This Game was set to be played a couple months ago, but a hurricane changed those plans. And while South Florida is coming off a loss, this spread actually moved up since the line was released two months ago. The Bulls were -17 point favorites back in September, but that moved to -22.5 points this week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
South Florida had high expectations ahead of the season with an extremely favorable Schedule and one of the most potent quarterbacks in the country. Yet this team has failed to surpass expectations all year, coming close in a number of contests and finally losing to Houston last week. The reason this spread has gone the other way is because UConn has gotten throttled by any team with a decent offense, most recently losing 52-12 to Missouri.
In last year’s meeting, the Huskies battled to a 42-27 loss and still covered by five points even with USF tacking on 21 points in the final quarter. Unfortunately for the Huskies, it looks like their defense has taken a turn for the worse giving up a ridiculous 378 passing yards per Game.
The problem is that USF quarterback Quinton Flowers is better on the ground than through the air. He had his first 300-yard passing Game last week and that came in a loss. This is an offense built around Flowers’s mobility (620 yards), along with Darius Tice (726 yards) and D’Ernest Johnson (601 yards) in the running Game. The good news is that UConn is also bad against the run, giving up 170 rushing yards per contest. Needless to say, but the Huskies have been bad.
In regards to the spread, the biggest question will be if UConn can Scoreagainst an underwhelming USF defense. ACCording to the numbers, USF has a good defense, allowing less than 20 points per Game, but a lot of that has to do with competition. The Bulls have had an extremely easy Schedule and still have allowed around 30 points to teams like East Carolina and Tulane.
But trusting Bryant Shirreffs and this Connecticut offense hasn’t turned out well this season. against one of the worst defenses in the country last week in Missouri, Shirreffs couldn’t do anything as the Huskies only scored 12 points. Shirreffs has had some big Games, but if he puts in another performance like that, it will be tough for UConn to cover. It doesn’t help that at this point, UConn has mostly given up on its ground Game that is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry.
The story of this Game is pretty simple. If Flowers and USF can move the ball at will, that could lead to 50 or so points, similar to previous losses for UConn. But if UConn gets a couple stops and can move the ball on a mediocre USF defense, that would be enough to keep this Game fairly close.
The Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last five road Games, but have covered in their last seven against teams with a losing record (Tulane was 3-3 at time of Game). The Huskies have mostly terrible trends and are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine vs. a team with a winning record. USF is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these teams.
Our Pick – UCONN +23.5