2016-17 Football Previews – (AAC) – Bulls
Looking for 2016 South Florida Bulls predictions? After a bit of a lull during the Skip Holtz era, things are looking up again for South Florida. This team has a lot of young talent and a promising coach who looks like he can keep them a consistent contender in the AAC. Last year they had a strong season doubling their win total from 4 to 8 and this season they look like the top threat to Houston in the AAC.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
2015/16 Record: 8-5
Head Coach: Willie Taggart
Odds to win AAC: 7/2
Odds to win National Championship: 750/1
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2016 USF Bulls Handicapping
If they keep it up then maybe they can capitalize long-term on all that talent in the state of Florida.
I am not expecting a run to the FBS playoffs but South Florida is definitely a program on the rise.
Their schedule is pretty manageable and with a game against an elite team in Florida State team they could possibly be a playoff sleeper, if you think they have any chance of winning that game, and they win every other one.
It won’t be an easy year but if they improve with experience they could add to their win total for a third year in a row.
2016 South Florida Bulls Predictions: Team Strengths
The Bulls have a lot of skill on offense. QB Quinton Flowers and RB Marlon Mack may not be household names but they built on strong freshman seasons a year ago.
Flowers is sort of like a DeShaun Watson light with his ability to run (almost 1000 yards) and throw and Mack is the best running back in the conference (back to back 1000+ yards seasons).
Senior WR Rodney Adams is also a big play threat giving USF a great set of triplets.
On defense the Bulls play with a five man secondary and return 4 starters from that group. CB Deatrick Nichols and S Nate Godwin were selected to the All AAC first team defense coming into the season.
Augie Sanchez is a beast at middle linebacker and made the second team.
The Bulls are littered with talent that still has room to grow.
2016 South Florida Bulls Predictions: Team Weaknesses
As the Bulls look to take that next step they are a little unsure of themselves in the trenches.
Only two starting offensive linemen return and it looks like they plan to have a freshman start at right tackle, which is risky, even with a mobile quarterback.
On the defensive line only one starter returns, Deadrin Senat at DT, and they will fill in around him with three sophomores who have yet to prove themselves.
With the departures from a year ago they essentially lost everyone who got after the quarterback.
That experienced secondary needs there to be a pass rush if they are going to improve on their 84th ranking in passing yards allowed. Last year the Bulls were 52nd in yards allowed but just 35th in points.
Those numbers indicate that they were able to stiffen when necessary and they will need to do so again.
2016 South Florida Bulls Prediction
Taggart has been building in Tampa and this will be the year that sees it all come together or creates some question marks. The ceiling for this season is probably an 11-1 season with that lone loss to Florida State.
It would make for an awesome story to take down the ‘Noles but I am not sure they enough talent overall to do that, though perhaps Flowers could be the difference maker – he has that kind of athletic ability.
On the downside if the lines struggle this group could go 7-5. They have some tough road game at Temple and Cincinnati and maybe a loss or two knocks them down a peg emotionally. It will be on Taggart to keep this team playing at their potential.
They averaged 33ppg a year ago and that number should improve. If it does it will only help the defense by putting pressure on opponents.
In terms of futures I think the best way to play USF is for the AAC title.
They are my pick to win the East division so even though they would likely play a very good Houston team anything can happen in a one game scenario.
2016 South Florida Bulls Football Schedule
- 9/3/16 7:00 PM ET TOWS
- 9/10/16 7:00 PM ET NIU
- 9/17/16 3:30 PM ET @SYR
- 9/24/16 TBD FSU
- 10/1/16 TBD @CIN
- 10/8/16 TBD ECU
- 10/15/16 TBD CONN
- 10/21/16 7:00 PM ET @TEM
- 10/28/16 7:00 PM ET NAVY
- 11/12/16 TBD @MEM
- 11/19/16 TBD @SMU
- 11/26/16 TBD UCF
What do you think about our 2016 South Florida Bulls predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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