2016 Birmingham Bowl Preview
The South Florida Bulls will take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl.
South Florida Bulls
The Bulls had a great season and finished at 10-2. Their only losses came to Florida State and Temple. They have wins over three bowl eligible teams: Navy, Memphis and UCF.
Quinton Flowers has one of the best seasons in college football, but most people don’t know about it. He has 2,5511 passing yards and 22 passing touchdowns, with only six interceptions. He has added 1,425 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. There aren’t too many guys with the ability to pull that off and Flowers has proven he is one of the best play-makers in the country at the quarterback position.
Wide receiver Rodney Adams has been by far the most productive receiver for USF. His 60 catches is more than double anyone else on the team. He has five touchdowns on the season, but is more of a possession receiver than a big play threat with 12.6 yards per catch.
Marlon Mack has been Flowers’ partner in crime in the running game with 1,137 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. The two make up a dynamic backfield that is on par with any other in the country.
The Bulls give up a lot of rushing yards at 205 yards per game. The pass defense is a lot worse and allows 277 yards per game.
Defensive back Deatrick Nichols will be a key to getting the ball back to the Bull offense and has four interceptions on the year. Linebacker Auggie Sanchez is a tackle machine with four games of over 10 tackles.
South Carolina Gamecocks
Things were not looking great for South Carolina coming into the season, but they made a bowl game at 6-6. Their only losses came to bowl eligible teams, but they were able to beat two of them in the process. They beat Tennessee and Vanderbilt in those big wins.
The Gamecocks found their future quarterback this season and are now featuring him on offense. Jake Bentley had a good first season for South Carolina, starting six games and winning four. He threw for 1,030 yards and six touchdowns, while only throwing two interceptions. His completion percentage of 63% is a good starting point for him.
Bentley has the luxury of spreading the ball around with three different receivers having over 500 yards receiving. Deebo Samuel, Hayden Hurst and Bryan Edwards all are valuable targets for South Carolina.
Rico Dowdle and A.J. Turner get the bulk of the carries for the Gamecocks. Dowdle has 714 rushing yards and six touchdowns, while Turner has 448 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The rush defense of South Carolina is bad, allowing 203 yards per game. The pass defense is good though, allowing 204 yards per game.
Darius English has been a menace on defense with 9 sacks. He will have to help stop Flowers and Mack from running the ball as well in this game.
The Bulls will move the ball against the bad South Carolina rush defense. Flowers and Mack both have big games and lead South Florida to victory.
South Florida Bulls 30 South Carolina 23