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Monday, May 16, 2022

Football

The opposition: Previewing UH against South Florida


UH football has one seven games in a row and finds itself in the driver's seat in the AAC. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

UH football has won seven games in a row and finds itself in the driver’s seat in the AAC. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

With seven straight wins, including five consecutive in American Athletic Conference play, Houston has been clicking on all cylinders and will look to continue the momentum on Saturday when UH football travels to Tampa, Florida to take on South Florida.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming game:

Bulls offense

The USF offense has been up and down all season, struggling to get anything going in some weeks while lighting up the scoreboard in others.

The passing game has been nonexistent for USF this season as the Bulls average around 172 yards through the air per game. As a team, USF has had three passing touchdowns all year compared to seven interceptions.

The Bulls have had three different quarterbacks take significant snaps this year led by freshman Timmy McClain, who has thrown for 1,000 yards and two touchdowns in seven games this year.

The run game is where the Bulls make opponents pay, averaging just over 184 yards per game on the ground. 17 of the Bulls’ 20 offensive touchdowns have come via the rushing game.

Jaren Mangham has been a touchdown machine in the USF backfield, scoring 13 times on just 108 total carries on the season.

Running backs Kelley Joiner and Brian Battie both have eclipsed 200 yards rushing on the year with Joiner leading the Bulls averaging seven yards per carry followed closely behind by Battie’s six yards per rush.

Bulls defense

Defensively, the Bulls have struggled to keep the opposing offense in check, giving up over 31 points per game.

A big reason for these struggles is the lack of pressure the USF front seven create, combining for just five sacks through eight games this year.

Linebacker Dwayne Boyles leads the Bulls in total tackles with 53 and his counterpart Antonio Grier has a team-high two sacks.

How does UH match up with USF?

UH football should be able to take care of business on Saturday night if the Cougars continue to play how they have over the win streak.

Sophomore wide receiver Nathaniel Dell, who is the reigning AAC Offensive Player of the Week after hauling in nine receptions for 165 yards and three scores against SMU, could be in line for another massive performance.

The UH defense has produced at least one turnover in every game this season and could produce multiple turnovers against a USF offense that is susceptible to mistakes.

How to watch

The kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU. The game can also be listened to on KPRC 950 AM.

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