College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Tulsa vs. USF: Why a Defensive Rock Fight is Expected

College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Tulsa vs. USF: Why a Defensive Rock Fight is Expected article feature image
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Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: South Florida quarterback Timmy McClain.

  • Tulsa travels to the Sunshine State to take on South Florida in an AAC clash.
  • These are two of the worst teams in the country in terms of scoring points.
  • Kyle Remillard previews the game and offers up his best bet.

Tulsa vs. USF Odds

Tulsa Odds -7.5 (-110)
USF Odds +7.5 (-110)
Moneyline -320 / +250
Over/Under 55.5 (-110 / -110)
Time 12 p.m. ET
TV ESPNU
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Two teams battle to get out of the bottom half of the American Athletic Conference on Saturday, as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane travel to the “Sunshine State” to face the South Florida Bulls.

Tulsa has had a rollercoaster start through the first half of the season. The Golden Hurricane started out the year losing as 21-point favorites to UC Davis to go along with losses to Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Houston.

They defeated Arkansas State and looked impressive in last week’s 41-34 victory over Memphis. That said, Tulsa looks to piggyback off that momentum in hopes of attaining a 2-1 conference record.

On the other side, South Florida has also stumbled out of the gate en route to a 1-4 record, with its sole victory over an FCS opponent in Florida A&M. The Bulls have been more than three-touchdown underdogs in all four FBS matchups, losing by an average margin of 25 points.

South Florida is coming off a buy week and will need to improve its offense if it wants to move the ball against a strong Tulsa defense.


Tulsa vs. USF Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
12 p.m. ET
ESPNU

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Tulsa Offense

Brin Davis waited three years as the Tulsa backup quarterback before finally being named the starter. He’s been hit-or-miss this season, as he has thrown eight touchdowns to go along with eight interceptions. He owns a completion rate of just 58% and has averaged 8.5 yards per pass attempt.

His go-to target has been wide receiver Josh Johnson, who registered more than 100 receiving yards in three of the last four games.

The run game has been steady, averaging 4.5 yards per carry behind the legs of Shamari Brooks. He was able to tear up Memphis last week and rushed for 100 yards two of the last three games.

The offense has struggled on capitalizing on scoring opportunities, as they rank 97th in Finishing Drives.


Tulsa Defense

The Tulsa defense was a brick wall and the backbone of this program last year. The Golden Hurricane held opponents to less than 21 points per game and were stout against both the run and pass.

This year’s unit hasn’t been able to replicate the same kind of success, but much of that is due to the strength of schedule so far.

The Golden Hurricane have faced off against the No. 1 offense in the country in Ohio State, according to SP+. They’ve also faced some other pass-heavy offenses in Memphis, Houston and Arkansas State.

The run defense has still been strong, allowing just 3.8 yards per carry. They rank 32nd in terms of tackling, according to PFF, and logged 43 tackles for loss this season.

Linebacker Justin Wright was a monster against Memphis, where he collected 14 tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble. Linebacker play will be an important factor against a USF offense that owns a Rush Rate of 60 percent.

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South Florida Bulls

USF Offense

The USF offense has averaged 16 points and just a little more than 300 yards of offense against FBS opponents this season. Between the group of quarterbacks who have rotated into the Bulls’ lineup, they have combined for only one touchdown pass this season.

Freshman Timmy McClain has emerged as the starting quarterback over the last three games. He’s completed less than 60% of his passes, averaging 8.5 yards per attempt.

McClain has thrown for the sole touchdown, along with two interceptions so far this season. He’s a dual-threat quarterback, but hasn’t found much success on the ground, averaging less than three yards per rush on his 54 carries.

The Bulls have been a run-heavy team that owns a Rush Rate of 60%, yet only average 3.6 yards per attempt. Junior running back Jaren Mangham is averaging 3.3 yards per carry but has scored nine of the team’s 12 touchdowns.

The Bulls’ offense ranks outside the top 100 in Passing Success Rate and creating Havoc. The team has struggled to find its identity and has lacked the ability to create explosive plays.


USF Defense

When you remove the FCS opponent from the equation, South Florida is allowing 41 points and more than 525 yards of offense per game.

The defense has allowed over 6.0 yards per rush and ranks 97th in Rushing Success Rate. It also ranks toward the bottom of the country in creating Havoc and limiting Big Plays.

However, the four teams the Bulls have faced boast some of the top offensive rankings in the country, according to SP+.

In this matchup, they will face a team that ranks 125th in Line Yards and 118th in rushing Success Rate. The Bulls are coming off a buy week and have their first winnable game of the season against an FBS in-conference opponent.


Tulsa vs. USF Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Tulsa and USF match up statistically:

Tulsa Offense vs. USF Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 118 97
Line Yards 125 109
Pass Success 91 127
Pass Blocking** 99 122
Big Play 39 124
Havoc 72 124
Finishing Drives 97 89
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

USF Offense vs. Tulsa Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 63 57
Line Yards 92 58
Pass Success 106 107
Pass Blocking** 84 18
Big Play 94 119
Havoc 100 40
Finishing Drives 111 96
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 32 130
Coverage 82 114
Middle 8 44 80
SP+ Special Teams 65 53
Plays per Minute 46 85
Rush Rate 53.6% (72) 60.2% (35)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Tulsa vs. USF Betting Pick

It’s been 717 days since South Florida has won a game against an FBS opponent. If it lays an egg in this spot, it’s possible the streak could continue to the end of the season.

The offense has no real passing threat as it has amounted one passing touchdown all season. It owns a rush rate of 60%, but it only averages 3.6 yards per attempt and produces nearly no explosive plays.

The Tulsa offense has struggled on third downs in addition to Finishing Drives, where it ranks 97th in the nation. It also has a secret weapon in punter Lachlan Wilson. Last week, he blasted three 50+ yards punts, including four resting inside the 20-yard line.

Each side plays at a relatively slow pace and own run-first offenses.

We should see plenty of punts and field goals in a matchup that includes two teams who will struggle to find the end zone.

Pick: Under 57 (Play down to 56)

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