• Paul Compton

Miami Beach Bowl: WKU vs USF

South Florida has to be another team in the top 5 of resurgent seasons. 2010 was the last time the Bulls had a winning season, and the years in between were pretty lean. They ended the season on a tear, winning their final four games by an average score of 44-17.5. They won 7 of their final 8 games, with the only loss coming at Navy. Their other losses were to FSU, MD and MEM. That's a pretty solid resume. They are a very well-rounded team, as evidenced by my ranking them 34th in rush offense, rush defense and pass defense, lol. Quite a coincidence! In pass offense I rank them 41st. QB Flowers developed a delicate downfield pass that helped him average 8.35 ypp. Flowers and RB Mack make up one of the most potent running duos in the CFB. When the season ended USF had the 4th highest upward trending pass defense -- Western Kentucky had the 10th best. When it comes to rush defense, WKU had the 3rd highest upward trending unit. This game might be more defensive-minded than many people think it will be. That being said, WKU QB Doughty is obviously damn good. WKU's running game, which struggled early in the season, really came on strong in the second half of the season. The Hilltoppers have a very difficult offense to defend now. Take away the loss at LSU in week 8 and WKU outscored their opponents by an average of 30 points over their final 9 games against mostly weak teams. South Florida has the slightly tougher schedule, and Southern Miss was hanging right with WKU last week until they were derailed by turnovers -- this game is really shaping up to be one of the better Bowl games this season, in my opinion. I think the spread is pretty much right on at WKU -3.5, with a little bit of value on the Under 66.