East Carolina Pirates (2-3) at USF Bulls (4-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 8, 2016, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: USF Bulls -- Over/Under:
The East Carolina Pirates will travel to Raymond James Stadium to take on the South Florida Bulls this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The East Carolina Pirates lost their 3rd straight game and dropped to 2-3 (0-1 AAC) on the season after being defeated by the UCF Knights, 47-29, this past Saturday. East Carolina kept the game close as they were down by just a 23-21 margin heading into the 4th quarter but allowed the Knights to score 2 TD’s in a 15 second span that put this one out of reach for the Pirates. East Carolina outgained UCF by a 521-373 margin however, had 5 turnovers in the loss. Leading the way for East Carolina was WR Ray Jones who had an incredible 17 receptions for 137 yards and a TD. On the season, the Pirates are averaging 29.2 ppg on an average of 523.2 total yards per game (392.0 passing, 131.2 rushing). Offensively, East Carolina has been led by QB Philip Nelson who has completed 70.5% of his passes for 11 TD and 4 INT while averaging 350.6 passing yds/g. Nelson’s primary targets at the receiver position have been WR Zay Jones (13.2 rec/g, 139.0 yds/g, 2 TD), WR Jimmy Williams (3.8 rec/g, 93.4 yds/g, 3 TD), WR Quay Johnson (6.0 rec/g, 64.2 yds/g, 2 TD), and RB Anthony Scott (3.8 rec/g, 30.4 yds/g, 3 TD). The Pirates backfield consists of RB Anthony Scott (10.8 att/g, 57.20 yds/g, 2 TD) and WR James Summers (9.2 att/g, 49.0 yds/g, 2 TD) Defensively, East Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 31.6 ppg on 393.8 total yards per game (221.0 passing, 172.8 rushing). Turnovers have been a major problem for the Pirates as they currently have a turnover margin of -9 on the season.
The South Florida Bulls rebounded from their tough lost to the Florida State Seminoles to defeat the Cincinnati Bearcats, 45-20, this past Saturday to improve to 4-1 (1-0 AAC) on the season. South Florida had just a 24-20 lead at halftime however, used a strong defensive 2nd half to shut out the Bearcats and secure the victory. South Florida outgained Cincinnati by a 454-393 margin and won the turnover battle by a 4-0 margin. Leading the way for the Bulls was RB Marlon Mack who had 2 TD’s and 118 rushing yards on 20 carries. On the season, South Florida is averaging 45.8 ppg on 492.0 total yards per game (240.6 passing, 251.4 rushing). Offensively, leading the way for South Florida has been duel threat QB Quinton Flowers. Flowers has completed 53.9% of his passes for 8 TD’s and 3 INT while averaging 214.4 passing yds/game and is also the 2nd leading rusher for the Bulls as he has 4 rushing TD’s while averaging 76.6 rushing yds/game. Along with Flowers, the Bulls have a talented rushing duo in RB Marlon Mack (12.5 att/g, 83.3 yds/g, 6 TD) and RB D’Ernest Johnson (8.2 att/g, 48.2 yds/g, 4 TD). Rodney Adams (3.6 rec/g, 60.6 yds/g, 3 TD) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (2.6 rec/g, 44.0 yds/g, TD) have been the biggest threats at the WR position for the Bulls. Defensively, South Florida is allowing their opponents to average 26.4 ppg on an average of 439.8 total yards per game (221.6 passing, 218.2 rushing). South Florida has forced opponents into committing 12 turnovers on the season and currently has a turnover margin of +7.
The Pirates are just 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss. The Bulls are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 conference games and 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
East Carolina has one of the better passing attacks (ranked 4th in College Football) however, turnovers have been a huge issue for the Pirates and helped contribute to the Pirates having the 95th ranked scoring defense in the country. South Florida disappointed in their big home matchup against Florida State however, the Bulls have one of the most explosive offenses in the country led by Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack which was on full display in their recent victory over Cincinnati. South Florida will have to worry a bit about the explosive passing game of the Pirates however, as defense looked strong in the 2nd half in their recent game against Cincinnati and for the fact that the Bulls should have no problem putting points up on the board against the Pirates, I think South Florida will have no problem winning this game in front of their home crowd. The line has yet to be released for this game but unless South Florida is favored by 3+ TD’s, I’m leaning on taking the South Florida Bulls.