Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#327 USF 60 vs.
#328 Georgia Tech -6
Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 2:00pm EDT
Boddy Dodd Stadium, Atlanta
Written by Chris Kubala

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#327 University of South Florida
#328 Georgia Institute of Technology
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13
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A pair of teams coming off one-sided losses in the opening week of the season lock up when the AAC makes the trip to face the AAC in Hotlanta. The South Florida Bulls are on the road as they make the trip to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Saturday afternoon. South Florida was trounced 49-0 at home by #19 Wisconsin last Friday in their season opener. Georgia Tech was clobbered 52-14 by #1 Clemson on the road last Thursday in their season opener. The Bulls won the only previous matchup between the teams, taking a 49-38 win at home on September 8, 2018.

South Florida Bulls Look to Shake Off Blowout Loss

South Florida was unable to get much going offensively against a ranked Wisconsin team and it left the home fans with a bad taste in their mouths. The Bulls trailed only 7-0 after the opening quarter but saw that deficit expand to 28-0 at halftime. South Florida never got into the game: their deepest penetration was the Wisconsin 19-yard line in the fourth quarter. That drive ended with a missed 43-yard field goal with 2:36 to play. The Bulls were outgained 433-157 in the contest, gave up 22 first downs while picking up nine and lost the time of possession battle by a 35:00 to 25:00 margin. South Florida turned the ball over three times, including a scoop six, while generating only one takeaway.

Blake Barnett struggled on the day as he hit 13 of 30 passes for 109 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Jordan McCloud hit all three of his pass attempts for 22 yards and led the team with three carries for 17 yards on the ground. The combination of Jordan Cronkrite (six carries, nine yards) and Trevon Sands (five carries, two yards) was stifled: as a team, South Florida ran the ball 23 times for a total of 26 yards. Cronkrite (23 yards), Randall St. Felix (21 yards) and Bryce Miller (16 yards) each had three receptions to lead the team in a losing effort. No other player caught more than a single pass for the Bulls in the game. On defense, Patrick Macon did his best to keep South Florida competitive: he recorded 15 tackles (10 solo), one sack, a forced fumble and four tackles for loss.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Try to Avenge Last Season’s Defeat

Georgia Tech was overmatched by the defending national champions on the road as they were pasted by #1 Clemson in their opener. The Yellow Jackets were unable to stop the Clemson run game and their offense was ill-equipped to deal with the deficit that they were in by the half. Georgia Tech was down 14-0 after one quarter and 28-0 at the half: it was 35-0 before they got on the board. The Yellow Jackets were outgained 632-294, gave up 29 first downs while picking up 13 and lost time of possession by a 33:13 to 26:47 margin. Georgia Tech turned the ball over four times, including once at the goal line, while forcing three takeaways.

James Graham was the team’s top passer as he hit four of seven throws for 72 yards and a score while adding 15 yards on the ground. Tobias Oliver was just three of nine for 65 yards with two interceptions while adding 20 carries for 56 yards while Lucas Johnson misfired on his two pass attempts. Jordan Mason did the most damage on the ground with 13 carries for 72 yards and a score. Jerry Howard Jr. (four carries, 15 yards) was the lone player with more than one reception for the Yellow Jackets as he reeled in two for 57 yards. Ahmarean Brown caught a 28-yard scoring pass for his lone reception in the contest. Wesley Wells did not attempt a field goal but did boot both his extra-point attempts in the contest.

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Georgia Tech was hammered from pillar to post in their opener but they have to feel better about this contest being at home as opposed to being at Clemson. South Florida was similarly overmatched in their season opener as they were unable to slow down Jonathan Taylor and the Wisconsin ground game. We saw that the Bulls got the upper hand on the Yellow Jackets in their meeting last season behind 202 yards plus two scores through the air and 86 rushing yards and two scores on the ground. Terrence Horne ripped off kick returns of 98 and 97 yards for scores in this contest. South Florida has to be better than last year when they gave up 419 yards on the ground but you have to lean their way here: take the points and the visitors in this contest.

Prediction: South Florida Bulls +6

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Both teams were crushed in their respective openers with South Florida failing to even get on the board in their loss to Wisconsin. Georgia Tech put up 14 points against Clemson but their inability to move the ball through the air with any consistency makes them a bit one-dimensional. If the Yellow Jackets end up behind by a couple of scores, it can be a challenge for them to get back in the game with their triple-option style. Will Georgia Tech, playing at home, find a way to reel in the South Florida passing attack and deliver a win for the home crowd?

The over is 5-1 in the Bulls’ last 6 games following an ATS loss, 5-2 in their last 7 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game and 5-2 in their last seven against ACC opponents. Georgia Tech has seen the over go 3-0-1 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record, 5-1 in their last 6 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game and 4-1-1 in their last 6 games on grass. Both teams were leaky defensively in their openers and blew past this number in their meeting last season: look for this one to go over the number as well.

Prediction: Over 61.5

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We saw South Florida get the upper hand in the meeting between the teams last season as they hung 49 points on the board. Barnett is back under center and he’s a dangerous weapon when he has time to breathe as opposed to running for his life like he did against Wisconsin. The Bulls will be better than they were on the ground against the Badgers, where they ran for only 26 yards. Georgia Tech was slashed for 411 yards on the ground by Clemson in their opener: look for South Florida to find running lanes to set up the pass attack and this one goes their way at the half. Take the points and the Bulls at the half here.

Prediction: South Florida Bulls +3.5

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We know that these teams have the ability to put points on the board. Last season’s matchup was a high-octane affair on both sides with South Florida owning a 21-17 edge at the half en route to the victory. These were two of the worst teams in scoring defense in the opening week of the season and that’s going to be an interesting test here. Both offenses get up to speed in this one and take advantage of the defensive woes to help surge this one over the number at the half in this contest.

Prediction: Over 30.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.