Week 12 – South Florida at Miami

Posted Nov 14, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction – South Florida at Miami

South Florida (3-6) at Miami (5-5) Nov. 17, 3:00, RSN

Here's The Deal: While Miami controls its own destiny in the ACC Coastal, this week it'll step outside the conference to renew acquaintances with a budding rival.

The Hurricanes came within seconds of moving a giant step closer to a date with either Florida State or Clemson on Dec. 1, but instead fell to Virginia on a Michael Rocco touchdown pass with six seconds left. The young program must bounce back in a hurry, knowing that it hasn't even achieved bowl eligibility. What happens in these next two weekends will have a profound impact on the rebuilding being done by Al Golden in his second year on the job.

South Florida emerges from a bye week looking to build on a victory over Connecticut that snapped a six-game losing streak. The Bulls can still achieve bowl eligibility, but six wins feels a long way off for this year's biggest disappointment in the Big East. This will be a strange game for the program, which saw the reign of four-year starting QB B.J. Daniels end when he broke an ankle in the win over the Huskies.

Why South Florida Might Win: With or without Daniels, the Bulls are going to move the ball on the hollowed out, flexible Miami defense.

Yeah, Matt Floyd is an untested redshirt freshman, with just 10 career passing attempts, but he might not look so green against the Hurricanes. Miami is beaten up on D, and slid to 115th nationally after allowing 41 points to methodical Virginia. Floyd certainly won't need to travel alone, especially against an opponent allowing almost five yards per carry. South Florida will be content to bludgeon the ‘Canes for 60 minutes with backs Demetris Murray and Marcus Shaw.

Why Miami Might Win: Better backfield equals bowl eligibility.

The fact that Miami is the favorite to win the Coastal Division is more of an indictment of the Coastal Division than anything else. The ‘Canes are as good as their mediocre record. That established, they'll have a sizable edge in the backfield on the visiting Bulls. Stephen Morris has been sharp in his last two games, throwing five touchdowns without a pick, and Duke Johnson is one of the nation's young stars at running back. He's on the doorstep of becoming the face of the program, averaging well over six yards per carry, and returning two kickoffs for scores this season.

What To Watch Out For: The Miami D has been thinned out, especially at linebacker, where standouts Eddie Johnson and Denzel Perryman have missed time because of disciplinary reasons and injuries, respectively. While Perryman hopes to get back on the field, and is listed on the depth, the Hurricanes will continue to seek production from spot starters, such as Thurston Armbrister, Gionni Paul and Tyrone Cornileus.

What Will Happen: South Florida snapped its losing streak two weeks ago. Starting a winning streak isn't going to happen in Miami.

The ‘Canes are vulnerable, but not against a USF team that's been whiffing since Week 3. Miami gets a break by missing Daniels, whose presence would have made this game much tighter. It'll ride the wheels of Johnson, getting a touchdown pass or two from Morris to build a cushion too big for a rookie quarterback to narrow in his first career start.

CFN Prediction: Miami 31 … South Florida 17
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) X O/U: Miami -7 O/U: 54
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 2.5