Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Preview
South Florida at Cincinnati
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 10, 2018
Where: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

No. 23 Cincinnati can reach the American Athletic Conference Championship by winning its last three games and that run must start with a victory at home against reeling South Florida on Saturday night. The Bearcats blanked Navy 42-0 last week for its second straight victory after an overtime loss to Temple and have won eight games - tying the amount they recorded in the past two seasons combined.

“It’s amazing,” Cincinnati junior wide receiver Rashad Medaris told reporters of the turnaround. “We’ve worked hard for this. Just an amazing feeling.” The Bearcats lean on their defense, which is sixth in the nation in points per game against (14.0) and fifth overall in total yards allowed (276.1) - led by senior defensive tackle Cortez Broughton, who is second in the American in tackles for loss (1.67 per game). USF won its first seven games this season, including six when trailing at some point in the contest, but has struggled defensively while losing the last two games to squash hopes of a championship in the American and a trip to a major bowl. “You’ve got three games to go play and they’re all conference games, so you don’t ever think the season is getting away because you never know what’s going to happen,” Bulls coach Charlie Strong told reporters. “... Within this conference, you can’t really say teams are so much head-and-shoulder above other teams. You catch them on any given day and anything can happen.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU. LINE: Cincinnati -14

ABOUT SOUTH FLORIDA (7-2, 3-2 American): The Bulls gave up 98 points in losses to Houston and Tulane the last two weeks and Strong told reporters his defense has to be more physical to stop the run by winning more one-on-one blocks. USF also got held to 102 yards on the ground last week against Tulane as leading rusher Jordan Cronkrite (946 yards, 7.0 per carry) was limited to 13 on six carries. USF could get freshman receiver Randall St. Felix (24 catches, 484 yards, two TDs) and junior tight end Mitchell Wilcox (28, 378, one) back from injuries that held them out of two games and one contest, respectively.

ABOUT CINCINNATI (8-1, 4-1): While the defense has been key all season, the Bearcats have been productive on offense with multi-purpose freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder taking over the helm. Ridder has completed 63.1 percent of his passes with 13 TDs and five interceptions while rushing for 426 yards and five scores to augment sophomore running back Michael Warren II, who has gained 931 yards on the ground with 14 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Kahlil Lewis is the top target for Ridder with 36 receptions - 12 in the win against SMU on Oct. 27 - and 453 yards with five touchdowns.

EXTRA POINTS

1. South Florida senior LB Khalid McGee, who leads the team with 71 tackles, will return after being suspended a game for pushing a coach.

2. Cincinnati LB Perry Young, who owns a team-leading 45 tackles, is likely lost for the season with a knee injury.

3. The Bearcats lead the all-time series 8-7, but the Bulls earned a 33-3 victory last season in Tampa.

PREDICTION: Cincinnati 31, South Florida 17
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
South Florida 7-2 L2 33.3 30.9 4-1 3-1 5-1 0-1 3-2
Cincinnati 8-1 W2 35.0 14.0 4-0 4-1 2-1 0-0 4-1
Last Meeting
South Florida Cincinnati
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/14/17 CIN 3 USF 33 402 212 190 273 95 178
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
South Florida Q. Flowers 55.2 184 0 0
Cincinnati H. Moore 57.1 147 0 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
South Florida Q. Flowers 15 80 5.3 1
Cincinnati M. Warren II 6 47 7.8 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
South Florida D. Antoine 3 50 16.7 0
Cincinnati K. Lewis 6 35 5.8 0
Touchdowns Player TD
South Florida Q. Flowers 1
Cincinnati C. Angulo 0
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
South Florida B. Barnett 62.2 2395 11 9
Cincinnati D. Ridder 63.1 1703 13 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
South Florida J. Cronkrite 136 946 7.0 7
Cincinnati M. Warren II 178 931 5.2 14
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
South Florida T. McCants 51 538 10.5 2
Cincinnati K. Lewis 36 453 12.6 5
Touchdowns Player TD
South Florida B. Barnett 8
Cincinnati M. Warren II 14
Quickchart Matchup
South Florida South Florida Off vs  Cincinnati Cincinnati Def
South Florida 491.8 yards
Cincinnati 273.4 yards
South Florida 5.5 yards/rush
Cincinnati 3.2 yards/rush
South Florida 7.8 yards/attempt
Cincinnati 5.3 yards/attempt
Cincinnati Cincinnati Off vs  South Florida South Florida Def
Cincinnati 449.6 yards
South Florida 441.8 yards
Cincinnati 5.1 yards/rush
South Florida 5.1 yards/rush
Cincinnati 7.6 yards/attempt
South Florida 6.8 yards/attempt