WVU Coach Rich Rodriguez uses three and four receivers to spread defenses out so he can run the ball. This is his system and it has proven to be a winner. But in all honesty, the offensive line at WVU is more of a product of this system. These are undersized, unheralded high school recruits using zone-blocking schemes to create open spaces that already exist. The difference showed Friday night. The USF defensive line was more physical and outmanned the WVU front line in the 21-13 victory.
Maryland utilized six guys in the defensive box against WVU two weeks ago in the 31-14 Thursday night loss. This is downright suicide. South Florida on the other hand didn’t use a safety and was lining up with a five man DL most of this game, just like they did with success last year in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers turned the ball over six times in Tampa. As Ravens fans should painfully know (see Cincinnati), a team cannot win on the road under these circumstances. However, those turnovers were not all just bad snaps and handoffs. The South Florida defense was writing this story.
You have to credit the Bulls defense, Coach Leavitt and Defensive Coordinator Wally Burnham (who I had the honor of playing under while at Florida State in the late 1980’s). They are not fearful of attacking this spread-option offense that so much dominates college football these days. This was a textbook version of how to defend against the spread.