South Florida over Illinois by 3
The Bulls played the Rodney Dangerfield ‘respect’ card to the max in a SU home dog win against Georgia Tech last week, despite being out-yarded, 602-426. It’s a big role change today, however, going from SU home dog winner to double-digit road chalk – one that does not appeal to us. Charlie Strong had the big job of replacing QB Quinton Flowers entering the campaign and he appears to have done it seamlessly with former Bama QB Blake Barnett (512 passing yards and 5 TDs thus far, and rushed for 3 more scores). However, USF is just 1-5 SU versus Big Ten foes with the Illini being the only victory in a 47-23 win at home last season. Meanwhile, Illinois is at home or home/neutral (this game is at Soldier Field in Chicago) versus non-conference opponents since 2007. Granted, they haven’t beat much in their 2-0 start (Kent State and Western Illinois), but all they know is they’ve taken down whoever it is that’s on the other line of scrimmage – and that appears to have cooled off the hot seat for head coach Lovie Smith. QB A.J. Bush suffered a hamstring injury last week and freshman M.J. Myles II may get the start after a solid performance in relief of Bush versus WIU.