South Florida Bulls vs. San Diego State Betting Preview
Where: Spartan Stadium – San Jose, California
When: Saturday, August 26, 2017 – 7:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
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Betting on the South Florida Bulls (-21.5)
The Bulls are heading to the 2017 season with a new look and big aspirations. For one, they have a new coach in Charlie Strong, who is coming off three disappointing campaigns at Texas and is fired up to redeem himself. He’s replacing the departed Willie Taggart – the architect of South Florida’s quick-trigger offense (fourth in scoring last season, 43.4 PPG)
Dual-threat quarterback Quinton Flowers should continue being the main act of USF. Though expected to be under-the-radar for much of the season, the senior is arguably one of the most explosive QBs in the country. As proof, he is the reigning AAC Offensive Player of the Year, thanks to having a 24-7 touchdown-interception ratio and an impressive 1,530 yards on the ground, along with 18 rushing touchdowns – he’s basically the conference’s own version of Lamar Jackson.
Challenges for the coming year, however, are staring Flowers hard. Aside from still lacking a true number one receiver, he is bound to get punished more now that key backfield weapon Marlon Mack is gone. D’Ernest Johnson is a pass-catching back who brings a lot to the table, but like the receiving corps, he is yet to prove himself as an “every-down back” that can be heavily relied upon.
On defense, Strong and defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary (another new man at the job) are about to face their own challenges. Defense is Strong’s forte, and his expertise is about to get challenged with the Bulls’ lowly D. The unit has talent in its arsenal, like cornerback Deatrick Nichols, who has four picks in each of the last two seasons, and linebacker Auggie Sanchez, who was among the team’s leader in tackles for loss and sacks. However, all it did was rank USF 120th in yards allowed (482.1) and 92nd in scoring defense (31.6).
Betting on the San Jose State Spartans (+21.5)
A new era in coaching is also on the way in San Jose State, as rookie coach Bret Brennan is now the man at the helm, who, as you may remember, coached the team’s wide receivers and tight ends from 2005-2008.
Brennan will need a boatload of everything to help progress the Spartans, because this is a team that’s perennially at the bottom of the pile, so much so that they only have one double-digit-winning season in the last 29 years.
Talent and production actually isn’t a problem in a couple of areas. Their secondary is a perfect example, as it just placed 19th overall in pass defense and will have all four starters back, including the NFL-ready CB, Andre Chachere, who picked off four passes and returned it for 117 total yards in 2016. The front seven also possess interesting men, namely tackling machine Frank Ginda and Owen Roberts, who led all D-lineman in tackles last season.
The unit simply has two major weaknesses that they cannot solve all year long, which is above all the nice-looking defensive numbers they generate: they can’t stop the run (122nd in rushing defense) and keep opponents from getting into the end zone (103rd in scoring defense).
Adding to that is they are a big question mark on offense. The QB position is currently a toss up between Josh Love, Michael Carillo, and freshman Montel Aaron – Love has the most experience between the three, although it’s not something to be excited about as he was only 31-for-60 for 392 yards with a 2-5 TD-INT ratio in his career with the Spartans.
Whoever the QB would be is also not going to have much weapons to play with, since the receivers and backs are just decent at-best.
USF (-21.5) wins and covers the spread, 42-20.
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