The Predictions: USF offense to be too much for Houston

by Gary Shelton on October 27, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Friday, 3 a.m.

When last we saw them, they were backing up.

They were sweating, and they were holding on in the middle of a Tulane comeback. They won, but they looked mortal in doing so. No one was talking about strengths or high-powered offenses. USF beat Tulane, but it was close for a change.

And now that perhaps their best opponent of the season is coming in, you wonder if the USF Bulls can hang on.

Funny. After seven games, all wins, all with 30 points or more, you'd think that the world would be writing sonnets about the Bulls. Instead, things feel a bit nervous.

Houston is 4-3, but they've given up more than 40 points in each of their last two losses to Tulsa and Memphis.

The feeling here is that the home field will lift the Bulls, who should pull away in the second half. In the end, the Bulls simply have too much offense.

Prediction: USF 38, Houston 27

FSU at Boston College (Friday night)

Yes, the Seminoles lost their quarterback a half of a season ago. Still, FSU isn't playing near to the potential of the other four- and five-star recruits on the team.

Maybe that will change in this week's matchup against Boston College (4-4). But the Seminoles keep finding ways to lose games. One of those ways is a lousy offense — ranked 101st in the nation. Part of that is freshman quarterback James Blackman, but another part is an offensive line that hasn't produced and a defense that has fallen to 33rd in the nation.

Boston College is bowl-eligible for a change, which should help the Eagles. Still, it's hard to imagine FSU losing another one.

Isn't it?

Prediction: FSU 13, Boston College 12

Florida vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)

A season in which the pressure has mounted against coach Jim McElwain won't get any easier when Florida takes on the 7-0 Bulldogs of Kirby Smart. Florida has struggled all season to move the ball, and the Gators find themselves 3-3 going to Jacksonville.

The thought here is that Florida's defense will be good enough to keep it close for a while — it usually is — but in the end, the opponent will find some running room — it usually does.

Prediction: Georgia 27, Florida 14

Miami vs. North Carolina

The Hurricanes aren't really back yet. But they're closer than they've been in years. Best of all, these Hurricanes keep figuring out ways to salvage close games. That's a knack that most champions have over the course of a season.

I'm still not convinced the Hurricanes are playoff-good. But they're better than North Carolina.

Prediction: Miami 27, North Carolina 19

The Pros

Carolina at Bucs

The typical formula for a Bucs' game? A slow start, a soft secondary in the middle and no pass rush throughout. Still, at home, the Bucs should have enough to slip past the Panthers.

Of course, Cam Newton is still a dangerous player, and the Panthers should be able to run some on the Bucs. But Jameis Winston should make it close in the final period. This time, it says here that the Bucs pull out a close one, because this team is too talented to lose four in a row.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 23, Carolina 21.

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