The prospects of getting destroyed by Notre Dame in a bowl game isn't too appealing, but it is imperative that the Scarlet Knights get there. They are a very young team and they would greatly benefit from the fifteen additional practices they would receive to prepare for the bowl game. If they fail to do so, they are facing even more of a disadvantage as they head into the Big 10 next year.
The Willie Taggert era at USF got off to a disastrous start when they were blown out by McNeese State in their season opener, but the team has improved significantly over the course of the season.They somehow managed to beat Cincinnati and they gave Central Florida a very competitive game last Friday. They have a very strong defense led by linebacker Dede Lattimore, who I think has been there for about 7 years now, and Notre Dame transfer Aaron Lynch who has played very well of late after starting the season very slowly.
Taggert comes from the Harbaugh coaching tree, so the Bulls are all about the power running game on offense. Despite this, they only rank 117th nationally in rushing offense and have just four rushing touchdowns on the season. At quarterback, true freshman Mike White will start his sixth game, and he has thrown 3 touchdowns and 8 interceptions so far. Needless to say they have one of the worst offenses in the entire country.
On offense, Rutgers will once again be with out Leonte Carroo, but they should get Betim Bujari back and Paul James should be good to go. They are going to need to establish the run, but I'm not optimistic about that. They are a bad running team and USF has a good defense. Their best chance of moving the ball may be taking deep shots with Dodd again, but I have a hard time seeing them having much success on offense.
If Rutgers defense can't stop White, they can't stop anyone. USF will come out running the ball, and that will play right into the Scarlet Knights' hands. This is almost certainly Dave Cohen's finally game, regardless of Flood's status.
The cold weather will be a factor here and maaaayyyyybbbeee Rutgers will be playing with a little motivation on senior day when they need a win to become bowl eligible
USF 21 Rutgers 24