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The Big East has the college football world to itself again this Thursday night as Rutgers visits South Florida in a game with definite conference title implications. The Bulls are 10-point favorites on WagerWeb.com.
USF (2-0), picked to finish second in the Big East, comes off a 32-31 win at Nevada. Bulls QB B.J. Daniels passed for 363 yards and three touchdowns, including a 56-yard scoring toss to Andre Davis with 38 seconds left in the game. Daniels also threw a 51-yard TD to Davis, who finished with 12 catches for 191 yards, and a 52-yard score to Chris Dunkley with 2:37 remaining.
South Florida did lose wide receiver Sterling Griffin for the rest of the season after suffering a right knee injury in Saturday’s win at Nevada.
Rutgers, meanwhile, beat Howard 26-0 last week. Gary Nova threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Coleman, and Rutgers’ swarming defense limited Howard to 149 total yards, giving Kyle Flood a 26-0 victory in his first home game as the Scarlet Knights’ coach. Nova and Coleman combined on scoring passes of 32 and 16 yards as Rutgers got off to its second 2-0 start in three seasons.
However, right guard Andre Civil suffered a lower-body injury in Saturday’s win over Howard and might not play Thursday. Flood is optimistic that center Betim Bujari, who also suffered a lower-body injury Saturday, will be ready to go in Tampa, Fla.
Rutgers leads the all-time series 6-2 and is 2-1 all-time in Tampa. Last year at home, Rutgers won 20-17 in overtime. Chas Dodd replaced Nova at the start of the fourth quarter and threw a game-tying 34-yard touchdown pass to Coleman with 1:08 to play. The score would have been for naught had Maikon Bonani not missed a 27-yard field goal on the final play of regulation for South Florida. Daniels struggled for USF, completing 14 of 34 passes for 160 yards with a TD and a pick.
Scarlet Knights are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings. Underdog is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings.