South Florida offense
The past few years, anytime you talked about the South Florida Bulls football team, the name B.J. Daniels was the first thing that came out of your mouth. That was the case this year as well, until a broken ankle ended his senior season prematurely. In his absence, Matt Floyd has been thrust into the starters role, completely changing the dynamic of this Bulls offense. With Daniels, USF had a true dual-threat option behind center and one of the most exciting players in college football, without him, the Bulls have become more of a traditional offense with a pocket passer at quarterback. That being said, this offense still has weapons, including running back Demetris Murray, who has rushed for 584 yards and five touchdowns on the season. With Daniels out, this offense relies heavily on its rushing attack, putting a lot of pressure on Murray. Stop the rushing game, and the ball is forced into the inexperienced hands of Floyd.
South Florida defense
This South Florida team runs a traditional 4-3 defense with four defensive lineman and three linebackers. While normally a strong, consistent unit, this version has struggled mightily. While allowing over 400 yards of total offense per game and almost 28 points, the South Florida defense has been inconsistent at best during the 2012 season. Their leading tackler is cornerback Kayvon Webster. It usually is not a good sign when a cornerback is leading your team in tackles. Linebacker DeDe Lattimore is second on the team in tackles and leads the team in sacks with 3.5. The Bulls defense struggles in almost all facets of the game, most glaringly in pass defense. If UC can open up holes for George Winn, this could be a long day for Skip Holtz's crew.
How Cincinnati can win
After suffering their worst offensive output of the season against Rutgers, this Cincinnati offense is hungry to get back on the winning side of things. Against a much inferior USF team, I expect Cincinnati to put on an offensive show. USF struggles against the passing attack, which should lead to some big plays in the air from quarterback Brendon Kay. I still believe the Bearcats will start with a run-heavy offensive game plan early in the game to get the offense in rhythm, and then open up the playbook later on. On defense, the Bearcats need to focus on shutting down the South Florida rushing attack and forcing Bulls quarterback Matt Floyd into long passing situations. If they do that, I expect to see the secondary come up with a few turnovers. This should be an easy win for the Bearcats, but nothing is guaranteed in this league and I expect UC to come out aggressive early to set the tempo for the rest of the game.