Cincinnati travels to Florida for a meeting with the South Florida Bulls. This is the second consecutive week that the Bearcats face a foe from Florida. Last week they hosted the UCF Knights, and now they head south for a matchup with South Florida. The way the state is playing out, UCF and USF have had the most success in Florida.
I find it hard to believe either would do so well playing in the ACC or SEC, but they might have an argument in the ACC, though. Both have a strong mix of offense and defense, which could compete in that conference. South Florida is armed with a terrific offense and underrated defensive unit. In any event, they’d have issues with top-tier ACC competition.
UCF beat Cincinnati, 51-23, which could have been worse as the game was called off thanks to rain. The Knights probably tack another touchdown or two on before the end of the game. The Bearcats were not expected to be anything going into this season, and they haven’t done anything yet. They’re 2-4 with wins over Miami-Ohio and Austin Peay. Can we count the Austin Peay game is a win? They barely got by them by a score of 26-14. Austin Peay is regarded as one of the worst teams in the FCS, never mind the FBS. Cincinnati did, however, win their rivalry game against Miami-Ohio, so no matter what happens they have that to hang their hat on.
Cincinnati hired former Ohio State offensive coordinator, Luke Fickell, this past offseason. In his first year, there aren’t many expectations. Fickell needs some time to do some recruiting to get his own guys in there. I expect him to have Cincinnati back competing for a conference championship in a few years. There are going to be growing pains in the meantime, though. You can find issues on both sides of the ball. We’ll see if South Florida will be able to exploit it on Saturday. Head below for our free Cincinnati vs. South Florida pick.
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. South Florida Bulls Betting Odds:
Cincinnati +24 (-110)
vs. South Florida -24(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cincinnati vs. South Florida Pick:
South Florida revolves around quarterback Quinton Flowers. Flowers is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in college football. If there isn’t something downfield, he’ll pull the ball in and run for a 1st down. In other words, there must be somebody spying Flowers or he’s going to take off. In 2016, he ran for 1,530 yards and 18 touchdowns. This season he already has 395 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. He’s been playing well in the passing game as well, posting 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Flowers has been more of a pocket-passer, I think trying to show NFL scouts he isn’t only a runner.
USF are 10th overall in the country, averaging 510 yards per game. They are also 5th in the nation with 44.8 points per game. The Bulls are fresh off putting up 61 on East Carolina. Conversely, Cinci are scoring 22.8 points per game for 102nd in the nation. If you want to hang around with South Florida, the offense is going to need to play well, because South Florida will score. They’ve scored more than 40 points the last three weeks. Cincinnati quarterback, Hayden Moore, has been getting better week-to-week, but he must play his best against South Florida.
South Florida have a sneaky good defense. Note that they are allowing just 294 yards per game, 15th in the country. They are stout against the run, allowing just 74.4 yards per game for 2nd in the country. The only team, statistically wise, against defending the run is Alabama. If they had a tougher schedule, those numbers would undoubtedly not look as good. However, Cincinnati is another team their defense should look great against. They don’t have an offense to exploit USF. The Bearcats should be in for another blowout against a school from Florida. I recommended a pick on the South Florida Bulls.
PICK: SOUTH FLORIDA -24 (-110)