USF Bulls (9-2) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-6)
College Football: Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm (Legion Field)
The Line: Texas Tech Red Raiders +2.5 -- Over/Under: 67 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Texas Tech Red Raiders and South Florida Bulls meet Saturday in the college football Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders look to end the season on a positive note after losing five of their last seven games. The Texas Tech Red Raiders have won six of their last eight bowl games but haven’t won a game since 2013. Nic Shimonek is completing 68.2 percent of his passes for 3,547 yards, 30 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Shimonek has two or more touchdown passes in six of his last eight games. Keke Coutee and Dylan Cantrell have combined for 2,032 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns while Cameron Batson has 55 receptions. The Texas Tech Red Raiders ground game is averaging 141.5 yards per contest, and Justin Stockton leads the way with 694 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Texas Tech is allowing 31.8 points and 434 yards per game. Dakota Allen leads the Texas Tech Red Raiders with 93 tackles, Eli Howard has 5.5 sacks and Justus Parker has four interceptions.
The South Florida Bulls have a chance to win double-digit games for just the second time in school history. The South Florida Bulls are 5-3 all-time in bowl appearances. Quinton Flowers is completing 53.4 percent of his passes for 2,600 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. Flowers has two or more touchdown passes in five of his last seven games. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Tyre McCants have combined for 1,344 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns while Darnell Salomon has 28 receptions. The South Florida Bulls ground game is averaging 265.3 yards per contest, and Flowers leads the way with 972 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, USF is allowing 22.5 points and 342.5 yards per game. Auggie Sanchez leads the South Florida Bulls with 76 tackles, Bruce Hector has seven sacks and Devin Abraham has four interceptions.
The Red Raiders are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games, 2-7 ATS in their last 9 bowl games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Bulls are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games in December and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The over is 7-3-1 in Bulls last 11 non-conference games and the under is 5-1 in Red Raiders last 6 games overall.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are lucky to even be in a bowl game, as they beat Texas on the road the last week of the season to get that sixth victory, before looking dead in the water for the last month or so. It's hard to really take Texas Tech seriously. As for South Florida, the Bulls have been consistent all season long and nearly beat UCF on the road the last week of the season to snap the perfect season and reach the AAC Championship. This is also going to be Quinton Flowers' last game, and if you know anything about his personal life, he's going to be highly emotional and motivated to end his career with a victory. When Flowers is playing at a high level, the Bulls are an extremely tough team to stop. I'm not sure the Red Raiders defense is going to be able to stop USF from scoring, and that's going to be the difference here. I'll take South Florida and the small line.