The South Florida Bulls and the Maryland Terrapins are both coming off losses. They can really use a rebound here in week three of the season. Which team will grab this opportunity?
South Florida played Florida State tough. The Bulls’ defense gave up fewer than 30 points, which has to rate as a pretty good performance on the road, all things considered. South Florida played a physical game against the Seminoles, but the problem was that it didn’t have the better athletes at the skill positions. Florida State’s defense was able to handle USF’s offensive playmakers much more than USF’s defense was able to pen in the Seminoles’ top threats. This was an encouraging performance in some ways, but this is still a team without a lot of explosiveness on offense against decent defenses.
Maryland, though, is coming off a game in which it allowed 48 points to Bowling Green at home. The Terrapins were terrible, and they have to find a way to pick up the pieces from that disaster. The offense was inconsistent and all out of sorts, and Bowling Green picked up on this weakness throughout the game. The Falcons’ offense enjoyed good field position and was able to apply a lot of pressure on Maryland’s defense. There wasn’t one thing Maryland did particularly well, so this is going to be a brutal week of practice in College Park.
The line has been minus-6.5 points for Maryland in some places, but seven here. Why would the College Football Odds be this large in light of the fact that South Florida played Florida State closer than Maryland played Bowling Green? There is a feeling that Florida State is still trying to sort itself out after losing Jameis Winston to the pros. There is also an expectation that Florida State will get better as the year goes along. This is all a way of minimizing what South Florida might think it achieved in its game against the Seminoles. Bettors don’t trust South Florida. Otherwise, this line would be smaller against a shaky Maryland team.
South Florida wide receiver Stanley Clerveaux was out for the season in late August with an injury. So was defensive back Hassan Childs. Now, linebacker Nigel Harris is questionable for Saturday due to a suspension. Fellow linebacker Tashon Whitehurst is also questionable for suspension-related reasons.
Maryland doesn’t have an injury situation at quarterback, but a shakeup is occurring. Head coach Randy Edsall started Perry Hills for the first two games of the season, but he and backup Daxx Garman were both ineffective. This has led Edsall to name Caleb Rowe as the starting quarterback for this game.
On the injury front, tight end Andrew Isaacs is questionable with a knee injury. Offensive lineman Derwin Gray is questionable with a shoulder injury. Linebacker Abner Logan is out for the season with an injury suffered in August.
Handicapping The Game
The Bulls’ good performance against Florida State might not mean that they’ll win the game, but it does indicate that they should be able to keep this game close. So for my free College Football Pick, take South Florida plus the points.
College Football Pick: South Florida +7 at Bet365.