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South Florida vs. Florida
Current Pointspread: Florida -15 O/U 50.5
Wow was that REALLY the Florida Gators out there against the Miami Redhawks
in week one? Can an Urban Meyer team really make that many mistakes and allow a
team that was 1-11 in 2009 to hang around until the 4th quarter? Did they really
have just 26 total yards of offense in the final quarter of play? Yes, indeed
they did. The offense was horrid, but the defense was strong.
The defense created 4 turnovers, including a pick 6 to start the game. This week they will be matched up against in state rival South Florida for the first time. The Bulls won their first game under new head coach Skip Holtz with ease. Now they will enter this game thinking they can win after watching the Gators poor performance just a week ago. Let's see how these teams matchup!
If you don't know the name BJ Daniels yet, then you will very soon. The sophomore QB is extremely mobile. He gained 1,029 yards on the ground last year while picking up 9 TDs in the process. He passed for 1,983 more yards and 14 TDs. Standing 6-1 and weighing 210 lbs, he is very hard to tackle. Combine that with an offensive line that has 99 combined career starts and he will be tough to stop. Aj Love and Dontavia Bogan are back at WR. Both caught 4 TD passes apiece last year. Putting up points on a rock solid Florida defense won't be easy, even with 10 starters back from last year's team.
The best part of the Florida Gators offense is clearly junior RB Jeff Demps. He is the fastest man in the NCAA. This means he is a breakaway threat every time he touches the ball. Junior QB John Brantley wasn't spectacular last week. He won't be able to fill Tim Tebow's shoes, but its pivotal that he step his game up if Florida wants to compete in the SEC.
USF has a competent defensive line. If the Gators don't improve in their offensive line, particularly Maurice Pouncey, they could be in for a scare. C Pouncey botched too many snaps to count last week. Against a better foe it probably would have cost the Gators a win. Pouncey is a solid player and it was probably just a single week slip up, but he MUST correct that error against the Bulls.
The Florida Gators defense will have a huge impact on the game. Even though just five starters are back, they are good enough to change the game. They create turnovers and put points on the board like few teams in the FBS can. LB AJ Jones had 3 INTs last year. Freshman Jelani Jenkins is also solid at LB. He had a pick 6 against the Redhawks in week one. Ahmad Black is back at SS. He was second in tackles last year with 70. He also had an INT and a sack.
The South Florida Bull's defense wasn't anything to write home about in 2009. They gave up 41 points against Pittsburgh, 34 against Cincinnati, and 31 against Miami. They had problems against big time runners like Dion Lewis of the Pittsburgh Panthers. They will have to find a way to contain Jeff Demps or it could be lights out early in the game. It's going to be up to the defense as a whole to keep the Bulls in this game. An inexperienced secondary could cost them.
In the end we have to remember that this is a TOP SEC team against a mid pack Big East team. That means the Bulls are likely to get dominated in every facet of the game. South Fla was obviously overrated last year when they were ranked #2 in the Nation. They were spanked every time they stepped up in class, and this year they loose quite a few players from the defense. As far as Florida goes, well, it's Florida. Loaded with talent year after year. Of course this year is a little different with Urban Meyer taking some time away from the team in the off season, after his brief resignation last January.
The line opened Florida -16 and has dropped to -15 despite over 65% of the wagering action thus far coming in on the Gators, which is an indication of sharp money being wagered on South Florida. If the number moved back up to 16, we'll side with the sharps and take South Florida +16. Otherwise, we'll stay away.