South Florida vs. Cincinnati
Betting Line: Cincinnati -8 o/u 47
The Cincinnati Bearcats and South Florida Bulls are both under new regimes in 2010. Both stand at 3-3 overall, but the Bearcats are 1-0 in Big East play, while the Bulls are 0-2. These teams were both undefeated when they met last year. Despite both rebuilding, this Friday night Game will be a fun Game to watch and wager on from Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. South Florida’s chances of winning the Big East are poor, but if they play lights out the rest of the year it’s not out of the question. Cincinnati, the two time defending champs, have room for error, but with West Virginia looming large they have little room for error as well.
The Bulls of South Florida are experieNCing growing pains under boy wonder HC Skip Holtz. They have a very good QB in the speedy BJ Daniels, but you wouldn’t know that by watching him in his past few Games. He is making lots of mistakes and not helping his team get points on the board. He has been an interception MAChine so far in 2010. He ran all over the Bearcats in 2009, and he will find that the defense of his Cincinnati’s foes is just as poor this year. The ability of USF to win this Game will depend squarely on Daniels ability to get back on track.
While the offense has been poor, the Bulls are playing solid on defense. They rank 18th in the nation in points allowed at 16.7 PPG. If not for having allowed 38 against the Florida Gators their ranking would be even better. In the last three Games they have played, the Bulls have registered 14 sacks. The Cincinnati offensive line was putrid at the beginning of the year, but has since improved. If they can reopen the old holes it would go a long way towards a big road victory. The secondary will have its hands full with Zack Collares and his stable of WRs. They will need to force him to throw some INTs. He did twice last week. So far this year the Bulls have lost the TO war 3 times.
If the Cincinnati Bearcats want to cover the 8 point spread it will begin with RB Isaiah Pead. It’s funny to hear that about a pass first offense, but it’s true. Conventional football wisdom tells that the run sets up the pass. Pead has been on an absolute tear since returning from an injury. If he can tear through USF’s stout defense the Bearcats will Scorean easy home win. The offense possesses many weapons such as Armon Binns, Ben Guidugli, DJ Woods, and John Goebel just to name a few. The offensive line will be another key factor. They are playing much better since HC Butch Jones moved them around.
Defense could be the downfall of Cincinnati. They are allowing massive yardage, peaking at 469 against Oklahoma, and 461 against NC State. Most of the damage opposing offense have done has been in the air, but Louisville proved last week that the Bearcats are weak against the run by carving them up for 200+ yards on the ground. BJ Daniels is an effective scrambler and he proved last year he can have success against this weak defense.
Turnovers are hurting both of these teams. The winner could be the one that is able to get key INTs and fumbles. Just a week ago the Bearcats turned the ball over 3 times. They were lucky enough to overcome that, but it is unlikely they can do it twice. QB Zack Collares will have to get back on track and stop throwing INTs. He tossed 2 against the Cardinals, but also passed 5 TDs.
Our numbers show Cincinnati winning this one, but not by enough. We have them by 6 and we also have the Game falling under the total. There isn’t enough of a margin between Our number and the betting line as far as the side goes, so just a lean towards South Florida +8.
The stronger play looks to be under the total of 47.