Western Kentucky will face South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl at Marlins Park in Miami. Western Kentucky is a 2.5-point favorite on Heritage's college football odds and the total is set at 66.5.
College Football Pick: Over 66.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Outstanding Passing Attack & Scoring Offense Fuels Western Kentucky
The Hilltoppers finished with an 11-2 record and won the Conference USA Championship game. Offensively they average 44.2 points per game with 365.4 passing yards per game and 154.9 rushing yards.
Quarterback Brandon Doughty has completed 71.8 percent of his passes for 4594 passing yards, 45 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Anthony Wales has 981 rushing yards and nine touchdowns and Taywan Taylor has 1356 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns.
The Western Kentucky defense is giving up 25.2 points per game with 234.0 passing yards per game and 154.8 rushing yards.
Western Kentucky's Conference USA Championship run was impressive, their passing attack ranks sixth in the country and their scoring offense is the fourth best.
Strong Finish for South Florida Will Motivate Them
South Florida went 8-4 this season to finish second in the American Conference East Division, but they're starting to click offensively, ending the regular season with a four-game winning streak. The Bulls score 33.5 points per game, with 184.9 passing yards per game and 243.8 rushing yards.
Quarterback Quinton Flowers completes 60.9 percent of his passes for 2017 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has also rushed for 883 yards and 10 touchdowns. Marlon Mack has 1273 rushing yards and nine touchdowns and Rodney Adams has 686 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
South Florida gives up 21.1 points per game with 220.6 passing yards per game and 140.6 rushing. The Bulls have the 11th-best rushing attack in the country with 243.8 yards per game.
Must Read: A Brief Primer on Handicapping Bowl Games
Final Analysis & Prediction
Both teams are carrying a lot of momentum and they have been successful either passing or running the ball. South Florida will try to establish their ground game early but the Western Kentucky offense has been more effective, especially through the air. As mentioned before, the Bulls struggle against the pass, allowing 220.6 passing yards (61th in the nation) and the Hilltoppers have had issues defending the run (154.8 rushing yards per game, 50th in the nation). Western Kentucky is favored by 2.5 points on the college football odds board but for my college football pick, I like this game to go 'Over' 66.5 because of the way both offenses have performed this year.