KICKOFF: 3:30 PM
TV: ESPNU, WatchESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Dave LaMont (play-by-play), Ray Bentley (color analyst)
RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network (WTIC 1080 AM, WILI 1400 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WGCH 1490 AM); TuneIn; XM 202, Sirius/XM Internet 962
ANNOUNCERS: Joe D'Ambrosio (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Ken Sweitzer (sideline)
POINT SPREAD: USF -23.5
SERIES HISTORY: UConn Huskies and South Florida Bulls have met 14 times on the gridiron with the Bulls holding a 9-5 lead. 12 of them have come as conference foes where USF holds a 7-5 advantage. UConn last beat USF in 2011.
By the Numbers:
Sept 9, 2017: The date of the originally scheduled game between the two teams. The game was postponed by Hurricane Irma. For that game, USF was favored by 17.5 points. Now they are 23.5 point favorites.
9- USF ranks ninth in the country in rushing yards per game, averaging just over 284 yards per contest. The running game is led by senior running back Darius Tice, who has nine touchdowns and 726 yards so far this season, but quarterback Quinton Flowers is a threat on the ground as well.
21- Total touchdowns responsible for for Flowers, who has 10 scores on the ground and 12 passing touchdowns so far this season. Flowers is throwing for just under 200 yards and rushing for nearly 78 yards per game and could tear apart the UConn defense with both his arm and his legs.
3- Senior cornerback Jamar Summers is suspended for the first three quarters of this week’s game after his taunting penalty following his interception against Mizzou. Summers has been up and down this season, and was one of the most frequently targeted corners in the country as of a few weeks ago. Tre Bell will start in his place.
68.7- With Arkeel Newsome and Nate Hopkins both out this week due to injuries, UConn is missing 68.7 yards of their 130.6 yard average, nearly 53 percent of their rushing attack. Fortunately for the Huskies, leading rusher Kevin Mensah is still healthy and will look to improve upon his average of 39.1 yards per game.
Keys to the Game/What to Watch For
Trying to Contain Them
USF has some question marks, and probably lost out on the Group of Six New Year’s bowl bid by losing to Houston last week, but they match up incredibly well against UConn, especially when they have the ball. Making stops will be really, really tough for UConn, so hopefully they can get some turnover luck or help from the weather conditions to keep this one competitive.
Since You’ve Been Gone...
Arkeel Newsome’s absence has been a big hit for the Husky offense, which hasn’t really seemed the same since he left the Tulsa game with an injury. So far nobody has been able to replace his home-run ability or dynamic pass-catching out of the backfield. The slip screens and short passes to Newsome worked pretty well. With a much-improved USF defense (21st in the nation in S&P+ efficiency) visiting, the Huskies will have their work cut out for them to get on the board.
UConn has two of the best teams in the conference in USF and UCF coming up. Simply put, the defense needs to avoid the 70-point performance it had against Memphis. If the Huskies can avoid hideous blowouts and keep these games somewhat competitive, that would be a big win.