South Florida is in the Big Easy for a noon kickoff against Tulane

By Nick Raffoul

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The South Florida Bulls will travel to Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday afternoon for an American Athletic Conference showdown against the Tulane Green Wave.

South Florida comes in with a 2-8 overall record, including a 1-5 overall mark in AAC play. Meanwhile, Tulane is still searching for its first AAC win of the season after going 1-9, including 0-6 versus AAC competition.

Can South Florida snap its slide on the road against a struggling Tulane team on Saturday afternoon?

Bulls can’t keep up vs. No. 5-ranked Cincinnati

South Florida was unable to keep up with No. 5-ranked Cincinnati last week, falling short 45-28 at home for its third consecutive loss. Quarterback Timmy McClain finished 16-of-30 passing for 245 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the Bulls while running back Jaren Mangham added two rushing touchdowns in the loss.

McClain has been mistake-prone over the last few weeks. He’s tossed four interceptions over the last two games while completing just 38 of his 76 pass attempts (50 percent) during that span. For the season, the 6-foot-1 freshman from Sanford, Florida has completed 54.4 percent of his passes for 1,534 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. McClain has also added three rushing touchdowns on the ground. Mangham leas the Bulls in rushing with 560 yards and a healthy 15 rushing touchdowns already this season.

On defense, South Florida has allowed a whopping 35.4 points per game, which ranks 115th in the nation. The Bulls have given up 487.1 yards of total offense per contest, 126th in the country, including 212.4 yards per game on the ground, good for 120th in the FBS.

Pratt seeks bounce-back after lackluster effort vs. Tulsa

Tulane suffered a tough 20-13 overtime loss at home versus Tulsa last weekend. Quarterback Michael Pratt completed 13-of-30 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown while Tyjae Spears added 104 rushing yards in the loss. The Green Wave defense played well on the night, forcing four Tulsa turnovers, but it wasn’t enough to help Tulane stop its current slide.

After a lackluster showing once again last week, Pratt will try to spark the Green Wave offense at home versus USF. The 6-foot-2 freshman has completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns and five interceptions so far this season. Pratt missed a couple of games due to injury and hasn’t quite looked the same since. The offense has stagnated over the last few weeks as a result, averaging just 11.7 points per game over the last three contests.

On defense, Tulane enters this matchup ranked 119th in the country in scoring defense at 36.1 points per game. The Green Wave have allowed446.7 yards of total offense per contest, 113th in the FBS, including 274.5 passing yards per game, 118th in the FBS.

Tulane comes into this game favored by nearly a touchdown at home despite not having a conference victory under its belt yet this season. Despite that fact, the Green Wave should have a considerable edge under center in this game. McClain hasn’t been the answer at quarterback for South Florida. Meanwhile, Pratt hasn’t been the same since returning from injury but should be able to put together a bounce back performance this week against one of the worst defenses in the country. Take Tulane to cover the spread at home in this AAC battle on Saturday. 

Prediction: Tulane Green Wave -5.5

Written By Nick Raffoul , “Nick Raffoul”

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He has been a very successful sports bettor over the years and has now brought his talents to us here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.