The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Sports

September 30, 2007

Stay classy, South Florida, stay classy

I had to laugh when South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt and some of his players talked about “staying humble” following the Bulls’ 21-13 win over WVU Friday night.

Especially after reading Saturday’s Tampa Tribune.

Leavitt genuinely seems like a humble sort.

Not so for his staff.

Give it to the No. 18 Bulls and Leavitt, who once again pulled off what I’d consider a very minor upset by beating WVU.

Some of us already had the Bulls among the top 10 schools in the nation (check my latest AP poll).

Leavitt once again outcoached WVU’s Rich Rodriguez.

The No. 5 Mountaineers seemed to do the very thing that got them into trouble last year in a 24-19 loss to the Bulls. It almost seemed as if Rodriguez didn’t watch last year’s game film.

Why run a seven-yard pattern when you need eight for a first down?

For that matter, is there a pattern in the playbook other than the bubble screen?

A screen pass to fullback Owen Schmitt with South Florida’s defensive speed?

Continually trying to run outside instead of being physical and busting a team in the mouth up the middle? That’s the way you neutralize speed.

Is there a center in the house?

A direct snap to the fullback?

Six turnovers?

Continually faltering in the red zone, an area that WVU had so excelled at vs. inferior opposition?

Sound familiar? See WVU at Louisville, Nov. 2, 2006.

But I digress ... and feel exhaustion at listing the foibles that infiltrated WVU’s offensive performance Friday.

That said, you’ve got to wonder about the mentality of a coach with 39 years of experience saying what defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said after the Bulls’ win Friday night.

Rodriguez had compared the Mountaineers’ following on the road to that of the New York Yankees. The Tampa Tribune reported that WVU players were sporting Yankee hats when they got off the team bus prior to the game.

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