AAC Preview: South Florida vs Tulane Odds and Free Point Spread Prediction

Tulane got a much-needed win last weekend, squeaking past AAC West cellar-dweller Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Senior QB Justin McMillan got his first start after head coach Willie Fritz decided to go with him over the previous starter Jonathan Banks, whose acting work on Better Call Saul is nothing if not exemplary.

McMillan led the Green Wave back from an early 10-0 deficit and capped it off with a 39 yard scamper with under 4 minutes left in the game to secure the victory. Junior RB Corey Dauphine added 107 yards on the ground.

That’s all well and good. But it will take more than a close win over a bad team to make Las Vegas odds-makers respect Willie Fritz’s team. The ‘Wave is a touchdown underdog at South Florida this Saturday.

Who: Tulane Green Wave at South Florida Bulls

When: Saturday, November 3rd, 3:30 PM EST

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

Lines: Tulane (+7) at USF (-7) / OU Total: (59.5)

Tulane at USF: Vegas Betting Odds and Preview

The Green Wave defense holds its own against the run but struggles mightily against the pass, ranking 104th in the country in passing yards allowed.

Senior SB Donnie Lewis Jr. leads the team with 3 INTs and the unit as a whole has 8 on the year, a pretty solid number considering the defense’s problems against good QBs.

More on the squad’s nail-biter over Tulsa:

Last week against SMU, the Green Wave rushing attack was dormant. This week they experienced a rebirth at the demise of the Golden Hurricane. McMillan’s two touchdown bolts were just a few of the many Tulane highlights. Dauphine was able to demonstrate his track-level speed once more. Bradwell did what he does best and found the end zone yet again. Even the slew of ball carriers behind these two performed solidly. Amare Jones and Stephon Huderson combined for 51 yards while receiver Jorien Vallien also got in on the action. The Wave will need this kind of back-by-committee performance next week when they head to South Florida.

Willie Fritz and the Wave gambled and lost on fourth down twice, passing up a field goal opportunity each time. Tulsa was unable to do anything with either stop and, as the game became tight in the final frame, the defense couldn’t hold the Green Wave when they needed to

Charlie Strong’s South Florida Bulls were dealt their only loss of the season so-far last week as they were crushed by Houston 57-36. The USF defense had no answer for Houston QB D’Eriq King, who scored 7 total TDs. Junior LB Greg Reaves and senior LB Khalid McGee had 12 and 11 tackles respectively to lead the Bulls’ defense, but unfortunately they led it right down the tubes.

USF gave up a season-worst 684 yards to the Cougars. SB Nation has more on last week’s loss which Strong calls “Totally embarrassing”:

The Bulls (7-1, 3-1 AAC) fell into a 14-0 hole six minutes into the game after the Cougars scored on their first two drives where they converted three times on third and nine or longer. “You can’t surrender 13 out of 18 on third down,” Strong added.

The Bulls ended up settling for three points in back-to-back third-quarter red-zone possessions, and it proved costly. King, who finished with a career-best 553 yards and accounted for seven total touchdowns, changed the game with his feet on a fourth and seven from USF’s 36-yard line in the third quarter, breaking multiple tackles and scampering into the end zone to make it 35-26. “Just a momentum shifter,” linebacker Greg Reaves said. “Very costly…we still felt like we were in the game.”

Making a second straight start at middle linebacker, Reaves led the charge for USF defensively with a career-high 12 tackles. King added 52-yard and 27-yard touchdown passes, torching the USF secondary to distance the Cougars in the fourth quarter. “You can’t give up five touchdown throws,” Strong added. “Don’t let the ball get thrown over your head for big chunks, because teams aren’t patient enough to drive the football on you. They want the big throws, and we gave them to ‘em today.”

I always love that coaching rhetoric. “You can’t.” Obviously, you can, and the Bulls did.

But the offense continues to be a bright spot for USF.

Junior USF QB Blake Barnett played pretty well in the loss, throwing for 263 yards, 1 TD and only 1 INT. He also added 25 yards on the ground. Freshman RB Johnny Ford had another solid day on the ground rumbling for 106 yards and 2 TDs. Ford is gaining some momentum  coming off of his huge 164 yard, 2 TD performance against UConn 2 weeks ago.

South Florida can put points on the board running or passing, ranking 28th in the nation in scoring offense with almost 36 points per game. Junior RB Jordan Cronkrite leads the team on the ground this season with 933 yards and 7 TDs.

My Prediction and Pick ATS

South Florida is on another level than Tulane and is my lock of the week to cover (-7) points.

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