Golden: USF d-line best Miami has faced in 2011
Miami coach Al Golden said Thursday that USF's defensive line is the toughest he's faced this season, and his players are well aware of a Bulls pass rush that ranks third in the NCAA in sacks per game.
"I think it's the best defensive line we've seen -- you're talking Florida State, North Carolina, Ohio State," Golden said. "Those are some of the more gifted defensive lines we've seen, and these guys that they have up front for South Florida jump out. Their linebackers, (Sam) Barrington and (DeDe) Lattimore, are impressive kids."
Miami has already faced two defenses that rank in the top 10 nationally in sacks in Virginia Tech (5th) and FSU (10th), and the Hurricanes lost to both teams. Golden said the biggest challenge his team faces might be the combination of USF quarterback B.J. Daniels and a running attack averaging better than 200 yards per game.
"The fact that he is completing over 60 percent of his passes for 250 yards a game, they're rushing for 200 yards a game and he's the leading rusher from all counts," Golden said, though Bulls RB Darrell Scott is actually slightly ahead of Daniels, with 611 rushing yards to Daniels' 557. "He's definitely a dual threat. He's playing with poise. He's always played with confidence, and obviously if we can allow them to be a three-headed monster, with the tailbacks going, the quarterback going and the passing game going, that's what leads to those prolific numbers."
Daniels hasn't played as well against Miami, totaling 157 yards of total offense in six quarters against the Hurricanes. In a 2009 loss, he threw for 77 yards and rushed for 39; he was limited by injuries in the first half last year, throwing for 39 and rushing for 2 in leading USF to a 3-0 halftime lead.