USF Vs. West Virginia 2011: Bulls Lose Another At The Buzzer, Fall To WVU 30-27

Tyler Bitancurt hit a 28 yard field goal as time expired to lift the West Virginia Mountaineers over the USF Bulls 30-27 at Raymond James Stadium.

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Video: USF Bulls Don't Qualify For Bowl, Skip Holtz Reacts

After losing to the West Virginia Mountaineers Thursday night, the USF Bulls have completed an epic journey of disappointment. After starting the season 4-0 and climbing as high as #16 in the AP Poll, the Bulls crashed hard; they went 1-7 over their remaining eight games, finishing one win shy of bowl eligibility. This is the first time in seven years that the Bulls have not qualified for a bowl.

After the game, head coach Skip Holtz talked to the media and answered some questions about the Bulls’ disappointing season. Greg Auman from the St. Petersburg Times captured his words:

Around the 2:30 mark, Holtz talks a bit about this season overall and how the USF Bulls lost so many games during the final minutes. He went so far as to say, “This is one of the better teams I’ve ever had.”

Auman also caught up with defensive coordinator Mark Snyder and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch. You can find those videos at his blog.

To join in the conversation about this loss, head over to Voodoo Five, SB Nation’s blog on the USF Bulls.


USF Vs. West Virginia: Bulls Lose Another At The Buzzer, Won't Go Bowling

Tyler Bitancurt hit a 28-yard field goal as time expired as the West Virginia Mountaineers (9-3) beat the USF Bulls (5-7) 30-27 tonight at Raymond James Stadium.

Like most of the season, the Bulls were plagued by self inflicted wounds. Two special teams miscues lead to 10 WVU points, and USF's two turnovers lead to 10 more points for the Mountaineers. The Bulls run defense was stout for most of the night, but the secondary was burned once again in late game situations.

The 4th quarter was really a microcosm of the season as a whole. After the Bulls took a 27-20 lead with 9:49 left on a JaQuez Jenkins 28 yard interception return for a touchdown, USF looked like they were in total control of the game. WVU was forced into a 3rd and 16 situation on their next possession deep in their own territory, but a horrific Ryne Giddins personal foul gave West Virginia the lifeline they desperately needed. Only three plays later, Dustin Garrison tied the game at 27 with 5:09 left in the game after he scored from 5-yards out.

The Bulls were able to grab some great field possession after Lindsey Lamar returned the ensuing kickoff to the West Virginia 41, and the Bulls were slowly moving the ball down and getting into at least Maikon Bonani field goal range. Disaster hit with 3 minutes left as Najee Goode stripped the ball from B.J. Daniels at the WVU 26 yard line West Virginia recovered to give the Mountaineers a chance to win the game.

The Mountaineers were able to go right down the field, getting 10-15 yards at a time against the USF secondary. USF looked like they were going to force overtime after Mike Jeune sacked Geno Smith with under a minute to go, but on 4th and 10 from the USF 42, Smith found a wide open Stedman Bailey for 26 yards to get it down to the 16 yard line. Another unnecessary penalty took it to the 11 and then Bitancurt hit the winning field goal.

With the win, West Virginia clinched a tie of the Big East Championship. They could earn the conference's BCS bid with a Cincinnati win against UConn this weekend. That would leave Louisville, West Virginia, and Cincinnati at 5-2 in the conference, and they 3 way tie would be settled by BCS rankings, which the Mountaineers have a sizeable lead.

With the loss, USF finishes with the first losing record since 2004 and will not head to their 7th straight bowl.


USF Vs. West Virginia: Mountaineers Take 13-7 Lead Into Halftime

West Virginia has been stymied on offense for the most part, but an interception returned for a touchdown and a blocked punt has the Mountaineers up on the Bulls 13-7 tonight in Tampa.

B.J. Daniels got the start for the Bulls, and after looking rusty for most of the first half, came on strong and finished the first half 10-23 for 102 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Daniels has looked tentative running the ball, losing 1 yard on just 2 carries. Darrell Scott has shouldered the load for the Bulls rushing attack, gaining 66 yards on 12 carries. Sterling Griffin has 3 receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown, while Evan Landi has 2 receptions for 43 yards.

After a scoreless first quarter, West Virginia got off to an early lead with 13:32 left in the first half on a Tyler Bitancurt 23 yard field goal after the Mountaineers blocked a Maikon Bonani and recovered on the USF 5-yard line. The USF goalline defense was able to hold tough and forced WVU to only three points. The Mountaineers pushed the lead to 10 points after B.J. Daniels was intercepted by Pat Miller, who returned the pick 52 yards for a touchdown.

The USF offense looked out of sorts for most of the first half, but the Bulls were able to find their rhythm late in the 2nd quarter. The Bulls were able to go on a 9 play, 80 yard drive that culminated in a 20 yard touchdown reception by Sterling Griffin. The play was originally ruled incomplete, but the replay officials saw something that the crew on the field didn't and was ruled a touchdown.

WVU closed the first half scoring with under a minute left as Bitancurt hit a 42 yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the half.


South Florida Vs. West Virginia Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The South Florida Bulls (5-6, 1-5 Big East) put their season on the line Thursday night as they host the No. 22 West Virginia Mountaineers (8-3, 4-2) at Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls must defeat West Virginia in order for their season to continue, as a loss would put their record below .500, which would disqualify them from appearing in a bowl. As South Florida has made bowl trps in each of the last six seasons, and as it went 8-5 in 2010, that finish would prove quite disappointing indeed.

Bulls quarterback B.J. Daniels, who has a bruise in his right (throwing) shoulder that forced him to miss their last game, may not be able to play Thursday. Bobby Eveld would start in Daniels' place if he's unavailable. In relief of Daniels against the Louisville Cardinals on Friday, Eveld threw for 210 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

Game date, time: 8 pm ET, Thursday, Dec. 1 2011

Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

TV channel: ESPN

Spread: Mountaineers favored by 2.5

Series history: Tied, 3-3

For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit South Florida blog Voodoo Five and West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket. Here’s the complete Week 14 college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.


B.J. Daniels Injury Update: Recovery Is 'In God's Hands Now'

B.J. Daniels has been out of actioan for a little while, but with their season on the line against West Virginia, Daniels is doing everything he can to be ready for the game on Thursday. Here is a transcript of a short video interview with Daniels via Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times.

On getting back to practice.

It was exciting to get back out there and be able to move around a lot. Still limited, still trying to just make sure that I'm 100% when it comes to game time, but right now I'm just focusing on getting treatment and making sure I'm taking it nice and easy.

On whether or not he'll be able to play on Thursday.

It's in gods hands right now. I mean I'm really trying to do everything I can physically to put myself out there and getting treatment and therapy and things like that, but really, I'm not sure.

On how much better his arm feels than it did last weekend.

A lot better. Friday was one of my first times throwing in pregame. Between then and now, it's made a lot of progress.


South Florida Vs. West Virginia 2011: Bulls Need Upset Of Mountaineers To Become Bowl Eligible

With a win against the No. 22 Mountaineers (8-3, 4-2 Big East) on Thursday, the Bulls (5-6, 1-5) would become bowl-eligible.

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