Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. South Florida Bulls
Date and Time: Thursday, November 15, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Opening College Football Odds: South Florida -23
Tulsa vs. South Florida TV Coverage: ESPN
South Florida has to keep looking at the College Football Playoff rankings and wondering where its name is. The team is 8-1 on the season and has, for the most part, crippled teams. A shocking 28-24 loss to Houston at the end of October ended the nation's longest-ever streak of games scoring 30+ points.
The good news is that the Bulls aren't finished yet. They made short work of UConn two weeks ago in their last game, and it's essentially assured that two wins to end the regular season plus a victory over Memphis in the AAC Championship Game will put them in the New Year's Six, most likely in the Fiesta Bowl.
If you haven't seen the USF rushing attack in full-throttle, this is a game for you to take in. Darius Tice, Quinton Flowers and D'Ernest Johnson are all pointed towards 1,000-yards seasons for the Bulls, and when these guys get going, it really does look like a track meet on the field.
Don't forget, too, that Marquez Valdes-Scantling might be the best athlete of the bunch. He leads the team with 44 receptions for 720 yards and five touchdowns, and he's also had his hands on the ball seven times for 109 yards as a rusher.
To say that Tulsa's No. 128-ranked rush defense is going to have problems in this game would be an understatement. But hey, the Golden Hurricane did beat the team that beat South Florida this year, so why can't this one end in an upset?
The easy answer is that the Golden Hurricane just don't have the offensive talent this year they're used to having, and their defense hasn't been able to make up the difference.
Freshman Shamari Brooks' season is over thanks to a broken collarbone, and D'Angelo Brewer is really the only other man on this offense capable of putting up huge stats. Brewer leads the team with 1,099 yards and eight touchdowns, but it's been proven time and time again that he can't run this show by himself.
Matchup to Watch
When the Bulls got beaten by Houston, the man who was largely in the middle of it all was Ed Oliver. He was a legitimate 5-star recruit out of high school, the first ever to sign with a Group of Five team. He single-handedly wrecked the game for USF.
Tulsa's defensive line? Not exactly full of 5-star guys.
Jesse Brubaker is a three-year starter at defensive end for the Golden Hurricane, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. He's one of just three seniors on this entire defense, and the unit has lacked a tremendous amount of leadership consistently over the last several years.
If the Bulls' offensive line is pushing the Tulsa defensive front around, this is going to be a long game for Tulsa and one in which USF could dump a 50 burger on the board quite easily.
Tulsa vs. South Florida Free Picks
It's been a while since we've seen the Bulls really open up a can on someone, but this is the stage to do it on. The UCF game is next week and is going to be a rocking atmosphere for sure in Orlando, but for now, the Bulls can only send a message against the paltry squad in front of them.
Luke Skipper might have the only notable win on the Tulsa roster this year, but he's not capable of putting 20 points on the board in this game. If that turns out to be the case, we have no doubt that South Florida is going to beat the number hung by all of the top online sportsbooks with ease.
College Football ATS Pick: South Florida -23 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: South Florida 56, Tulsa 10