WHERE: Raymond James Stadium (65,857); Tampa, FL
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
SERIES: USF leads series 3-0. Last: USF won 25-24 in 2018.
LINE: Tulsa -11; Over/Under 50.5
Friday night under the lights on ESPN. What better way to start the weekend than with some USF Football, amirite?
OK, don’t answer that.
There were signs of life in the offense last week as quarterback Jordan McCloud, running back Johnny Ford, and company scored a season-high 37 points in their loss at Temple. It was the first time since October 2019 that the Bulls scored over 30 points in a game.
In comes the Tulsa Golden Hurricane fresh off beating the C. Florida Golden Knights for the fourth consecutive time. Tulsa had an impromptu bye week last week due to a COVID outbreak at Cincinnati, postponing their game until December.
The Golden Hurricane are led by quarterback Zach Smith, wide receiver Keylon Stokes, and linebacker Zaven Collins, and they’ll look to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2016.
Smith is one of the better quarterbacks in the conference as he threw for over 3,000 yards last season after transferring from Baylor where he amassed over 3,000 yards in two years. His go-to target will be Keylon Stokes, who had over 1,000 yards receiving a year ago. Through two games he has ten catches for 150 yards and one TD.
USF’s defense will need to create more pressure and havoc than it has this season. Starting linebacker, and sack leader Antonio Grier will miss the first half of the game after being ejected for a targeting call in the Temple game. The Bulls have just three sacks, and 22 tackles-for-loss as a team through five games. If you take out The Citadel game, those numbers drop to two and 15.
The offense will need to prove the Temple game wasn’t a fluke, and McCloud must, MUST MUST protect the ball better. While he has thrown just two interceptions this year, he’s lost four fumbles in two games, including costly scoop-and-score to give Temple in the second half.
Come hang out with us.