up in to Heisman contention. Look for the fifth ranked Mountaineers to take care of business in this one.
NCAA Football Free Pick: West Virginia 28 South Florida 20
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