As originally posted here.
Time: 8 p.m. ET, Nov. 11
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
Weather: High – 44 F/Low – 35 F with 50% chances of precipitation.
After losing a 20-17 overtime loss at Rutgers, South Florida (4-4, 0-4 Big East) travel to face another struggling team in the Syracuse Orange (5-4, 1-3 Big East), who are also coming off their 28-21 defeat to the Connecticut Huskies.
As both teams try to get back to form, South Florida looks to have the slight edge offensively averaging 127.2 more yards than Syracuse. Both teams have shown signs of brilliance at times with South Florida’s victory over Notre Dame and Syracuse’s victory over West Virginia, but inconsistent play has plagued both squads. Here are three things to watch out for:
Can Antwon Bailey return to dominant form?
After a four-game surge averaging over 100 yards rushing, Bailey leveled off turning in two sub-100 yard rushing games against Louisville and Connecticut with a combined 31 carries for 120 yards and no scores.
South Florida is known to give up huge plays both on the ground and in the air. If Syracuse is going to succeed, they need to pound Bailey through their line. Bailey leads Orange running with 798 yards on 177 carries and six touchdowns.
Which quarterback will emerge?
Bulls quarterback B.J. Daniels is a dual threat, but inconsistent play has proven that the Bulls cannot solely rely on him to carry the team on consistent basis. Daniels has completed 160 of 269 passes for 2027 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He is also the Bulls’ second leading rusher running for 440 yards on 92 carries and four touchdowns. Daniels can play off the success of running back Darrell Scott who leads Bulls running with 611 yards on 108 carries and five touchdowns.
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib has proven more efficient completing 194 out of 299 passes for 1960 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. Much of his success is tied to receiver Alec Lemon and tight end Nick Provo who have combined for 86 catches for 941 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Who will be more efficient.
Syracuse is 13th with a .78 turnover ratio while South Florida ranks 29th with a .50. As inconsistent as both teams play, the one that emerges won’t be forcing the ball out or be plagued with penalties.
Whoever is more disciplined will likely win.