South Florida Bulls
(7-5, 5-7 ATS)
(6-6, 5-7 ATS)
Down on Tobacco Road, the South Florida Bulls and the Clemson Tigers will square off on New Year’s Even in Meineke Car Care Bowl betting action.
Head Coach Skip Holtz did a nice job this year bringing the Bulls to a bowl game in his first year on the job at South Florida. The offense was amongst the worst in the nation this year, and it is remarkable that this team was able to go bowling even though it only averaged 312.2 yards and 23.5 points per game this year. QB BJ Daniels seemingly took a major step backwards in his sophomore campaign, as he threw for just 1,496 yards and had nine TDs against a dozen picks. The ground game was helped out this year by RB Moise Plancher and RB Demetris Murray, though neither one had a fantastic season. The two combined for 1,260 yards and eight TDs. WR Dontavia Bogan led all receivers with 46 grabs for 670 yards and five scores. However, true to the form that Holtz started at the East Carolina Pirates, the Bulls have done a great job defensively. Nothing is easy against this team, as USF is allowing just 308.1 yards and 19.5 points per game. Eight teams were held to 20 points or fewer this year against the Bulls.
Clemson’s defense was darn good as well this year, though, which really could set up an ugly game. The Tigers allowed 21 points or fewer nine times this year and held six straight teams to 16 or fewer from the middle of October through the week before Thanksgiving. The Clemson offense was dreadful at times this year, and the blame can really be placed on the shoulders of QB Kyle Parker. It is clear that Parker probably should have just stayed with the Colorado Rockies instead of coming back to the Tigers. He threw for just 2,080 yards and 12 TDs against ten picks. On the ground, the onus is on the duo of RB Jamie Harper and RB Andre Ellington. Harper carried the ball for 731 yards and six scores this year, while Ellington was a jack of all trades. He had 684 yards on the ground with ten TDs and caught 12 passes for 110 yards and another score. He also had 238 yards on seven kick returns, including a kick return for a TD. Keep a close eye on Da’Quan Bowers, who leads the nation in sacks coming into the bowl season.
We sort of feel as though we can toss a coin in the air to determine the winner of this game. We have more confidence in the coaching abilities of Holtz than we do in Head Coach Dabo Swinney for the Tigers, and knowing that we are also catching points, we have to take them on the Meineke Car Care Bowl odds.
Meineke Car Care Bowl Free Pick: South Florida Bulls +5.5