Temple Owls (2-1; 0-3 ATS: 1-2 O/U) vs. #21 USF Bulls (3-0; 1-2 ATS; 1-2 O/U)
NCAAF: Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 7:30pm EST
Line: USF -18
The 21st ranked South Florida Bulls will clash with the Temple Owls in a conference battle Saturday night from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Owls are coming off a 29-21 home win over UMass, and USF rolled to a 47-23 home win over Illinois last week. Temple recorded a 46-30 win against USF last season.
Marchi Shines in Owls Win Over UMass
The Temple Owls overpowered the UMass Minutemen on both sides of the ball in a 29-14 home win last Thursday night to improve to 2-1. Logan Marchi was outstanding, connecting on 22 of 37 passes for 248 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The sophomore quarterback is off to a very promising start to the season in his first year as the starter, recording 767 passing yards with a 5:0 TD to INT ratio, and he has looked calm under pressure. Ryquell Armstead had a very productive night on the ground in the win, rushing for 91 yards on 17 carries. The junior running back is a big threat on the ground and has now tallied 177 rushing yards through three games. Owls leading receiver Keith Kirkwood had another strong performance, making four catches for 64 yards and has now accumulated a team-leading 185 receiving yards. The Owls feature a deep receiving core which is their biggest offensive strength.
The Owls defense was decent in last week’s win, allowing only 61 rushing yards however they did concede 377 passing yards. Temple’s defense was outstanding last season and while they did lose several starters, they return most of their secondary. Temple has rebounded with two nice wins after losing their season opener to Villanova.
Flowers Tosses Four TD’s in Easy Victory
The USF Bulls had no problem with Illinois behind another strong performance from Quinton Flowers to improve to 3-0 on the season. Flowers was tremendous once again, completing 15 of 27 passes for 280 yards with four touchdowns against one interception. The senior quarterback is off to stellar start to the season, accumulating 678 passing yards with an 8:2 TD to INT ratio. The dual-threat QB has also tallied 243 rushing yards and is one of the most potent college quarterbacks in the Country. Darius Tice kept his momentum going as well, collecting 105 rushing yards on 12 carries. The senior running back is off to a great start through three games, amassing a team-leading 256 rushing yards with four TD’s. The Bulls also feature D’Ernest Johnson (215) yards, giving the Bulls a triple threat on the ground which includes Flowers. Marquez Valdes-Scantling racked up over 90 yards for the second time this season in the win over Temple. The senior receiver now leads the Bulls with 202 receiving yards.
The USF defense played a strong game, allowing 354 total yards, and held Illinois a 6 for 15 mark on third downs. The Bulls defense isn’t as effective as their offense however through three games they have held their own. USF have won all three games with ease, and are looking very tough to beat heading into conference play.
The Temple Owls are:
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
The South Florida Bulls are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record.
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 home games.
- 8-3 ATS in their last 11 September games.
I am taking USF in this matchup. The Temple defense is awful and they are facing one of the strongest offensive teams in the Country led by the dangerous Quinton Flowers. Temple has allowed an average of 314 passing yards per game through three games, so Flowers should have a huge game in the air along with his usual strong ground attack. Furthermore, Temple only scored 16 points in their first two games, and they are facing a strong USF defense and Temple’s inexperienced sophomore QB Logan Marchi will have a tough time. This is a very reasonable spread in the Bulls favor considering the strength of their offense.
Pick: USF Bulls -18
USF is going to have an easy evening offensively against a weak defense. The Temple defense has struggled to defend both the pass and run, and the over is 10-2 in the Bulls last 12 home games. Temple has had some success with their passing game so they could get on the board a few times, however I expect the USF offense to be the deciding factor in the over hitting. The over is 11-1 in the Bulls last 12 games against a team with a winning record and I expect it to hit again.