Shifting, Due To Weakness, But Matching Their Strength?
She did it, so why can't we? Our Florida State wager was an easy WINNER last week, so let's follow Jenny Sterger into a Bulls uniform and get down to business!
South Florida is banged up!
South Florida ran for 8 yards last week, they are notorious for the late season SWOON, and they are moving into a Nickle Defense due to injuries at LB and on the D-Line.........
Hold on! What was that? Did I say Nickle Defense?
I listened to Redshirt Freshman Cornerback, Quentin Washington, mention the fact that they ran Nickle Packages all week (or studied their roles) in preparation for the Spread Offense of Cincinnatti. The word out of USF was that the injuries on defense had forced them to rely on their depth in the secondary to fill the voids in the normal allignment.
As bad as that sounds, it's the best possible move for a deep team when facing the Bearcats. Cincy ran for an average of less than 2.0 yards per carry in the last two games, and they only ran the ball 19 times against UCONN (the score was 13-10 (Cincy) at the half, and 16-20 at the start of the 4th, so it wasn't due to being blown out). I'm not sure what the staff at Cincy was thinking, but they feared the UCONN defense enough to pass the ball 47 times, and USF has a much better Run Stopping approach than UCONN.
Folks, passing on a Nickle Defense is not the easiest thing to do. Even when hampered by injuries, USF held Hunter Cantwell, of Louisville, to 12 completions! The Syracuse QB completed only 11 passes in the game before that!
AND NOW USF IS PUSHING HARD WITH A DOMINANT NICKLE PACKAGE?
This is a USF team that can re-adjust better than they can re-load. When you think of depth on a team, sometimes you have to look at flexibility, and this USF team can create a defense to suit it's depth. AND NOW THEY'RE FLEXING TOWARD THE NICKLE, because they need to, but it's a shift that flexes right into the Bearcats only advantage. They want to inflict the Spread on their opponents, but if they have to face speed on their slot reciever and TE, or RB, then they are in an unfavorable match-up.
USF may seem desperate, but they are shifting Cincy into a check-mate on the edges!
You now have a Cornerback on the slot receiver, and a safety on the TE or RB in the curl!
Most of this is complex scheme-analysis, but in a nutshell........we MUST love the fact that we may see a huge dose of the Nickle against this Bearcat Spread Offense.
Something you must see to believe!
Did you know that Cincy is ABSOLUTELY horrible at 3rd down conversions?
They were 0-14 against UCONN on third down!
They were 0-11 against Rutgers on third down!
They were 4-13 on third down against Marshall!
That's 4-38 on third down over their last 3 games.
And we always must point out that USF is a team that gets penalized to death. There's your disclaimer! They had 2 turnovers and 14 penalties against Louisville and they are in the top 10 in penalties this season, BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT USF IS ONLY 14 YARDS AHEAD OF THE BEARCATS IN TOTAL PENALTY YARDS? And Cincy played one LESS game than USF!!!!!
So who really stinks in penalties? They both do! It's just that Cincy apparently commits a lot more stupid penalties, like interference, holding, and personals........
Food for thought.
And what about the Bearcats Best QB, Mister Pike (3rd stringer)? He had to leave the last game because he had no feeling in his non-throwing hand after a few hits. If you don't know, Pike had a busted non-throwing hand, and came back in the UCONN game, only to leave at the half, because he couldn't grip the ball.
I see him on the depth chart at #1 this week, but how many hits by Selvie can the man take, before losing the grip on the ball? He shouldn't play, it's clear that he needs another week or more, but he's listed, so the line stays below 3 points.
There could be a serious lack of rhythm from the Bearcat QB's, and they may be holding the ball longer if they have to face the Nickle Defense. So expect Pike to get dropped, or the holding calls to increase. Either way, there's a real reason why Cincy is 4-38 on third down. It's probably becuase they are looking at 3rd and long most of the time, due to dumb penalties.
Here is where we are getting into UNDER territory, by the way...........
I'm going to add to this Blog, and touch it up, and maybe seek the total as the pub may drive this thing to 52 or 53, but for now I think you should get the -2.5 on USF. It should move to 3 as the sheep will drive it up.
I think a bunch of sharp cats might like Cincy, but I believe we have a winner with USF.......
King Maker Play of the Day!
South Florida -2.5 (-110) at BetUS
In honor of my dear brother, "The Game", I suppose we should add a Jen Sterger montage........