South Florida-Kansas: Surprise Teams of 2007 Meet in Marquee Matchup

Michael ManiscalcoContributor ISeptember 11, 2008

After almost losing to rival Central Florida last week, the No. 19 South Florida Bulls look to utilize the homefield advantage and take a victory over the No. 13-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.

Both of these teams shocked the world last year as USF went from unranked at the beginning of the year and clawed all the way up to No. 2 in the nation, only to lose to Rutgers the week after.  Kansas, on the other hand, was unranked as well and climbed up to No. 7 in the nation and pulled off an upset over Virginia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Last week, South Florida faced off against their rivals in Orlando, the Central Florida Knights.  In the last meeting USF destroyed the Knights 62-10—and that's when they had star running back Kevin Smith.

This year, without Kevin Smith, the Knights gave South Florida a run for their money as quarterback Matt Greco lead them into overtime, but they couldn't get the job done as they literally lost the game by inches.

Kansas defeated their opponent Louisiana Tech, 29-0, as quarterback Todd Reesing threw for 412 yards.

Look for Kansas to run the ball with junior running back Jake Sharp, because Jim Leavitt knows that Reesing is going to be looking for Dezmon Briscoe most of the game, much like he did last week.

USF defensive end George Selvie will have to lead his defense to victory this week by putting pressure on Reesing and shutting down the run game from Sharp.  Quarterback Matt Grothe will also be a major factor in this game, and he has to try to avoid some of those silly mistakes that he made last week against UCF.

South Florida-Kansas should be a showdown on Friday night.  It might not have the hype of USC-Ohio St., but it should be nothing short of great.

As far as a prediction, I think Kansas is too much for USF to overcome.  I'm predicting a 21-17 win for the Jayhawks.