Syracuse Orange vs. South Florida Bulls
Two struggling teams meet in the Carrier dome when the South Florida Bulls tangle with the Syracuse Orange. The Bulls fell to 20-17 in overtime to Rutgers in week ten action while the Orange fell at Connecticut 28-21. The Bulls are -4 point favorites over the Orange with an over/under point total set at 51.
Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Rutgers was as disappointing as this team has suffered in recent memory as the Bulls squandered a 17-3 fourth quarter lead. South Florida’s season could be divided in half where they were looking like a top 20 squad, going 4-0 before dropping four straight. USF totaled 381 yards and were ten of 23 on third down but gave the ball away twice and simply didn’t make critical plays down the stretch. The rushing attack produced over 220 yards with Darrell Scott leading the way with 100 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback BJ Daniels added 64 yards on 15 totes for some nice complimentary yardage but the team would have much rather had a better game in the air from him. Daniels on again, off again struggles with accuracy were evident as he was just 14 of 34 for a touchdown and interception. The defense played extremely well, allowing only 223 yards but the special teams gave up a 98 yard kick return so the Scarlet Knights defense was accountable for ten points.
The Syracuse squad that had been living on the edge with late game heroics and overtime victories hasn’t had that same good fortune the past two games as the season is on the brink of slipping away. The Orange offense posted only 365 yards and their inability to move the chains and score during a seven point first half killed this unit. Three turnovers didn’t help the cause as the attack moved the ball in the third quarter but did little otherwise. Syracuse didn’t even break the 100 yard plateau on the ground with Antwon Bailey leading the team with only 50 yards on 16 carries. That meant the Orange needed a big day from quarterback Ryan Nassib and he gave them the yardage but hurt them with interceptions. Nassib was 24 of 39 for 275 yards with a pair of scores and two picks. The Cuse defense gave up only 311 yards and recovered three fumbles and intercepted two passes so this unit gave the offense plenty of opportunities.
The Big East has been unpredictable this year with high expectations for a number of teams with South Florida being one of them. Still a solid defense but they need BJ Daniels to produce through the air to succeed. Syracuse has indeed lived on the edge for much of the season and if the Orange don’t win here they might be kissing the season good bye. I’ll take the points wit the Orange.
Syracuse Orange +4 South Florida Bulls