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BYU Cougars vs. South Florida Bulls NCAAF: October 12, 2019 at 3:30 PM EST
BYU is under .500 at 2-3 and they have played a killer schedule. They have already faced three ranked teams, one of which they beat, and in their last game beat a legit Toledo team that is 4-1 and has one of the best rushing offenses in the nation. The Cougars main problem is balance on offense, as they have a solid passing attack but only rank 123rd in the nation in rushing yards per game. Well, really their main problem is injuries, as their starting QB is out several weeks and their starting RB is out for the season.
South Florida has rebounded after losing their first two-game to win two of their last three games. Both of their wins have been in blowouts, but those games were facing less than stellar competition in South Carolina State and UCONN. In the Bulls two wins, they have totaled 103 points while in their three losses they have totaled 31 points.
This is the first-ever meeting between these teams.
The young buck gets to show what he hasIn this game, BYU’s freshman QB Jaren Hall will make his first career start after the Cougars lost their starting QB Zach Wilson for 6-8 weeks with a thumb injury suffered in the last game. Hall came in after the injury in the 28-21 loss to Toledo and passed for 58 yards with no TD and no INT. He has solid targets to work with the WR duo of Aleva Hifo and Micah Simon and Matt Bushman each having at least 253 receiving yards. Ty’Son Williams leads the team in rushing and is out for the season with a knee injury and Emmanuel Esukpa is now the lead back and he has rushed for 141 yards on the season with 110 of those yards coming in the last two games. He has averaged over five yards per carry in his last two games and with Hall under center look for him to get a lot of touches. This is also the case since the Bulls’ run defense only ranks 86th in the nation.
While it is still early in the season this is a big game for BYU for their post-season hopes. After this game, they host 14th ranked Boise State and then have four games against subpar teams before ending the season facing San Diego State. Still, their top two offensive players are out and their defense, especially the run defense, has taken a beating this season.
Take advantageThe Bulls need to not only take advantage of the missing players on offense for BYU, but exploit their run defense, which only ranks 119th in the nation. Jordan McCloud leads the USF offense and on the season has passed for 552 yards with seven TD and four INT. All of his picks have been the last two games and he ranks 2nd on the team with 144 rushing yards. Jordan Cronkrite leads the Bulls with 224 yards with 148 of them coming in the last game, which was a 48-22 blowout win over UCONN.
In the UCONN game, the Bulls rushed for 313 yards facing a Huskies team that has a run defense that is bad but not as bad, in terms of the rankings, as BYU. This game is big for the Bulls, as for the rest of the season, all in AAC play, they do not face one team that currently has a losing record.
The USF Bulls are:
- 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game
The BYU Cougars are:
- 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
- 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
BYU is without their top two offensive weapons but only lost by a TD in their last game without those guys facing a solid Toledo team. They will give up a lot of rushing yards, but Hall will have a coming out party with a solid game and the Cougars will also run the ball well. BYU will step up in this game in the Sunshine State and win and cover the spread against a USF team whose two wins have come facing cupcakes.
Prediction: PICK BYU
Full-Game Total Pick
Going with the Over in this one, as I think both teams will move the ball and put up some points. BYU has given up a lot of points this season to good teams and they will give up some facing a decent USF team. I think Hall will have a big game in the air in his debut and get the Cougars in the end zone quite a few times. In this non-conference affair the Over is the money pick.
Prediction: PICK Over