Here’s a fun fact about this game: These are the two most experienced teams in college football this season.
BYU returns a whopping 19 starters, including eight on offense and all 11 defensive starters. USF counters by also returning 19 starters, with 10 on offense and nine on defense.
Both teams return their quarterbacks, head coaches, major weapons, and at least the top six tacklers.
There’s also some history between the two. South Florida took down BYU 27-23 back in 2019. South Florida went out to Provo last season and fell behind 21-0 before storming back within a touchdown with only 5:41 remaining. The Bulls never got the ball back, but they easily covered a 23.5-point spread.
Can the Bulls do it again?
Read on for our BYU Cougars vs South Florida Bulls odds, picks, and predictions.
BYU Cougars vs South Florida Bulls
The money is coming in on South Florida. Sharp money has knocked it down from +12.5 to +12 at most books, and while the Bulls are receiving less than 30% of the tickets, they’re also getting over 60% of the handle.
The over has taken some sharp money. The last two matchups between South Florida and BYU went over, so it might be worth taking a look at the 58.5 number.
BYU Cougars vs South Florida Bulls Prediction & Pick
I adore this South Florida team.
Not only do they return 10 starters on the offensive end, but they brought in a high-impact transfer at the most important position. Gerry Bohanon comes from Baylor to lead the Bulls’ offense after winning 12 games with Baylor (and almost stealing the Big 12 championship game).
Bohannon was solid with his arm but adds a whole new dimension with his legs. He rushed for nine scores last season.
The offensive line has 153 career starts and is led by Second-Team All-AAC guard Demetrius Harris. The Bulls also brought transfers from Maryland, UCF, and Virginia Tech to bolster the depth.
The top four rushers are back and the top three receivers are back. Plus the top six tacklers return. There’s a new defensive coordinator in Bob Shoop, who has a history of high-profile jobs including Mississippi State, Tennessee, Penn State, and Vanderbilt. Shoop will switch the defense up to a 4-2-5, but that might be a good thing considering the secondary lost only two backups.
Finally, Jeff Scott is ready to make the third-year head coaching jump.
South Florida won just two games last year and went 1-7 in conference play last season. But they covered in seven of 12 matchups and went 4-0 ATS as a home dog. This team is going to flirt with a bowl.
BYU is equally experienced, and they bring back their top nine tacklers. But it’s not like the BYU defense was all that effective last year, finishing outside the top-100 in Defensive Success Rate in both Standard Downs and Passing Downs.
Plus, the Cougars have a poor recent history against South Florida. Plus, playing in the South Florida heat during early September could be ugly
I’m all over the Bulls here.
BYU Cougars vs South Florida Bulls Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for BYU vs South Florida below.
Key Matchup No. 1: Gerry Bohanon vs Jaren Hall
The narrative surrounding Bohanon is that he’s an average quarterback. Well, let’s see him prove it.
Can Bohanon out-play the BYU passing attack and Jaren Hall? He finished as PFF’s 20th-ranked quarterback last season after posting a 3:1 Big Time Throw to Turnover Worthy Play ratio.
Plus, he has a much-improved offensive line. Meaning he likely won’t have to deal with throws like this:
— House of BYU (@HouseofBYU) August 30, 2022
This is an underrated quarterback battle and could decide how high the Bulls fly this season.
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