The Pittsburgh Panthers (5-6) were one field goal away from knocking off the third-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Now, they are one win away from salvaging their season and becoming bowl eligible with a win over the South Florida Bulls (3-8).
Wild inconsistency has plagued the Panthers, while ineptitude in all phases of the game has plagued the Bulls throughout the 2012 season.
Skip Holtz, South Florida's head coach, has come under fire for his team falling to its worst record in school history, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. That's understandable, considering the team's big drop-off since his arrival in Tampa.
Here's everything you need to know about Saturday night's matchup.
When: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
Listen: Free Football Radio
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Spread: South Florida +6.5 (via Covers)
The Panthers and Bulls haven't exactly been offensive juggernauts this season. Couple that with the fact that the Bulls are working with reserves on offense and the Panthers are playing for bowl eligibility, and this game could get out of hand.
It won't be a blowout, but the Panthers should be able to cover the seven points needed in this one.
Over/Under: 46 (via Covers)
The Bulls have scored 10, nine and six points over the past three weeks and that's not likely to improve without B.J. Daniels behind center again this week against Pittsburgh. South Florida's defense has been decent at times this season and is giving up 27 points per game.
There doesn't seem to be a scenario in which these teams collectively put up more than 46 points.
Pittsburgh Injury Report via USA Today (as of Nov. 29)
TE Hubie Graham, Ankle, Questionable
DL Jack Lippert, Undisclosed, Questionable
LB Dan Mason, Stomach, Out for season
OL Ryan Schlieper, Foot, Out for season
LB Manny Williams, Knee, Out for season
OL Juantez Hollins, Suspension, Out for season
South Florida Injury Report via USA Today (as of Nov. 29)
QB Bobby Eveld, Shin, Questionable
DB Jon Lejiste, Leg, Questionable
TE Evan Landi, Ankle, Questionable
WR Derrick Hopkins, Leg, Questionable
RB Willie Davis, Ankle, Questionable
WR Terrence Mitchell, Concussion, Doubtful
DB Chris Bivins Jr., Knee, Out for season
RB Lindsey Lamar, Collarbone, Out for season
QB B.J. Daniels, Ankle, Out for season
T Mark Popek, Ankle, Out indefinitely
WR Chris Dunkley, Suspension, Out indefinitely
WR Sterling Griffin, Knee, Out for season
Both of these schools are an afterthought in the BCS conversation and are mathematically out of the realm of relevancy. They've played several close games, but neither has been able to consistently come to play each week.
In the case of the Bulls, they've been riddled by injuries and head coach Skip Holtz hasn't been able to work through them.
The Panthers will qualify for a bowl if they go into Raymond James Stadium and come away with a victory.
Keys for Pittsburgh Victory
Put the heat on redshirt freshman Matt Floyd. Last week the Panthers harassed Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova and forced him into an uncharacteristically bad performance.
If they can bring the heat and disrupt Floyd, the youngster will likely crack under the bright lights of Raymond James Stadium.
Keys for Bulls Victory
The Bulls need to find a way to generate some offense. Pittsburgh's defense isn't going to roll over and feel sorry for their injuries, and it could be a long evening for the Bulls' offense as a result.
Last week, South Florida's offense was held to 306 yards of total offense by the Cincinnati Bearcats. However, 200 of those yards came in the second half when the game was already out of reach.
The Bulls just have too much working against them. Injuries and inconsistency throughout the organization have left them susceptible to finishing with just three losses. That's a reality the team is facing and will realize after a season-ending defeat to the Panthers on Saturday night.
Pitt will stop the Bulls offense from doing anything offensively and use good field position to capitalize by turning that into points. This one will be over before it starts.
Predicted Score: Pittsburgh 24, South Florida 10
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