Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
When: Saturday, September 22nd, 12:00 PM
Records: UNC 1-2; USF 2-0
Rankings: USF #23
South Florida entered the polls following their upset of Auburn on the road. As it turns out, Auburn may not have been as good as advertised since they followed up that loss with a defeat at Mississippi State. In truth that only takes some of the shine off the Bulls who enter the game as a 13+ point favorite.
Statistically speaking UNC is rated as the better offensive team mainly because the passing game has been so dangerous. The Bulls' offense has been somewhat ordinary at best and has depended on the 18th best total defense in the nation. The problem for UNC is the rather porous nature of the Tar Heel defense tends to elevate the ordinary to another level. So this game comes down how well the respective defenses perform against the opposing offense. Can T.J. Yates and the trio of Nicks, Tate and Foster continue to get big plays for huge yards? Will the UNC running game ever show up?(Please?) Can the UNC defense force some turnovers? Will the USF offense come out like world beaters?
Obviously expecting a win here is a little out of left field. I do expect the Heels to show up and be competitive. I would say I want them to make a better showing that last season's game in Chapel Hill but that would be setting the bar so low I doubt I would be able to look at it. Especially since the best play UNC had on the offensive side of the ball was a fake FG designed by Connor Barth. I think we all expect more this season, even if it is not a win.
A little diginity baby, that's all Tar Heel fans are looking for.
South Florida 28 UNC 21