Syracuse at South Florida
The South Florida Bulls look to get on track when they host the Syracuse Orange on Saturday, October 27th. This is one team that they have certainly own over the last several years, winning six of the last seven meetings. The road team has won each of the last three in this series, including a 37-17 South Florida victory in 2011. B.J. Daniels threw for 254 yards while rushing for 117 and a score to lead the Bulls.
Oddsmakers expect that dominance to continue, installing South Florida as a 3-point favorite over Syracuse with a total set of 52.5 points.
The Bulls (2-5, 0-3 Big East) have lost five straight heading into this one. All five losses have come by 13 points or less, so this team simply is not getting it done in crunch time. They have a chance to right some wrongs this weekend against the Orange.
South Florida is coming off a 25-27 road loss to then-No. 16 Louisville. It gave the unbeaten Cardinals all they could handle, but just came up short in the end. After taking a 25-21 lead on a 12-yard touchdown pass from B.J. Daniels to Andre Davis with 3:09 to play, the defense allowed Louisville to score on a game-winning 11-yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Eli Rogers with 1:35 remaining.
Daniels finished 21 of 38 passing for 189 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Lindsey Lamar rushed 15 times for 110 yards. Davis caught two touchdown passes from Daniels, while Sean Price caught the other.
The Bulls rank 65th in the country in total offense (399.2 yards/game) and 59th in total defense (389.7 yards/game). Daniels is completing 55.8 percent of his passes for 1,693 yards with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He has also rushed for 277 yards four scores.
The Orange (3-4, 2-1 Big East) have turned the corner in recent weeks. All four of their losses have come by 13 points or less, but they’ve picked up two nice home wins over Pittsburgh and Connecticut over the last three weeks.
Syracuse put forth its best effort of the season last Friday in a 40-10 home victory over the Huskies. It outgained UConn 502-290 for the game while forcing two turnovers. This was a 20-10 game at halftime, but the defense shut out the Orange after intermission.
Ryan Nassib went 14 of 20 passing for 251 yards with two touchdowns. Jerome Smith rushed for 133 yards on 19 carries as the Orange amassed 251 yards on the ground as a team. Alec Lemon had a game-high eight receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown.
The Orange are 34th in the country in total offense (453.5 yards/game), including 14th in passing offense (308.4 yards/game). They are 26th in total defense (329.0 yards/game), giving up just 115.9 yards on the ground and 213.1 through the air.
Prediction: South Florida 31 – Syracuse 24
South Florida is a much better team than its 2-5 record would indicate. It will be highly motivated to put an end to its five-game losing streak. All five losses have come by 13 points or less, so this team has simply had some tough luck. The Bulls have owned the Orange in recent years and I look for that to continue here. We are getting them at a discount as only a 3-point home favorite.