USF at No. 25 West Virginia, 7:30 tonight, ESPN, 970-AM
Coming off Saturday's 13-9 home loss to Syracuse, the Bulls (3-2, 0-1 Big East) need to step up considerably. They have had West Virginia's number of late, winning three of the past four meetings. QB B.J. Daniels needs to find a comfort zone in new coordinator Todd Fitch's offense after throwing two interceptions and completing just 9 of 23 against the Orange. The Mountaineers (4-1, 0-0) have the Big East's No. 1 scoring defense (13.6 points per game) and No. 1 total defense (254 yards per game). USF is 0-5 on Thursday ESPN appearances in the past three seasons.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
What to watch for …
USF's defense isn't bad either and kept it ahead in the fourth quarter against Syracuse despite just a field goal from the offense. USF has the league's top pass defense (155 yards per game). It will challenge first-year starter Geno Smith, who has thrown 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions to go with 1,139 yards. Senior receiver and St. Petersburg Catholic graduate Jock Sanders is a top target, and running back Noel Devine is one of the league's most dangerous threats. Both teams have committed 10 turnovers, most in the Big East.