Tampa, Fla. No. 18 South Florida is not only basking in the national spotlight, the Bulls are thriving in it.
Matt Grothe upstaged West Virginia stars Pat White and Steve Slaton for the second straight year, leading rapidly rising USF to a 21-13 victory over the mistake-prone, fifth-ranked Mountaineers on Friday night.
Grothe scrambled to avoid a sack before throwing a 55-yard touchdown pass to Carlton Mitchell, and Ben Moffitt returned one of his two interceptions 26 yards for a TD to lead a stellar defensive performance in the Big East opener.
West Virginia (4-1, 0-1) averaged 357 yards rushing in its first four games, but only managed 188 on the ground after surprisingly opening the game throwing on seven of its first 11 offensive plays.
The Mountaineers lost White late in the second quarter after the junior quarterback was hit in the right knee on a running play. He limped off the field and remained on the sideline, but did not return.
Slaton, the other half of West Virginia's explosive tandem, was held to 54 yards rushing on 13 carries and fumbled twice.