South Florida Bulls at San Jose State Spartans NCAA Football Week 1 LinesWhen: Saturday, Aug. 26, 7:30 PM ET Where: CEFCU Stadium TV: CBS Sports Network Stream: CBSSports.com Radio: Tunein.com Opening NCAA Football Lines: USF -21 (68)
Clear 24°C/75°F Humidity 52% Precipitation % 0% Cloud Cover 0% Wind 10 mph WNW Stadium Type Open
Why Bet On South Florida?USF’s rankings in the AP (19) and Coaches Polls (21) equal the Bulls’ highest preseason rankings ever in both polls. USF entered the 2008 season ranked No. 19 and 21 in the two polls, respectively. The No. 19 ranking marks USF’s 20th week in the top 20 of the AP Poll as the Bulls begin just their 21st season of football. USF finished the 2016 campaign ranked No. 19 in the AP Poll. It is the first time since 2008, and just second overall, USF has earned a preseason top 25 ranking. The Bulls rose as highly as No. 10 during week five of the 2008 season.
This team is going to be really good – don’t be shocked if USF goes unbeaten in the regular season and potentially crashes the College Football Playoff. No Power 5 team has done that yet. The Bulls have one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in Quinton Flowers. Last year, he led USF to an 11-2 record and a final ranking of 19th in the AP poll – the first time the program finished a season ranked.
Flowers was the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the Birmingham Bowl MVP. Overall, Flowers threw for 2,812 yards and 24 touchdowns last year while rushing for 1,530 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was the first-ever 2,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher from any Florida school ever.
USF BULLS NCAA FOOTBALL TEAM STATISTICSOffensive total yards 511.54 Current Offensive rush yards 285.69 Offensive passing yards 225.85 Average Score For 43.77 Defensive total yards 482.00 Current Defensive rush yards 196.46 Defensive passing yards 285.54 Average Score Against 31.62
The Bulls’ 11-2 record marked the fifth-best winning percentage in FBS football in 2016 and one of just 11 teams to reach 11 wins. USF set nearly 40 team and individual records in 2016, including team records for total yards (6,650), rushing yards (3,714), touchdowns (77) and scoring (569).
Despite all that, there’s a new offensive coordinator in Sterlin Gilbert, who came with Strong. Gilbert averaged 505.3 yards and 36.8 points per game with his last four offenses at Texas (2016), Tulsa (2015), Bowling Green (2014) and Eastern Illinois (2012-13). He runs an up-tempo attack.
This Aug. 26 game day is by far the earliest in Bulls history. USF has played six August games, but none before Aug. 29, a 51-10 home win over Florida Atlantic in 2002. It’s of course Strong’s debut and he’s the fourth head coach in Bulls history. His predecessors went a combined 2-1 in their first USF games.
This will mark the first California appearance for the Bulls since the opening game of the 1999 season, when they visited San Diego State. The Bulls played their first 1-A opponent that day.
Why Bet On San Jose State?New San Jose State football coach Brent Brennan is a career-long assistant in his first assignment as the head man. Brennan, a San Jose native (but a UCLA graduate and a former Bruins wide receiver) spent six years as a Spartans assistant under Dick Tomey and Mike McIntyre. He came back to SJSU, following the dismissal of Ron Caragher (19-30 in four years), after a six-year stint as receivers coach at Oregon State.
The Spartans won just four games last season, but this team could be hard-pressed to match that given the question marks throughout this roster. Several quarterbacks are vying to replace 2016 starter Kenny Potter. The Spartans have six quarterbacks on the roster, but Josh Love and Montel Aaron are the favorites for the starting job. Love had one start but otherwise played sparingly last year; Aaron sat out as a redshirt.
The offensive line is the least of Brennan’s concerns with five returning starters, including honorable-mention all-conference performers at guard, Jeremiah Kolone, and tackle, Nate Velichko. Leading rusher Malike Roberson (508 yards, a 5.1-yard average per carry returns. Justin Holmes (39 catches, 613 yards, three touchdowns) is the top returning receiver.
For the 10th time, San Jose State begins a season against a nationally-ranked opponent. The USF game marks the first time San Jose State hosts a nationally-ranked opponent to start a season. A November 29, 2013 regular-season finale against #16 Fresno State was the last time San Jose State defeated a nationally-ranked opponent.