Week 14 - South Florida at UCF

Posted Nov 27, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - South Florida at UCF

South Florida (2-8) at UCF (9-1) Nov. 29, 8:00, ESPN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: This is the first time that South Florida and UCF are meeting as members of the same league, though the Bulls are 4-0 in this series destined to become an underrated rivalry. The 17th-ranked Knights manhandled Rutgers last Thursday to move a step closer to the program's first BCS bowl game. UCF can earn a share of the American and reduce to one its magic number for an outright title with a victory this Friday night. The work-in-progress that is Willie Taggart's debut in Tampa continues to stagger to the 2013 finish line. Positive signs, such as an upset of 9-2 Cincinnati, have been fleeting, as the Bulls have had all kinds of problems executing on the offensive side of the ball.

Why South Florida Might Win: Yeah, the record is awful, but don't pin it on the defense, which has carried its share of the weight this season. In fact, the Bulls have allowed just 39 points in their last two losses. South Florida is giving up fewer than four yards a carry, while holding up well at the line of scrimmage. USF has talent along the front seven, headed by steady LB DeDe Lattimore in the middle of the second level.

Why UCF Might Win: The Knights are vastly superior on offense. Actually, so are most teams that face South Florida. The Bulls are toothless with the ball, norming a league-low 13.9 points per game. UCF ought to reach that number before halftime. The Knights conversely lead the American in scoring behind league-leading rusher Storm Johnson and the accurate throws of Blake Bortles.

Who To Watch Out For: The Knights may not have a star at wide receiver, but it does have three players, Rannell Hall, Breshad Perriman and J.J. Worton, with at least 600 yards receiving. Bortles has options, which makes stopping him that much harder.

- There's been an Aaron Lynch sighting in Tampa. The Bull defensive end, with the attention from NFL scouts, is coming off his best game with the program, including four stops for loss and a pair of sacks in last week's loss to SMU.

- Redshirt freshman Jacoby Glenn is showing signs of becoming the next young star of the UCF secondary. He has good size for the position and improving instincts, breaking up five Rutgers passes a week ago.

What Will Happen: A lot of Bulls and Knights players know each other from their high school days, so this game might be a little closer than the current resumes indicate. South Florida has the defense to make UCF sweat early on. However, it lacks the offensive execution to actually go the distance and hand the Knights their first conference loss of the season.

Prediction: UCF 35 … South Florida 13
Line: UCF -27 o/u: 49.5
Must See Rating: (5 American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 2
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