BULLS : GOAL LINE STAND : TEMPLE
By Leo Haggerty
The South Florida Bulls travel to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Temple Owls this Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 PM weather permitting.
The Cherry & White are 6-4 on the campaign and 5-1 in the American Athletic Conference East Division. TU is coming off a 59-49 shootout win on the road against the Houston Cougars.
The Green & Gold are 7-3 on the season and 3-3 in the AAC East. USF is in the midst of a three-game losing streak after getting beat 35-23 at Cincinnati.
Below are the 4 key points that the Bulls must achieve if they want to come out of Philly with a win. Enjoy.
DON’T ABANDON SHIP
Look, this is no secret. The Bulls don’t play well in cold climates. It’s also well documented that they really have trouble playing Temple in Philadelphia. One of those reasons is the Green & Gold are usually playing against Mother Nature in Philly as well. Two big negatives.
There’s going to be a time or two in the contest when that Cherry & White tidal wave is going to hit. Fight through it.
Don’t just jump overboard. Right the ship and weather the storm.
I’m should put this as an automatic 1st Down requirement. That’s because the 2018 edition of USF football have been notoriously slow starters.
If you’re behind against Temple, they have the offense to run away and hide especially when it comes to the running game. If you need proof, take a look at Owls blowout win at Houston. They dropped 59 on the Cougars and, by the way, that’s the same UH team that hung 57 on the Green & Gold.
Find a way to get the lead early. It’s a much easier game as a front-runner than it is trying to play catch-up.
NO SPECIAL TEAMS ERRORS
This week, and probably next week as well, South Florida need to play error-free football when it comes to special teams. The kicking and return team teams must be ultra-solid if the Bulls want to come away with a W.
The special teams need to be just that. Special. No points left on the field and no splash plays by Temple to change momentum. Capisce?
STAY IN THE GAME
Hey, it’s the AAC. If you don’t score in the 30’s, you’re going to get, as my coaching buddy and member of the Knights Sports Productions team Troy Odegaard preaches, boat-raced. That translates to the outcome of the game will be determined early. Folks, is not a good thing.
USF has to match Temple point-for-point. They can afford to get behind no more than a touchdown.
If South Florida gets down by double-digits, the Fat Lady may start singing. If she isn’t, you can bet the house payment that she’s humming.
OK, time to make a prediction and I’m making this with my head and not my heart. There are too many positives on the Owls side of the ledger than on the Bulls side of the spreadsheet. TU, 38-35, and the game will be as close as the score.