Friday Night Lights: The War on I-4 Central Florida and South Florida 8 p.m. in Orlando

By David Hess – Winnersandhiners.com

Bulls Look To Pull Massive Upset

The South Florida Bulls have had a rough season and they will not be seeing any bowl action because of it. The Bulls had a shot at a bow this year as they were once 4-4 but they have since lost their last three games in a row and now at 4-7 on the year, this will be their final game of the season. The Bulls have been known for their offense over the last few years but it has been their offense that has let them down of late. The Bulls have averaged just 11.3 ppg over their last three games after hanging up 33.2 ppg over their previous six games. In their last game, they were crushed by Memphis at home by a score of 49-10. It was a game that both the offense and defense let them down as the Bulls were outgained 560-170 in the contest.

South Florida has struggled mightily in the passing game this year as they rank 113th in that department. They had just 45 yards passing in the loss to the Tigers. Jordan McCloud hit just 35.7% of his passes for 45 yards in the game and he now has thrown for 1313 yards with 12 TDs and six INTs on the year. He will need to have a far better showing in this one if he hopes to lead his team to the huge upset. It will not be easy as the Knights are 44th in the nation against the pass. South Florida is 11th in total offense and 108th in scoring, putting up just 22.1 ppg on the year.

The defense has been very solid against the pass as the Bulls are 11th in that department but Memphis did throw for 235 yards on them last week. The real problem for the South Florida Defense has been a run defense that has comes in ranked 116th in the nation. If the Bulls can’t stop the run in this one, then they are in huge trouble as the Knights have the 8th best passing attack in the land. The Bulls are 71st in the nation in points allowed, giving up 28.5 pp and they have allowed 87 points in the last two meetings with the Knights. Can the Bulls find enough offense or defense to at least keep the game close? Keep Reading to find out.

Seniors Look For A Big Finish

The Central Florida Knights had gone undefeated the last two years in the regular season, but that has not been the case this year. Still, there are many teams around the nation that would love to have the 8-3 record they currently occupy. It has been another solid season for the Knights but they will not be playing in their 3rd straight AAC title game. That distinction will go to Cincinnati. Now, they have their sights on winning the third game in a row from their in-state rivals. The seniors will be looking for their 21st straight home win in this one.

The Knights have won four of their last five games and they have averaged 42.6 ppg over that stretch, which is great but still behind the 43.8 ppg they have averaged on the year. They are 6th in the nation in scoring, which is nothing new for this team as they are continually in the top to in scoring. The Knights are also 4th in total offense, 8th in passing and 25th in rushing. If their ground game has a good game against the 116th ranked run defense of the Bulls, then Dillon Gabriel could have a huge game. He threw for 317 yards with a TD and no INTs in last weeks 34-31 win over Tulane. Gabriel has thrown for 3123 yards with 25 TDs and just seven INTs. He has 10 TDs and just two INTs in his last five games.

The defense has been solid for the Knights but not spectacular. They are 38th in the nation in total yards allowed, 44th against the pass, 53rd against the run and 46th in points allowed, giving up 24.3 ppg. They allowed 402 yards last week against the Green Wave and have now surrendered 31.3 ppg on 391.3 yards per game over their last three games. The good news here is that they will be facing a struggling offensive team. They did allow 221 yards on the ground last week and the Bulls are 64th in the nation in rushing. That is something to look out for.

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