Posted by Chip Patterson
SOUTH FLOIRDA WON. After the first half looked like it was going to be a shootout on both sides, South Florida pulled away from UTEP late for a 52-24 win. BJ Daniels put together yet another impressive performance through the air, throwing for 202 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He complimented that with 130 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. USF is 4-0 and rolling, but now must focus on conference play with Pittsburgh coming up on Thursday.
HOW SOUTH FLORIDA WON: In the first half UTEP was taking advantage of uncharacteristically reactive Bulls' defense. The result was a 31-17 halftime deficit that still felt attainable for the Miners. But the defense toughened up in the second half, forcing three UTEP turnovers while the offense delivered the late touchdowns to put the game out of reach. .
WHEN SOUTH FLORIDA WON: When B.J. Daniels struck Lindsey Lamar (pictured) for the 54-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put USF up by three touchdowns, you could tell the Bulls were going to have their way for the rest of the game. UTEP had sputtered significantly since putting up 234 yards of total offense in the first half. The game was sealed for good with Sam Barrington's interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA WON: Withstanding the Miners' first shot was a good test for the Bulls' defense. South Florida's competition since their season opening win against Notre Dame in South Bend has been a noticable caliber downgrade, so it was good to see a different look before staring the Big East season on Thursday. In their 4-0 start the Bulls have boosted their status as Big East title contenders, and they will have a short week to prepare proving it in conference play.
WHAT UTEP LOST: The Miners had a chance to hang with the nationally ranked Bulls, but turnovers put the game out of hand in the second half. UTEP is pretty banged up right now, and competing with South Florida in Tampa was not something that was expected. Any road trip against a team like the Bulls is a good experience for UTEP, but it really stings knowing how close they were.
THAT WAS CRAZY: South Florida was not known as a particularly high scoring offense in 2010, but through four games the Bulls are averaging 45.5 points scored. Additionally, the 52-point performance against UTEP marked the first time in program history a team has scored 50+ points in back-to-back games. USF entered Saturday's game hot after routing Florida A&M 70-17 a week ago.
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