USF had a sluggish first half and the Bulls awakened against the Bearcats just in time in the third quarter. Cornerback D'Juan Brown retuned an interception 26-yards for a touchdown and wide receiver Amari Jackson scored on a 22-yard reverse, all in a span of five minutes, as South Florida pulled away to a 31-16 win against Cincinnati. Big East rushing leader Andre Hall rushed for 100 yards and a score and the South Florida defense
UConn had the week off after getting shut out by Pittsburgh last weekend 24-0. Quarterback Tyler Palko threw for 116 yards and a touchdown pass and ran for another score. Pittsburgh also got some special teams help and blocked a field goal and returned it 71 yards for a touchdown. Both defenses dominated the game. UConn only allowed 192 yards of offense while Pittsburgh held the Huskies to 299 total yards.
UConn may be 4-5 but their defense is playing very well. They are in the top three or four in every Big East defensive category. But so are the Bulls. USF has to travel up to the Northeast for their third road game in four weeks. They should have enough offensively to steal a road win. There is a lot on the line as South Florida needs a win to set up a matchup for the conference championship the following week when they host West Virginia in a winner takes all contest.
The Bulls will try and use their same formula that they have played with all season, run the football, control the clock and create turnovers. USF leads the Big East in turnover margin (+11) while UConn (+3) is in the positive as well. Another factor could be the weather, where it is expected to be very chilly. This will be an uncommon environment from the team from Tampa, where just about the entire roster is made up of Floridians.
For UConn, they want to create turnovers and play with a short field and play for field position. This game could very well come down to one or two mistakes and what team can effectively and consistently run the football. You have to give the advantage to the Bulls as they have the leading rushing in the conference in Andre Hall.
Total Defense – Big East Conference
(2) UConn – 284.3
(3) USF – 312
Rushing Defense – Big East Conference
(3) USF – 124.4
(4) UConn – 139.4
Scoring Defense – Big East Conference
(2) USF – 17.7
(3) UConn – 19
Total Offense – Big East Conference
(4) USF – 361.7
(6) UConn – 331.6
Rushing Offense – Big East Conference
(2) USF – 229.8
(4) UConn – 186.2
Big East Standings
West Virginia (5-0)(8-1)
South Florida (4-1)(6-3)