No. 25 West Virginia (4-1, 0-0 Big East) vs. South Florida (3-2, 0-1), 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: West Virginia by 11 1/2 .
Series Record: South Florida leads 3-2.
Last Meeting: 2009, South Florida 30-19.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
West Virginia returned to the Top 25 after a two-week hiatus and must win its conference opener to avoid another exit. South Florida has played well against the Mountaineers in its short Big East history and a marquee win would rejuvenate the Bulls, coming off a 13-9 loss to Syracuse.
South Florida QB B.J. Daniels against West Virginia’s defense. Daniels’ 346 total yards in a 30-19 win last year was more than the Mountaineers’ total offense. West Virginia ranks in the top 10 nationally in several defensive categories. Asked to be more of a pocket passer this season, Daniels has thrown seven interceptions and has been sacked nine times.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Virginia: WR Brad Starks is finally healthy following several nagging injuries since the preseason. He had his first catch of the season last week against UNLV and tied a school record with three TD receptions. RB Noel Devine came back from a toe injury and scored touchdowns on two of his first three carries against the Rebels. Devine needs 68 yards to move into fourth place on West Virginia’s career rushing list, surpassing Steve Slaton.
South Florida: DE Craig Marshall and DB Jon Lejiste. The pair have combined for half of South Florida’s 14 sacks, including three by Marshall last week against Syracuse. They’ll need to bring pressure on West Virginia QB Geno Smith. The Mountaineers have allowed six sacks.
FACTS & FIGURES
South Florida is playing only its second road game this season. This game marks the start of three straight non-Saturday games for the Bulls. … South Florida defensive coordinator Mark Snyder was head coach at Marshall the past five seasons and went 0-4 against West Virginia. … West Virginia has 19 players from Florida, including QB Geno Smith, RB Noel Devine and WR Jock Sanders. … Mountaineers DB Keith Tandy, burned for two long receptions against South Florida last year, has three interceptions this season.