South Florida Battered and Bullied by Pittsburgh

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IOctober 24, 2009

No need to sugar-coat it. No need to pull any punches.

It was, plain and simple, a major butt-kicking.

It was the Pittsburgh Panthers butt-kicking the life out of South Florida at a Saturday Heinz Field homecoming rout.

It was Pitt totally dominating a USF team that did not look ready to play.

It was 41-14, Pitt, the Panthers first 7-1 start since 1982.

For USF, it was a solid continuation of its traditional "slide."

It was 41-14 and could have been a lot worse. Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt called off the dogs after three quarters.

"We got out butt whupped," USF coach Jim Leavitt said matter-of-factly after the disaster that left the Bulls 5-2 and 1-2 in the Big East and clearly looking for answers.

"They're a better team," Leavitt acknowledged. "They were so much better on the line of scrimmage today. We have no excuses. We have to regroup for West Virginia."

Regroup may not be the right word. Rehabilitate seems more appropriate.

South Florida was bashed and bullied and pushed all over Heinz Field.

Pitt scored on an 80-yard drive to start the massacre and kept going. The Panthers never had to punt.

As expected, running back extraordinaire Dion Lewis did his damage. He piled up 111 yards and scored twice in just three quarters,

Pitt quarterback Bill Stull, who completed his first 10 passes to start the day, wound up with 256 yards and two touchdown passes.

USF had no answer for the Pitt running game. No answer for the passing game.

Pitt receivers were open all day.

Jonathan Baldwin, the 6-foot-5 wideout, caught six for 144 yards and a touchdown and could have had more.

Everyone played well for Pitt. Everyone for USF was pathetic at best.

B.J. Daniels looked confused and by the fourth quarter was removed from the game to prevent further damage to his psyche.

USF was close only once, 14-7 at 10:35 when Mike Ford scored from three yards out. It was the last USF score until the final 10 seconds, when the game had long been decided.

Pitt had a 31-7 halftime lead and the second half was little more than a practice session for the Panthers.

USF was that bad.

It was a carryover from the Cincinnati hangover and all but put the Bulls out of the Big East title race.

For Pitt, the perfect 4-0 start and the 7-1 overall record takes Panther fans back to Dan Marino's senior season.

It's that good for Pitt, that bad for USF.

Now USF faces a short week and Friday game against West Virginia, a 28-24 winner over Connecticut in a thriller that went down to the wire in Morgantown.

"We have no excuses and that's what I told the team," Leavitt said.

It was that bad, that ugly.

The perfect butt kicking.

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