Connecticut Huskies at South Florida Bulls
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa Bay, Florida
Friday, September 18, 2014, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: South Florida -2 1/2
Current Line: South Florida -2
Opening Total: 48
Current Total: 46
Opening Money Line: USF -167 / Connecticut +153
Current Money Line: USF -130 / Connecticut +110
The South Florida Bulls and Connecticut Huskies open AAC play against each other Friday night in Tampa Bay. This is the 12th ever meeting between the teams, and the Bulls lead the series 6-5, including 4-1 in Tampa Bay. USF won last year in East Hartford 13-10.
Both teams are 1-2 this season. UConn is coached by Bob Diaco. The Huskies have home losses to BYU 35-10, and Boise State 38-21 last week, along with a home win over Stony Brook 19-16. Connecticut is 0-3 ATS and the total is 1-2. The Huskies were 14.5 point underdogs against Boise State and the total is 51.5.
South Florida is coached by Willie Taggart. The Bulls have a home win over Western Carolina 36-31 plus home losses to Maryland 24-17 and last week against North Carolina State 49-17. USF is 1-2 ATS and the total is 2-1 this season. The Bulls were 2.5 point underdogs against NC State and the total was 52.5.
Connecticut is being outscored 30-17 this season. The Huskies are averaging 289 total yards per game including 223 passing and 67 rushing yards. On defense, UConn is allowing 368 total yards game including 248 passing yards and 120 rushing yards per game. The Huskies have forced 3 turnovers and have 7 of their own. UConn is averaging 48 penalty yards per game and opponents average 108. The Huskies are 20/56 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 14/48. Connecticut has forced 3 sacks and allowed 15 this season. The Huskies are 6/10 scoring in the red zone with three touchdown and opponents are 7/8 with 5 touchdowns. Connecticut has a punt return for a touchdown and has allowed 3 defensive touchdowns.
UConn quarterback Casey Cochran had to retire from football after multiple concussions. He had been splitting snaps with Chandler Whitmer but Whitmer will be the the full time starter. Whitmer has thrown for 464 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Max DeLorenzo has 29 carries for 104 yards. Geremy Davis has 16 catches for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns. Deshon Foxx has 9 catches for 121 yards.
South Florida is being outscored 35-23 this season. The Bulls are averaging 300 total yards per game including 151 passing and 149 rushing yards per game. On defense, USF is allowing 453 total yards per game including 283 passing and 170 rushing yards per game. The Bulls have forced 10 turnovers in three games but have six of their own. USF and opponents are both averaging 39 penalty yards per game. The Bulls are 15/48 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 30/52. USF has forced 8 sacks and allowed 5 this season. The Bulls are 6/7 scoring in the red zone with 2 touchdowns, and opponents are 13/15 with 11 touchdowns. USF has two defensive touchdowns and has allowed a punt return for a touchdown.
USF has used 3 quarterbacks so far and none have been great. Mike White has thrown for 275 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Stephen Bench has thrown for 172 yards and an interception and also has a rushing touchdown. Quinton Flowers has thrown 2 interceptions in just 7 attempts and has rushed for 32 yards on 6 carries. Running back Marlon Mack has 58 carries for 399 yards and 4 touchdowns, and also has 4 catches. Receiver Rodney Adams has 6 catches for 116 yards. Ryeshene Bronson has 2 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. Deonte Welch has 7 catches for 76 yards.
UConn is 4-1 ATS in AAC games, 8-2-1 against teams with losing home records, 7-16-1 overall, 3-8-2 against teams with losing records, 2-6 after a straight up loss, 3-10-1 after failing to cover, 1-4 after a double digit home loss, after rushing for less than 100 yards, and in road games, and 1-6 in September. The road team is 3-1-1 ATS in this series recently and the underdog is 4-0-1 in those games.
USF is 5-1 ATS after allowing more than 40 points, 4-1 after failing to cover, 5-2 in Friday games, 3-7 after gaining less than 275 total yards, 2-5 after a straight up loss by 20 points or more, 10-25-1 overall, 7-21 after allowing 450 total yards or more, 7-21-1 on grass, 2-7 after passing for less than 170 yards, 1-4 after a straight up loss, after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, and after rushing for less than 100 yards, 3-12-1 against teams with losing records, 5-21-1 at home, 3-15 after scoring 20 points or less, and 1-10-1 against teams with losing road records. The last 4 games in this series have gone under the total.
This should be a low scoring game, not because the defenses are great. The truth is both offenses are lousy. South Florida has forced 10 turnovers but can’t capitalize because of the struggling offense. The Bulls’ pass rush should feast on the porous offensive line of the Huskies that is allowing 5 sacks a game. I like South Florida to win at home comfortably.
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