BULLS : GOAL LINE STAND : CINCINNATI
By Leo Haggerty

South Florida travels to Nippert Stadium to take on Cincinnati this Saturday.  Kickoff is schedule for 7 PM weather permitting.

This is an elimination game in the American Athletic Conference East Division.  The winner has a hope, with some help from their friends, of winning the division title. The loser is left on the outside looking in.

USF is 3-2 in the AAC East and 7-2 overall.  The Bulls are coming off a home 41-15 shellacking at the hands of Tulane last Saturday.

Cincinnati is 4-1 in the AAC East and 8-1 overall.  The Bearcats thrashed Navy at home 42-0 last weekend.

Below are my four boxes the Green & Gold need to check to come away with a victory over the Bearcats.  Simple but extremely important.  Enjoy.

1ST DOWN

GET OFF THE MAT

South Florida needs to go into the Cincinnati game with a boxers mentality.  Nothing more and nothing less.

The Green & Gold have been knocked down twice for the first time in over three years.  A third time is a TKO as it applies to extra football.

Another loss would eliminate USF from any serious post-season consideration.  The Bulls need to have, at least, nine wins to be attractive to any mid-level or higher bowl selection committee.

That has to start with a road win in the Queen City.  It’s that simple.

2ND DOWN

PLAY WITH A SENSE OF URGENCY

It’s “put up or shut up” time for the Bulls.  It’s win or go home if USF has any hope of winning the AAC East.

South Florida, so far, has not put an acceptable 60-minute performance in all three phases of the game in the books.  That has baffled HC Charlie Strong and his staff.

The Green & Gold need to bring it from the opening kickoff.  No half-stepping today if they want to stay in the championship conversation.

3RD DOWN

DON’T GET BOAT-RACED

The Bearcats have been the doormat of the AAC East for the past couple of seasons.  USF, along with other top echelon teams in the conference, have embarrassed Cincy over the past couple of seasons and got fat and happy beating up on Cincinnati.

Well, HC Luke Fickell has his team on a mission this season.  It’s payback time and UC opponents are finding out this is an entirely different animal this year than they faced the last few season.

The Black & Red are going to try extremely hard not just to beat the Bulls but to rub their nose in it as the Green & Gold have done to them.  USF needs to realize this is a revenge game and Cincy will be loaded for bear.

4TH DOWN

GET OUT OF THE TUB

The USF walking wounded have to find a way to get healthy.  It’s November and that means it’s all hands on deck time.

There’s an old adage in football and that is “You can’t make the club in the tub” and it is so true.  You cannot help your teammates if you’re not on the field.

If you’re injured, you can’t play and that’s gospel.  If you’re hurt, like everyone else in football this time of the year, strap it up and play.

South Florida’s training staff has to find a way to get as many players as they can on to the gridiron.  It’s that important.

Well, it’s prognostication time.  South Florida is a double-digit road dog for the first time in a long time.  I think that will motivate the Bulls along with the fact that they want to stay in the AAC East race.  USF, 43-42, with a two-point conversion in OT.