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.