We have non-conference football between a pair of undefeated teams when the South Florida Bulls meet the number seven Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. USF is coming off a 27-6 home victory over The Citadel Bulldogs and Notre Dame defeated the Duke Blue Devils in South Bend by a score of 27-13. The victory for the Bulls was the first for new head coach Jeff Scott, who served as co-offensive coordinator at Clemson. He took over for Charlie Strong, who went 4-8 in his third season at South Florida, after starting out 10-2.
This should be a highly competitive game on Saturday and I’m looking forward to telling you all about it.
The Irish have gone from -24.5 down to -24 and that is consistent with the fact that the Bulls have grabbed 56% of the bets.
The OU Line has gone from 52.5 down to 48, despite the Over getting the 64% of the bets.
Gametime Weather: Sunny with temps in the lower 60s
USF Defeats The CitadelSouth Florida started out its 2020 season in the right way by defeating The Citadel Bulldogs by a score of 27-6. USF scored 13 second-quarter points against the FCS program, who runs a triple-option and then hung on for its first victory of the season. USF accumulated 404 yards of total offense while allowing 284 yards and walked off the field with a solid beginning to its season.
The Bulls victory allowed them to play three quarterbacks and leading the way with 68 passing yards and a touchdown strike was sophomore quarterback Jordan McCloud. The sophomore completed 68.8 percent of his passes for one touchdown on 11-16 passing. McCloud scampered for an additional three yards on three attempts in the victory. Junior wideout Bryce Miller led the Bulls with three receptions for 36 yards and senior Devontres Dukes hauled in two passes for 17 yards and the lone aerial touchdown.
Sophomore running back Kelley Joiner led a balanced rushing attack with 87 rushing yards on eight attempts with a touchdown and senior Noah Johnson rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bulls backfield.
The USF defense did a nice job Saturday, allowing 284 total yards of offense; 84 yards via the air and 200 rushing yards. This defense forced the Bulldogs into three turnovers; the Bulls recovered two fumbles and junior defensive back Mekhi Lapointe picked off a pass to lead the defense.
South Florida’s Injury Report
Questionable: RB Darrian Felix, QB Cade Fortin, PK Jared Sackett, OL Brad Cecil, OL Demetris Harris, DT Kevin Kegler, and DB Keyon Helton
Out: WR Jernard Phillips, DT John Waller, RB Josh Berry, TE Thomas Nance, and DB Eugene Bowman
Notre Dame Holds Off DukeThe seventh-ranked Fighting Irish opened its season with a solid 27-13 home win over Duke. Notre Dame took a slim, four-point lead into the locker room and scored 17 second-half points to seal the win. The Fighting Irish rattled off 441 yards of total offense while allowing 332 yards and the Irish had better figure out its defense quickly otherwise they will be in for a long day on Saturday.
Senior quarterback Ian Book threw for 263 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 19-31 passing for 263 yards. Book also ran for 12 yards on nine attempts and his top receiver on the day was sophomore running back Kyren Williams with two catches for 93 yards and senior wideout Avery Davis with two receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown.
Williams led the ground attack on Saturday 112 rushing yards and a pair of scores on 19 attempts and freshman running back Chris Tyree rushed for 25 yards on six carries against the Blue Devils.
The Fighting Irish defense allowed 332 yards of total offense; 259 of those yards came via the air and 73 rushing yards. The Irish forced a pair of turnovers and allowed just one touchdown on the day while recording three sacks.
Notre Dame’s Injury Report
Questionable: DB Kyle Hamilton
Out: WR Kevin Austin and Ben Skowronek
- Notre Dame is 9-23 ATS (-16.3 Units) as a favorite of 21.5 to 31 points since 1992.
- 5-1 ATS last 6 vs. AFCC.
- 19-9 ATS last 28 as a road dog
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Notre Dame opened as 24 point favorites and now the line is 26.5 points and that is a bunch of points to lay in this game. The Fighting Irish offense is pretty good and I don’t see them having that much trouble scoring the football but my concern is the shaky Fighting Irish defense. Granted, Duke was forced to play catchup for most of the second half but that Irish secondary allowed too many passing yards and that might pose a problem for them against USF. McCloud isn’t a bad passer and he might be able to get the job done on Saturday. At the end of the day, that’s too many points to lay and I will take the 26.5 points and go with USF to cover in this matchup.
Prediction: USF +26.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Vegas posted a 52.5 point total but that line has now moved to 48 points. These are two teams that know how to find the end zone and maybe the defenses aren’t as good as the offenses in this matchup. I expect the ball in the air plenty for both offenses and this could turn into a high scoring affair that should exceed the total by the fourth quarter. I will play the OVER in this matchup.
Prediction: Over 48