2017 Football Preview – American – Bulls
Looking for 2017 South Florida Bulls predictions? The Bulls are definitely the team to watch in the American Athletic Conference this year. Coming off the heels of a double-digit win campaign in 2016, and featuring a Heisman Trophy candidate under center has the arrow pointed strictly upward for the outfit from Tampa.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
- 2017-18 College Football Preview – South Florida Bulls
- Head Coach: Charlie Strong
- 2016 Record: 11-2
- South Florida Bulls Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: +30000
- Updated Sportsbook Bonuses For Today
- ***More 2017 NCAA Football Team Season Previews***
New head coach Charlie Strong could fall into crap and come out smelling of roses; he leveraged his spot wearing the headset for the prestigious Texas Longhorns and, despite getting fired, grabbed the USF head job. He would be wise to simply build on strengths going into 2017 for the Bulls.
Despite such an excellent showing last year, the Bulls did not win the AAC crown, which went instead to Temple. South Florida have something tangible to shoot for this season, and all signs point to them achieving its goal.
2017 South Florida Bulls Predictions: Team Strengths
Heisman Hucker?: More than your usual squad, USF’s entire offense centers around starting QB Quinton Flowers. He is a lethal dual-threat weapon who is the reigning AAC Offensive Player of the Year and also a threat to bring the Heisman to South Florida. He completed his passes at a 62.5% clip a year ago, to go with 2,812 yards and 24 TDs.
He also ran for an impressive 1,530 yards and an eye-popping 18 rushing scores. This kid is the real deal. His ranks in pass yards, rush yards and total TDs rank fourth, second and second, respectively, in school history. Lastly, in 2016 he became the first player in the state of Florida to pass for 2,000+ yards and rush for 1,000+ at the collegiate level in a single season.
You get the idea. With Flowers, goes the Bulls and their title hopes. An injury to their meal ticket senior would obviously be devastating for this program.
Flowers has some talent to help him, however. Tight end Mitchell Wilcox is an imposing target at 6’4, 250 lbs. Elsewhere, USF will be relying on seniors in the backfield with D’Ernest Johnson and Darius Tice, and the leading returning pass-catcher is rangy senior Marquez Valdes-Scantling (6’5, 207 lbs). Johnson also moonlights as an all-conference return specialst on kicks and punts.
Twin Pass-rush Threats: South Florida doubled its sack figures compared to its opposition in 2016, grabbing 31 sacks to the opposition’s 15. That speaks warmly of an experienced offensive line and an elusive QB, but it also directs credit to senior LB Auggie Sanchez and DT Bruce Hector.
The seniors both racked up six sacks a piece in 2016, and they’ll look to add to those numbers with plenty of veterans surrounding them. Keep an eye on DT Deadrin Senat, who is a bowling ball at 6’1, 305 lbs and was selected to the second team All-AAC last year.
2017 South Florida Bulls Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Holes on Offense?: Flowers loses two key components that helped make him spectacular in 2016, namely 1,100-yard rusher RB Marlon Mack and No. 1 receiver Rodney Adams.
The aforementioned Johnson and Tice have experience, but the duo needs to make an impact in order to properly replace the departed Mack. This remains a question mark to this point.
Despite the NFL-sized Valdes-Scantling being talented, he only amassed 22 receptions for 415 yards in ’16. The second-leading receiver was the RB Johnson. Evidently, someone else in the WR corps needs to take a step forward.
On special teams, the Bulls must hope tiny kicker (5’6, 173 lbs) Emilio Nadelman is ready to go, after missing the final four games last year with a leg injury. He was seven-for-seven on FG attempts before missing time.
The punting duties will be capably handled by Florida State transfer Jon Hernandez.
South Florida Bulls Prediction: 11-2
I call for USF to duplicate last year’s lofty win total, in the first year with Strong roaming the sideline. Despite Strong not showing nearly enough at Texas, he landed this job and has truly landed into a plug-and-play situation, at least while Quinton Flowers is under center.
This year there are no Florida State Seminoles on the schedule, which only breaks favorably for the Bulls.
Apart from the athletic pass rushers, the defense was not good in 2016. They didn’t rank better than 84th in the nation in any major category, so if there is any class of defensive improvement this year, USF should be firmly in double-digit win territory.
Where Strong will be most instrumental with this new job is his ability to recruit in-state; Strong regularly poached Florida while coaching Louisville and the Longhorns.
The Bulls don’t really have any tricky road contests this year – the biggest challenges will be when Temple and Houston come to Raymond James Stadium, the home the Bulls share with NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Look for the best football in Tampa to be played at the collegiate level in 2017.
2017 South Florida Bulls Football Schedule
- 8/26/17 TBD at SJ ST
- 9/2/17 TBD ST. BROOK (FCS)
- 9/9/17 TBD at UCONN
- 9/15/17 TBD ILL
- 9/21/17 TBD TEMPLE
- 9/30/17 TBD at ECU
- 10/14/17 TBD UMASS
- 10/21/17 TBD at TUL
- 10/28/17 TBD CINN
- 11/4/17 TBD HOU
- 11/18/17 TBD TULS
- 11/24/17 TBD at UCF
What do you think about our 2017 South Florida Bulls predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
The 2017 College futures betting season is here in full force! If you like to bet on NCAA football, you are in the best possible place for online betting. CappersPicks.com has NCAAF odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find College football lines up for early games as well.
Check out our Updated College Football Betting Odds.