Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-0 SU, 0-2 ATS) vs. South Florida Bulls (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS)
College Football Week 3
Date/Time: Thursday September 13th, 2012. 7:30PM Eastern
Where:Raymond James Stadium Tampa, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:Rut +10/USF -10
Over/Under Total: OFF
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Big East action takes center stage this Thursday night inside Raymond James
Stadium when the South Florida Bulls host the Rutgers
Scarlet Knights. Rutgers pitched a 26-0 shutout last week against
Howard out of the FCS following a 24-12 victory over Tulane in the opener.
South Florida also captured their 2nd win of the season last week with an
impressive 32-31 victory at Nevada. Now with both teams sitting at 2-0 SU
on the season, we will see how each team fairs when they get their first
taste of inner conference action under the national spotlight this Thursday
In last year’s meeting in November, Rutgers pulled out a nail biting 20-17 victory in overtime. The Scarlet Knights pulled out the victory despite producing just 228 total yards of offense throughout the game. So far in 2012, Rutgers has produced 315 yards per game against inferior competition and it is safe to say that there are serious concerns on the offensive side of the football once again. One of the main issues is the inconsistent play at the quarterback position. QB Gary Nova has completed just 55% passing for 288 yards with 3 touchdowns and two picks. The Rutgers offense had similar troubles last year at the quarterback position and tossed 16 picks through the season with two different quarterbacks. If things do not get better behind center, the Rutgers offense may have another dreadful year trying to move the football.
One bright spot in the passing game is WR Brandon Coleman. Despite having just 4 catches on the season, Coleman has posted 89 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in those 4 catches. Coleman has big play capability and the size to catch the jump balls down by the goal line. Therefore, expect Coleman to be the targeted guy when the Scarlet Knights go to the air. Outside of the pass game, the offense has found some stability with running back Jawan Jamison. Jamison has been the workhorse for the offense over the past two seasons and currently leads the team with 222 rushing yards on just 28 carries. Last week, South Florida’s defense was ripped for 278 yards on the ground allowing two different Nevada tailbacks to rush for more than 130 yards. If South Florida has similar trouble stopping the run, Jamison could have a big impact on the outcome of the ballgame if he plays well.
On the other side of the football, Rutgers defense has been really solid throughout the early part of 2012. The Scarlet Knights defense has allowed just 205.5 yards on average through their opening two games. The Rutgers defense plays extremely well up front especially against the run. Typically, South Florida has featured a rushing style offense which has been their strength over the past few seasons. The Bulls still can run the ball effectively with tailbacks Demetris Murray and Lindsey Lamar. Both tailbacks can get quality yardage per carry but the rushing attack also plays into the strength of the Rutgers defense.
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Instead, South Florida has a senior QB names B.J Daniels that has come a long way with his arm over the last few seasons. The majority of the nation is familiar with Daniels as it seems like he has been in South Florida for nearly a decade. In reality, Daniels is a veteran 5th year senior. When Daniels first stepped onto the college stage in 2009, we first noticed his talent for running the football and keeping plays alive. However, Daniels has slowly progressed into a more efficient passer over the past few years and can now do more damage with his arm. So far through 2012, Daniels has completed 60% passing for 588 yards with 6 scores and just 1 pick.
Therefore do not be surprised if South Florida attempts to spread the ball around and avoid running the football at the heart of the Rutgers defense. Daniels has proved that he can make the throws and sophomore WR Andre Davis appears ready to become the breakout receiver in the passing game. With two extremely talented defenses on the field, scoring could stay pretty low in this game. Therefore the big plays will have a big impact in crowning the winner so we will keep our eye out and see if the Bulls can hook up on some of those shots down the field.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:I like another hard fought game with few scores similar to last year’s 20-17 outcome. I think this one comes down to the wire yet again. Take Rutgers +10
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