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Nippert Stadium, in Cincinnati, Ohio, plays host to what should be an exciting American Athletic Conference matchup between the USF Bulls and the Cincinnati Bearcats. USF has lost two in a row and is coming off a 41-15 loss against Tulane and the Bearcats have won four of their past five games including a 42-0 thumping over Navy. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm Eastern.
USF Looking to Turn Things Around
USF were completely and totally dominated by Tulane last week and for the first time since 2015 that USF has lost two straight games. South Florida converted only four of their 13 third downs in the lopsided loss. Junior quarterback Blake Barnett threw for 322 yards and an interception and rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown, Freshman running back Johnny Ford rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown and Sophomore kicker Coby Weiss kicked a 27 yard field goal in the USF defeat.
— USF Football (@USFFootball) November 5, 2018
USF allows teams to rack up 248 rushing yards and 193 passing yards for a grand total of 441 total yards and 30.9 points allowed. Teams convert 38 percent of their third downs, 64 percent of their fourth downs and teams score on 84 percent of their trips to the Red Zone. South Florida has picked off nine passes and has sacked opposing quarterbacks 23 times this season.
The Bearcats are Young but Ready
The Bearcats dominated every phase of the football game and blasted Navy 42-0. It was payback for last year’s 42-34 loss and having watched most of it, I must say it was entertaining watching the Bearcats shut down Navy and their triple option. Freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder threw for 178 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 66 yards and another touchdown to lead the Bearcats to their eighth win overall! Freshman running back Charles McClelland rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown, Sophomore Michael Warren rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns and Junior wide out Rashad Medaris caught four passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.
The Bearcats defense allows an average of 14 points per game. This season they’ve allowed 274 total yards on 170 passing yards and 103 rushing yards. Teams convert 26 percent of their third downs, 22 percent of their fourth downs and teams score on 77 percent of their Red Zone possessions. Cincinnati has picked off eight passes, one pick six and have sacked opposing quarterbacks 20 times this season.
- Bearcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
- Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in their previous game.
- Bulls are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
- Bulls are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Bulls are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points.
- Bulls are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bearcats are young, fast and hungry. They are also well coached and know how to win tackle football games. The Bulls are young, hungry, well coached but don’t know how to win games. Plus, that Bearcat defense is suffocating. What that Bearcat defense did to Navy was no joke, and while I will admit USF has a nice offense, I look for Cincy to do the same thing to USF as they did to Navy. I’m rolling with the Bearcats Saturday!!
Prediction: Cincinnati -13.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Two good defenses playing against each other on a cold, humid, night in Cincinnati means only one thing to me; this game is going to be a low scoring affair as cold hands don’t exactly throw footballs very well. The cold weather should definitely affect the USF quarterback Barnett just as much as the Bearcat secondary will. When I think about how this game should flow, I see a score somewhere in the neighborhood of 28-7 or something like that. Well below the total and I’m going with the under on Saturday night.
Prediction: Under 57 points