Grabbing the Bulls by the Horns: USF Preview

The Bearcats are 8-1, looking to get to 9-1 after tonight’s very important game against the University of South Florida Bulls. As the Bulls shiver their way into Nippert Stadium this evening, the central question will be which Charlie Strong-coached team arrives. For South Florida, it appears to be a tale of two seasons, but appearances can be misleading.

Before the Bulls were beaten by the Houston Cougars on October 27th, they were riding an unbeaten record and receiving national attention from the sports media. USF featured wins over Georgia Tech and Illinois, after all, and the mouth-breathing sports media simpletons were dazzled by their victories over P5 teams. They quickly vaulted up the rankings. Then they played Houston…

Whatever belief or momentum the Bulls had vanished after losing to Houston. Last week, the Bulls were destroyed by Tulane in Tampa, 41-15. But was USF ever that good? Georgia Tech is now a middling ACC team, and Illinois is 2-5 in the butter-soft Big 10. It’s equally possible USF was a good team that completely lost heart after the Houston game and now they’re in a free fall after letting Tulane hang 41 on the scoreboard. I guess we’ll find out tonight.

USF has won the last three meetings between the schools, but this one feels different. USF has been giving up over 30 points a game this season, allowing opponents to rush for 248.6 yards a game. With UC’s Mike Warren II just 69 yards away from a 1,000 yard rushing season, I expect the Bearcats to run the ball a lot. With near freezing temps and the game being played at 7 PM (Nippert Stadium at night!), this game sets up nicely for a Bearcats victory.

Prediction: UC – 37 // USF – 17

By Brian Fox