In the second game of the 2016 college football season, the USF Bulls will host the Huskies of Northern Illinois University of the MAC. Saturday’s game will be the fourth in the all-time series between the two schools, which USF leads 2-1. NIU’s only win came in 2001, when they beat a Bulls team 20-17 that was literally in its infancy. That last time these teams met was in the final International Bowl in Toronto in 2010, a game USF won 27-3.

The Huskies are coming off a week one loss to Wyoming. NIU was a seven point favorite in that game, which they ended up losing by six. In that game, they leaned on the arm of senior quarterback, Drew Hare, who had 329 passing yards. Senior receiver, Kenny Golladay, leads the team in receiving and rushing with 144 and 82 yards respectively. Their offense is currently ranked 55th, nationally.

Junior defensive back, Mycial Allen leads the NIU defense in tackles with eight. Senior linebacker, Jamaal Payton had six tackles, next best on the team. Their 108th ranked defense after giving up 40 points in their first game registered no sacks or interceptions.

USF handled their first opponent of the season, Towson of the FCS, as they should have, with a 56-20 victory. Those 56 points were enough to rank the Bulls #11 in the nation in scoring offense (tied with Texas State). The passing attack led by junior quarterback, Quinton Flowers, doesn’t rank so well, just 61st, with 230 total yards, 178 of which belonged to Flowers. Flowers is just 8-18 passing with 2 touchdowns and an interception against Towson.

USF passes were spread around a lot during the first week of action, due as much to the talent differential between the two opponents and the disparity in scoring. Junior receiver, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, made the most of his team-leading three catches, racking up 79 yards and a touchdown. Eight other Bulls had one catch in game one.

In recent years, the Bulls have leaned on a power running game led by junior running back, Marlon Mack. Mack had just 58 yards in a score against Towson, where he was injured in the first half. Under concussion protocol this week, Mack is questionable against the Huskies. Don’t be surprised to see senior Darius Tice and junior D’Ernest Johnson splitting the carries on Saturday. They had 32 and 33 yards, respectively, against Towson. Senior receiver, Rodney Adams, also had several rushing plays last week, and will likely get a look against NIU.

Junior defensive back, Tajee Fullwood, is leading the defensive pack with six tackles. Junior linebacker, Auggie Sanchez, had five against NIU. Freshman defensive back, Malik Dixon, sophomore linebacker, Josh Black, and senior linebacker, Nigel Harris, each had one sack last week. Harris also has the team’s sole interception, which he returned 49 yards against Towson. As a unit, the Bulls’ defense is ranked 61st in scoring defense, allowing 20 points in week one.

Look for the Bulls’ defense to keep Hare on the run and cut his first week’s passing total in half. USF allowed 165 yards passing to Towson, and just 127 rushing yards. NIU is ranked just 112th in rushing defense, giving up 243 yards to Wyoming. The Bulls will look to exploit that weakness with their very solid running game. On paper, the numbers seem to favor USF.

The Bulls are 15 point favorites in a game where scoring is expected to be below 60 total points. Kickoff is at 7 PM. National audiences can catch the game on CBSSN.

USF, a school established in 1956, celebrated the 20th season of Bulls football by taking care of business against Towson State. The Bulls took the opening kick after losing the coin toss and just a little more than a minute and a half later, had put six on the scoreboard. The opening drive of 75 yards began with a 19 yard run by junior running back, Marlon Mack, and ended with a 43 yard score by senior, Darius Tice.

Welcome to your gameday chat for the football game featuring the Tigers of Towson State versus the Bulls of South Florida. Cheers and jeers are welcome here!


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USF will look to build on last year’s momentum, after making it to their first bowl game in four years as they begin the football season against the Towson State Tigers. The Bulls return experienced players in


It is less than a week from USF football as the Bulls open up the 2016 season against Towson State. The Tampa Bay Times’ Joey Knight has a depth chart review has the pre-season draws to a close.
In a story about underdogs with promise, the Orlando Sentinel picks the USF Bulls as the team to watch, this year.
The Brighthouse Sports Network names USF a conference title contender and UCF a longshot.
Fox Sports has the Bulls at 42nd in the week one power rankings. The rankings are created using simulations, of which USF wins 57% of the time against Towson State.
Here’s a game preview for the Tigers and Bulls matchup. USF is favored by 30.5.

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