Florida vs. USF Betting Odds & Pick: Can Gators Dominate Week 2’s In-State Rival? (Sept. 11)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Emory Jones.
- The Florida Gators face the USF Bulls in an in-state college football matchup on Saturday.
- The Gators downed another in-state foe in Florida Atlantic in Week 1.
- Check out Kyle Remillard's full betting guide with odds, picks, and predictions for the game below.
Florida vs. USF Odds
-115o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Florida Gators travel two hours up I-75 to matchup against the South Florida Bulls. Despite the proximity, this will be the first time these teams have met since 2010.
South Florida opened the season with low expectations and a regular season win total of just 3.5 but looked worse than advertised in Week 1 against North Carolina State. The Wolfpack controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, rushing for an average of 7.3 yards per carry compared to the Bulls who managed just 3.3 per carry.
The lack of rush defense doesn’t bode well for USF who will now match up against a revamped Gators rushing attack. The 2020 Gator offense thrived in the passing game but lost most of that production to the NFL. Dan Mullen has shifted his offense from attacking through the air to dominating on the ground.
South Florida won’t have any answers for slowing down the rushing game of Florida. But with a matchup against Alabama next week, will Florida be overlooking their in-state opponent?
This won’t be the same prolific offense for the Gators that ranked fifth in passing success last season due to all the production they lost. Heisman finalist quarterback Kyle Trask was drafted, Kyle Pitts went fourth overall, and Kadarius Toney also went in the first round.
They have revamped their offense to be more centralized around the rushing attack.
How that will stack up against SEC competition remains to be seen but could provide value early in the season where Florida can physically dominate their opponents.
It’s tough to compare this offense to its 2020 numbers due to the amount of production that is gone. The offense has changed, and we saw it in week 1 when Florida beat Florida Atlantic 35-14.
Emory Jones took over as quarterback after sitting behind Feleipe Franks and Trask for the last three seasons. He wasn’t great against a solid FAU defense where he averaged just 4.2 yards per pass attempt on his 24 attempts. He accounted for one touchdown and two interceptions while displaying inconsistency through the air.
Jones proved to be more productive with his legs where he averaged 7.4 yards per carry on his 10 rushes.
That rushing attack was the story for the Gators who ran for 400 yards and averaged 8.7 yards per carry. They dominated up front and scored four touchdowns on the ground. Florida had two 100-yard rushers in Anthony Richardson and Malik Davis.
Richardson is a wild-card for Dan Mullen's offense. He replaced Jones periodically at quarterback, where he was mediocre as a passer. However, he’s an electric playmaker who has Gainesville buzzing with his potential.
He broke a 73-yard touchdown run and showcased his athleticism on multiple occasions. Dan Mullen has alluded to seeing him in a few different positions with the offense in the coming weeks.
College football is back 🙌🏽
One of my favorite shots from game 1 🐊🏈 pic.twitter.com/kmVSYlNkyB
— Nicole Reighter (@nicolereighter) September 6, 2021
The defense wasn’t great in 2020, allowing 30.8 points per game and 6.1 yards per play.
The rush defense showed improvement against FAU as they allowed just 2.5 yards per carry on 37 rushes. The pass defense, however, matched their 2020 numbers by allowing 7.9 yards per pass attempt.
The Gators contributed six sacks in the opener and own a significant edge in the pass-rush compared to South Florida’s offensive line.
Florida’s defensive numbers are anticipated to improve against the USF offense that was anything but efficient in the first game.
USF had plenty of issues that needed to be addressed in the offseason, and after Week 1, that list has only grown.
The offense had minimal explosive plays and lacked consistent quarterback play. The defense was unable to control the line of scrimmage and couldn’t stop the run.
Those problems were highlighted in Week 1, and with a matchup against Florida looming, they’re likely to be exposed again.
Last season the Bulls finished 100th in yards per rush attempt at just 3.5 and were the 120th best run-blocking team in the country, per PFF. Through one week, those are both still pain points.
The team's first seven drives only amounted to a total of 52 yards, and all resulted in punts. The running game averaged just 3.3 yards per carry on 32 rushes. The offense overall converted on only 3-of-16 third-down attempts.
Quarterback Cade Fortin was benched in the second half after completing just seven of his 20 pass attempts for 41 yards, a measly 2.1 yards per attempt.
Timmy McClain replaced him and was able to move the ball, averaging 9.6 yards per attempt on his 13 passes, but two of them went for interceptions. He also was facing softer coverage from the Wolfpack as the game was out of hand.
It’s no surprise why this offense put up a goose-egg in the first game, and they need to improve significantly if they want to keep it competitive against the Gators.
In 2020 the defense allowed 34 or more points in each of the final six contests. The Bulls couldn’t stop the run, allowing 212 yards per game which ranked 106th nationally.
Those trends carried into 2021 as they allowed 7.3 yards per carry and allowed two running backs to amount 100 yards on the ground. They were dominated up front and allowed four rushing touchdowns.
The pass defense wasn’t much better as they allowed 8.9 yards per pass attempt. The Bulls allowed 525 total yards of offense, and there is little reason to believe they’ll stop the Gators' offense in this matchup.
Florida vs. USF Matchup Analysis
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Florida Offense vs. USF Defense
USF Offense vs. Florida Defense
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Florida vs. USF Betting Pick
The Gators' biggest strength this season has also been the biggest weakness of South Florida: the run game.
The Gators rushed for 400 yards of offense and have two dual-threat quarterbacks who combined to average 13.8 yards per carry in the opener.
Florida will dominate the line of scrimmage in similar fashion to how NC State dominated South Florida last week. Without the ability to run the ball, whoever is under center for South Florida is in store for a long game.
South Florida has allowed 34 points or more in seven games in a row, and that trend will continue Saturday.
USF looked as bad as any team in the country in Week 1, and there is little reason to believe it can improve against an SEC opponent like Florida.