The South Florida Bulls (3-6) head to Miami to take on the Hurricanes (5-5) on Saturday. The Hurricanes are coming off a heartbreaking 41-40 loss to Virginia while the Bulls beat Connecticut for their first victory in the last seven games.
Although South Florida won the game last week, the Bulls took a hit when senior quarterback B.J. Daniels broke his ankle and will miss the remainder of the season.
The Hurricanes, on the other hand, enter the game with the same problem they have had all season, defense. Last week the Hurricanes gave up 41 points to a Virginia team that was averaging just 24 points per game.
Thankfully the Hurricanes had the services of freshman phenom Duke Johnson, who single-handedly kept Miami in the game with 368 all-purpose yards.
Read on for the complete preview of South Florida and Miami.
Who: South Florida vs. Miami
When: Saturday, 3 PM ET
Where: Miami Gardens, Fla.
Stadium: Sun Life Stadium (75,540)
Radio: WQAM 560 AM, WELE 1380 AM
Internet Stream: Canes All Access
Position: Starter, Backup (as of Nov. 15, 2012)
QB: Stephen Morris, Ryan Williams
FB: Maurice Hagens, Sean Harvey
RB: Mike James, Duke Johnson
TE: Clive Walford, Dyron Dye, Asante Cleveland
WR: Phillip Dorsett, Kendal Thompkins
WR: Allen Hurns, Herb Waters
WR: Garrett Kidd (Davon Johnson out for season, no named starter during publication)
LT: Malcolm Bunche, Hunter Wells
LG: Jon Feliciano, Jeremy Lewis
C: Shane McDermott, Jared Wheeler
RG: Brandon Linder, Daniel Isidora
RT: Seantrel Henderson, Ereck Flowers
DE: Anthony Chickillo, Jalen Grimble
DT: Curtis Porter, Earl Moore, Dequan Ivery
DT: Olsen Pierre, Luther Robinson
DE: Shayon Green, Tyriq McCord, Ricardo Williams
OLB: Thurston Armbrister, Jimmy Gaines
MLB: Jimmy Gaines, Raphael Kirby
OLB: Denzel Perryman or Gionni Paul,Tyrone Cornelius
CB: Ladarius Gunter, Tracy Howard, Thomas Finnie
CB: Brandon McGee, Antonio Crawford
S: A.J. Highsmith, Vaughn Telemaque
S: Kacy Rodgers II, Rayshawn Jenkins
P: Dalton Botts, Jake Wieclaw
FG: Jake Wieclaw, Matt Goudis
KO: Jake Wieclaw, Matt Goudis
H: Dalton Botts, Ryan Williams
LS: Paul Kelly, Jimmy Gaines
SS: Paul Kelly, Brandon Linder
PR: Phillip Dorsett, Duke Johnson
KR: Phillip Dorsett, Duke Johnson
Injury Report (via USA Today):
DL: Eddie Johnson - Undisclosed- Questionable
LB: Denzel Perryman - Ankle - Questionable
DB: Deon Bush - Neck - Out
WR: Rashawn Scott - Suspended - Out
Out for the Season: Ramon Buchanan (lower extremity), Malcolm Lewis (lower extremity), Sean McNally (lower extremity), Eduardo Clements (undisclosed injury), Robert Lockhart Jr. (leg), Davon Johnson (knee).
