Well, this is about as good of a half of football as the Panthers have played this season. The troublesome thing about them is this - they've only played one half of football in a lot of games so it will be interesting to see how they come out in the second half. They get the ball first and they can put this game away early with an impressive - say seven to ten -- play drive and stick it in for the touchdown.
Last week after the Rutgers game Bill Stull said "I'd hate to be the team that has to play us when we put it all together and play our best football. It will be scary." Well so far, South Florida is seeing what it looks like when the Panthers do put it all together as they are getting thumped.
Perhaps the biggest development of today's game - as we wrote about and discussed in some Q&A's --- it looks like the transformation of Elijah Fields from safety to hybrid/linebacker type player is complete. But it was taken even a step further -- he not only played bandit linebacker in some passing situations, he started at strongside linebacker ahead of Greg Williams and played most of the snaps there. His speed has a nice boost to the defense, which outside of one drive, has really contained B.J. Daniels.
Here are some other things to look for in the second half....
* The crowd, which is very embarrassingly small given the magnitude of this game - except for the students which are out in force and putting on a great show - and everyone watching the game and everyone the sidelines stopped breathing for a moment when Jonathan Baldwin went down but he got back up and he was back in the game for the rest of the half. He's putting on a show -- he has four catches for 88 yards and a touchdown and he'd have another touchdown and about 40 or 50 more yards if Bill Stull would have been about one yard shorter on that throw. This team can't cover Baldwin, but as we've seen - who really can?
* Bill Stull is 13 for 17 - he is a fifth-year senior - it will be interesting if Dave Wannstedt trusts him enough to put the ball in his hands to win the game with some throws in the second half because they are going to need to sustain some drives.
* Dion Lewis is ridiculous. He already has 86 yards rushing and he's now over 1,000 for the season. And he also has 12 touchdowns (11 rushing) and that is 72 points - which ties Larry Fitzgerald for the third highest total of points by a freshman.
* The defense has played well - outside of one big throw Daniels has done little in the passing game.
* South Florida is a dumb and undisciplined team and until that changes the Bulls will never win the Big East or anything else of significance. They are far too talented to be down like this but eight penalties for 56 yards in a half is awful.
* Buddy Jackson and Dan Mason both have made some big special teams plays today - this is a good glimpse of the future for Pitt as they two young guys have a lot of natural ability.
* Um, the "Little Jovi" thing at Rutgers is mildly amusing but do we really need to see a bad imitation of it at Pitt? Could we at least pick a song by someone with Pittsburgh ties, like say, Donny Iris. On second thought, let's not.....