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USF-West Virginia scouting reports
By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published September 28, 2007
No. 18 USF (3-0) vs. No. 5 West Virginia (4-0)
The road team has won the last two meetings, with West Virginia pulling away on two long touchdowns by Pat White in 2005, and USF stunning the then-No. 7 Mountaineers in Morgantown last fall. The game is USF's first home sellout, with a capacity crowd of 65,857 expected. The key for USF is containing West Virginia's running game, which is averaging 357 yards per game - USF, by comparison, has rushed for that many yards only twice in its 11-year history. Running back Steve Slaton isn't the only big-play threat in the backfield, as freshman Noel Devine of North Fort Myers is averaging 15.0 yards per carry in his first month. West Virginia has locals to watch for: running backs Jock Sanders (St. Petersburg Catholic) and Eddie Davis (Freedom) are playing as true freshmen, and Blake's Tito Gonzales has two catches for 19 yards. Former USF offensive coordinator Rod Smith returns for the first time as West Virginia's quarterbacks coach, while Greg Frey coaches the Mountaineers' offensive line after a decade as a Bulls assistant. Bulls defensive end George Selvie, leading the nation with 8.5 sacks, may break the school season sack record of 10, set by Shurron Pierson in 2001 and Terrence Royal in 2005. West Virginia's backup center is freshman Gino Gradkowski, the brother of Bucs quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.