The Orange head down to Tampa for its first road game of the year. Eric Dungey and Erv Phillips are back, and the Orange looks to go 4-1 for the first time since 2010. Here are my Fizz Five keys to the game.
1. Control the USF running game
The Bulls average 5 yards per carry, and are led by sophomore Marlon Mack and quarterback Quinton Flowers. The Orange defense has played extremely well against the run this year, allowing just 3 yards per carry, even after letting LSU’s Leonard Fournette to run forever. The front 7 has been great, after some uncertainty before the season. Flowers is not a big threat in the air, so if the Orange can control him and Mack, it could be a good day for the Orange.
2. Bounce back from the bye.
It was mentioned a few times that the bye week came at a great time for the Orange. It was right after a physically and emotionally draining game against LSU, and allowed the team to recuperate. The Orange needed to take the bye get healthy and get right after the LSU game. Now they need to show that they actually did “get right” after the LSU game, by getting a win in Tampa against South Florida.
3. Conquer the Road
The Orange has yet to play a road game this year, and will get its first try in Tampa. The Bulls aren’t very good, so it is a good way to ease into the road schedule. If the Orange can go down and boost its confidence with a win against 1-3 USF, they can carry that momentum forward as they head back on the road against UVA, and look to get to that magical 6 win threshold.
4. Eric Dungey and Erv Phillips
Dungey was great against Rhode Island, Wake Forest and Central Michigan before getting knocked out. In fact, Central Michigan’s defense had no answer for the SU frosh and the Orange attack. So now, after missing a game and a half, and getting a bye week, Dungey makes his return. It was pretty good timing as far as another injury to a QB could be concerned. He missed the game against LSU, and was able to practice through the bye week.
Erv makes his comeback after missing 3 and a half games, leaving at halftime of the Rhode Island game. With the relative success of the SU offense, it may be easy to forget that Erv had two touchdowns in the first half against Rhode Island. He is a dynamic piece to the SU offense that is making a much-welcomed return.
5. The Orange is the underdog
The Orange is a two and a half point underdog. Pretty amazing considering that SU is 3-1 and USF is 1-3. Typically, Vegas gives about 3 points to the home team, so in reality, they think this is about an even game, maybe even a slight edge to the Orange, if it were played on a neutral field. I tend to the think Orange should be favored, and the line has actually come down quite a bit, meaning most bettors have thought along the same lines.
With that said, I think the Orange is in prime position to win the game. I’ll take SU by 2 touchdowns, 28-14.
Posted By: Seth Goldberg