This is one of the biggest Big East games this year as the South Florida Bulls face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. A lot of the "experts" are calling for a Rutgers upset victory at home. We know the home crowd will be loud tonight and rooting for the upset but I expect a big USF victory.
For Rutgers to win, they must not have many turnovers on offense against the quick and physical Bulls defense headed by DE George Selvie and LB Ben Moffitt. QB Mike Teel of Rutgers is prone to making bad passes that lead to interceptions and he will be going against two of the best cornerbacks in the Big East in Trae Williams and Mike Jenkins. Williams and Jenkins will matchup against WRs Tiquan Underwood and Kenny Britt. Watch out for speedster WR Tim Brown who will be covered by CB Jerome Murphy. Of course, RB Ray Rice will get many carries tonight but he will be going against a stout run defense. Rice had 202 yards last year against the Bulls but he will not reach that mark tonight. The Scarlet Knights have a great offensive line which averages 280 pounds and true freshman Anthony Davis is a future star. The matchup of Selvie vs LT Pedro Sosa will be key as Selvie leads the country in sacks with 11 1/2. Sosa is a good tackle but he won't be able to handle the speed of Selvie. Backup QB Jabu Lovelace comes in for a few plays a game behind center. When Lovelace is in the game, he plays like Florida's Tim Tebow and just runs the football straight up the middle.
The Bulls ran up 64 points against Central Florida last week. Their offense is led by sophomore QB Matt Grothe. Grothe is not as accurate as Bulls fans would like but he seems to always get the job done. He can run and scramble to get out of trouble which could cause the Rutgers defense fits. USF has a good running attack and they play three backs in Benjamin Williams, Mike Ford, and Jamar Pressley. Rutgers has good corners in twins Jason and Devin McCourty but they will have trouble against the physical Amarri Jackson and Taurus Johnson. The weakness of the Bulls receivers are that they sometimes drop easy passes due to a lack of concentration.
Special teams advantage goes to Rutgers as K Delbert Alvarado of the Bulls is inconsistent and has missed many field goals this year. His longest FG is only 40 yards this season. Jeremy Ito doubles as the kicker and punter for Rutgers and is a solid veteran. If the game comes down to a field goal, give Rutgers the advantage.
D Wizzle's prediction is USF 31 Rutgers 23
This is a even matchup across the boards but USF has the better QB and better defense. USF must contain Ray Rice and make Teel throw against the best cornerback tandem in college football. Look for at least two interceptions by Teel tonight. Rutgers on defense will have trouble with the mobility of Grothe. The advantage for Rutgers is they are at home and USF has to travel and play in a short week. Coach Jim Leavitt will have his team focused and ready to make a statement to the nation tonight .