Connecticut Huskies at South Florida Bulls (-2,
Very little went right for South Florida in its first season
under then-rookie coach Willie Taggart, with one of the few
exceptions being how it played at the start of its conference
schedule. The Bulls on Friday look to win their American
Athletic Conference opener for the second straight season when
they host Connecticut. South Florida went 2-10 in 2013 – the
worst campaign in its 17-year football history – but managed to
defeat Cincinnati and the Huskies to begin league play last
The Bulls did not score an offensive touchdown in either
victory and have only tallied one in each of their last two
losses since freshman Marlon Mack rushed for four by himself in
a season-opening win over Western Carolina. Connecticut also
secured its only victory against an FCS foe in Stony Brook,
although it was able to frustrate undefeated Brigham Young in
its opener and played Boise State tight through three-plus
quarters last Saturday. The Huskies and Bulls have met every
year since 2005 and each of the former Big East rivals’ last
seven meetings has been decided by seven points or fewer.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE HISTORY: South Florida opened as
3.5-point home faves, but have been bet down to -2. The total
opened at 47.5 points and has also been bet down to 45.
INJURY REPORT: Connecticut – N/A. South
Florida – OL Thor Jozwiak (probable Friday, arm), WR Andre
Davis (questionable Friday, sternum).
WEATHER REPORT: The is supposed to be a
thunderstorm in the region and an 80 pecent chance of rain at
game time. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 70s, with
humidity reaching as high as 84 percent.
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “On Monday afternoon we got
sharp play on UConn +3.5, so we moved Huskies to +3. That was
followed by another sharpie bet on UConn +3, so we moved game
to current number of Bulls -2. We have a small decision on
spread, as 53 percent of the cash and 55 percent of bets are
backing USF. The total remains at 46 and 70 percent of the cash
and 59 percent of bets so far are on the under.” –
Mike Perry of Sportsbook.ag.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY:
ABOUT CONNECTICUT (1-2, 0-3 ATS, 1-2 O/U): First-year coach Bob
Diaco was pleased with his defense despite giving up 38 points
last week as it held Boise State 245 yards below its season
average in total offense and limited Broncos’ running back Jay
Ajayi 113 yards under his season rushing average. “The defense,
playing basically the same system they played in week one,
looked nothing like it looked in week one. I’m proud of the way
that they played today,” Diaco said. Chandler Whitmer became
the eighth player in program history to surpass 4,000 passing
yards after throwing for a season-high 209 last week.
ABOUT SOUTH FLORIDA (1-2, 1-2 ATS, 2-1 O/U): The Bulls
have played eight freshmen this season and two have already
left a mark on the offensive end, including Mack’s AAC-record
275 yards rushing yards in the opener. In last weekend’s 49-17
loss to North Carolina State, it was Ryeshene Bronson’s turn as
the freshman receiver collected two catches for 80 yards,
including a 75-yard touchdown reception early in the first
quarter. Andre Davis, who led South Florida with 49 catches and
735 yards last season, remains questionable after suffering a
bruised sternum against Western Carolina.
* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Road team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Under is 7-0 in South Florida’s last seven games versus a
team with a losing record.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Just over 65 percent of wagers are
backing South Florida at -2.