Position: Starter, Backup (as of Nov. 12, 2012)
QB: Bobby Eveld or Matt Floyd
FB: Jeff Hawkins, Spencer Cavalieri
RB: Demetris Murray or Marcus Shaw
TE: Sean Price, Mike McFarland, Andreas Shields
WR: Terrence Mitchell, Deonte Welch or Victor Marc
WR: Andre Davis, D'Vario Montgomery
LT: Darrell Williams, Damien Edwards
LG: Thor Jozwiak, Lawrence Martin
C: Austin Reiter, Thor Jozwiak
RG: Brynjar Gudmundsson, Steven Jacques
RT: Quinterrius Eatmon, Max Lang
DE: Eric Lee, Mike Jeune or Julius Forte
DT: Luke Sager, Elkino Watson
DT: Cory Grissom, Todd Chandler or James Hamilton
DE: Tevin Mims, Ryne Giddins
SAM: Reshard Cliett, Zack Bullock
MIKE: DeDe Lattimore, Michael Lanaris
WILL: Seanr Barrington, Tashon Whitehurst
CB: Kayvon Webster, Joshua Brown
CB: George Baker, Kenneth Durden
SS: JaQuez Jenkins, Trevon Griffin
FS: Mark Joyce, Fidel Montgomery
P: Hustin Brockhaus-Kann, Mattias Ciabatti
FG: Maikon Bonani
KO: Marvin Kloss
H: Justin Brockhaus-Kann
LS: David Burdetsky
PR: Terrence Mitchell or Andre Davis
KR: Marcus Shaw, Terrence Mitchell, Kayvon Webster
Injury Report (via USA Today):
DB: Jon Lejiste - Leg- Probable
G: Danous Estenor - Ankle - Questionable
WR: D'Vario Montgomery - Shoulder - Questionable
WR: Derrick Hopkins- Leg - Questionable
RB: Willie Davis - Ankle - Questionable
TE: Evan Landi - Ankle - Doubtful
WR: Chris Dunkley - Suspension - Out indefinitely
T: Mark Popek - Ankle - Out indefinitely
Out for the Season: Lindsey Lamar (collarbone), B.J. Daniels (ankle), Sterling Griffin (Knee)
Cavalier quarterback Michael Rocco threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns as Virginia beat Miami, 41-40. Rocco hit tight end Jake McGee on a 10-yard touchdown pass with just six seconds left in the game.
The Hurricanes defense was its typical self allowing 482 yards of total offense to the Cavaliers.
Miami quarterback Stephen Morris completed 17 of 25 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns in the loss.
True freshman Duke Johnson stole the show racking up 368 all-purpose yards. Duke rushed for 150 yards on 16 carries, threw a touchdown and returned four kickoffs for 214 yards, including a 95-yard return for a touchdown early in the game.
It was the fourth most all-purpose yards in ACC history.
The Bulls defense stifled Connecticut, creating three turnovers in a 13-6 win last weekend. South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels completed 19 of 29 passes for 199 yards while running for another 23 yards and scoring on the only touchdown in the game in the first quarter.
Daniels did leave the game in the fourth quarter in an apparent ankle injury. It was later determined that he broke it and will be out for the rest of the season.
Kicker Maikon Bonani made both field-goal attempts including a 50-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Although this game is an out-of-conference game it means a lot regarding postseason play. South Florida must beat Miami to stay bowl-eligible. The Bulls are currently 3-6 and need to win all three games to reach a bowl game.
For the Hurricanes it also means they must win to become bowl-eligible. After the Bulls this weekend, the Hurricanes travel to a much-improved Duke team.
With the Bulls losing quarterback B.J. Daniels for the season to an ankle injury, I believe this is one game in which the Hurricanes defense can actually control an opposing offense.
So I will turn my key players of the game to the offensive line.The Bulls don't have the best defense in the country, but it is a team filled with tremendous athletes.
South Florida is giving up 156 yards per game on the ground, and if the Hurricanes offensive linemen can create holes, Duke Johnson and Mike James could put up big numbers.
The key players for the Bulls this weekend will be backup quarterbacks Bobby Eveld or Matt Floyd. According to the Bulls website, head coach Skip Holtz has yet to name a starter for B.J Daniels, who broke his ankle in the fourth quarter of Nov. 3 game against Connecticut.
Eveld seems to be the logical choice since he was Daniels primary backup last season. The junior has thrown for 808 yards, three touchdowns and seven interceptions in his brief career.
Floyd, on the other, hand is just a freshman. He is the only other quarterback to log any time this season. He has completed 4 of 10 passes for just 22 yards.
Regardless of who it is, they have big shoes to fill. If neither quarterback can move the offense, the Bulls may lose big.
The Hurricanes will win this game if they can move the ball on offense. This is the one game in which I believe the defense can hold their own.
The Bulls are without their leading passer and two of their three leading rushers.
So the Hurricanes just need to use a good balance on offense to effectively be able to throw the ball and run it to control the time of possession.
If Duke Johnson and Mike James can put up good numbers, Miami can easily win this game.
The Bulls will win this game if they completely shut down the Hurricanes offense. South Florida is missing too many players on offense to have a shootout with Miami, so the Bulls will have to rely on stout defense to come away with the win.
The Hurricanes have struggled offensively at times during the season so the possibility is there for this South Florida team; the Bulls will just need to take advantage.
If South Florida can limit its turnovers and stop the Hurricanes offense from exploding, the Bulls can certainly win this game.
I will make this prediction short and sweet.
The Bulls are without B.J Daniels and playing at Miami. Those two things will be too much for the Bulls to overcome.
Final Prediction: Miami 28, USF 17