The Predictions: USF will win … eventually

by Gary Shelton on September 30, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Saturday, 2 a.m.

Every week, it's the same.

The talented USF Bulls enter the game as a lopsided favorite. You just don't know how long it's going to take.

It's the same this week as the Bulls face East Carolina, a team they've beaten nine straight seasons, on the road. But will USF let East Carolina hang around before shutting the door?

It's possible. The Bulls fell behind San Jose State, and they let Stony Brook hang around, and they struggled early before blasting Illinois and Temple. And

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so, once again, it is easy to wonder just how long it will take before USF runs away.

Oh, it should happen eventually. The Bulls have too much talent with Quinton Flowers, D'Ernest Johnson and Darius Tice. But coach Charlile Strong says that four dropped passes were potential scores last week against the Owls; the result is that the Bulls haven't been as explosive on offense.

On the other hand, USF has shown some defense. Last year? Not so much. But this year, with Auggie Sanchez, Deatrick Nichols and Deadrin Senat, this is far from the defense that seemed to be leaning against the ropes much of last season.

This week, Thomas Sirk (who had 426 yards last week against UConn), could test that defense early. In the end, however, USF should win by another big score.

Prediction: USF 42, East Carolina 20.

Vanderbilt at Florida

So who provides the Gators' miracle this week? Two weeks ago, it was quarterback Feleipe Franks. Last week, it was quarterback Luke Del Rio. This week? Any guesses?

Of course, Gator fans can fool themselves into believing that miracles won't be needed after Vandy fell 59-0 to Alabama last week. But Vandy had started 3-0 against three lesser teams, which means that if the Gators' offense gets stuck in the mud again, the Gators could struggle. Don't they always.

At this point, however, there is a reason that Gators' coach Jim McElwain is 15-3 in the SEC. He usually finds a way to win those games.

Prediction: Florida 21, Vanderbilt 13.

FSU at Wake Forest

Wake Forest is undefeated. Florida State is winless. Can you believe it?

Here is it, almost October, and those are two of the strangest storylines of the football season. The Seminoles lost to Alabama, were rerouted by Irma and then lost to N.C. State. Along the way, they lost their quarterback.

Oh, if you look, you'll see that Wake Forest hasn't beaten anyone; on the other hand, neither has FSU.

That should change this week. Watch for FSU to take control early.

Prediction: FSU 30, Wake Forest 10.

The Pros

New York Giants at Tampa Bay Bucs

The Bucs had a terrible game on Sunday, most of it because so many of its players were hurt. On the other hand, that may true this week, too. For instance, the Bucs are supposed to play without Kwon Alexander and likely Lavonte David.

The weak spot for the Giants all season has been the offensive line. But can Tampa Bay take advantage of that?

Prediction: New York 21, Tampa Bay 17.

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