Tampa, Fla Once again, South Florida had all the answers for slowing down West Virginia.
B.J. Daniels threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bulls rebounded from two subpar defensive performances to frustrate running back Noel Devine and the 20th-ranked Mountaineers in a 30-19 victory Friday night.
The Bulls (6-2, 2-2 Big East) allowed 75 points and 887 yards in conference losses to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh the previous two weeks, yet found a way to hold Devine to his lowest rushing total of the season.
West Virginia (6-2, 2-1) lost to the Bulls for the third time in four years. The Mountaineers drove 80 yards after the opening kickoff to take a 7-0 lead, but never really got into a rhythm offensively.
Daniels, who rushed for 104 yards on 14 carries, threw TD passes of 49 yards to Carlton Mitchell, 11 yards to A.J. Love and six yards to Sterling Griffin. Eric Schwartz’s third field goal, a 44-yarder three minutes into the fourth quarter, put the Bulls up, 30-19.
Jarrett Brown scored on runs of three and 11 yards, but West Virginia’s senior quarterback had sporadic success throwing against a defense geared to stop the run.
Devine, who grew up two hours south of Tampa, was limited to 42 yards on 19 carries in what was a homecoming of sorts for him and a number of other Mountaineers from Florida, including Brown and leading receiver Jock Sanders.
Devine entered averaging 130.3 yards per game — third in the nation — and 89 shy of topping 1,000 for the second straight season.
Down two scores in the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers were forced to throw on virtually every down. Brown finished 19-of-32 for 205 yards and one interception, while Devine only carried the ball twice in the fourth quarter.
West Virginia was trying to remain unbeaten in the Big East, along with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.