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South Florida Florida Betting – Gators Try To Get On Track After Embarrassing Opener

Posted by Blake Frazier on 9/10/2010 7:16:52 PM
south florida florida betting

The Florida Gators did not look like the No. 4 team in the United States during their season opener against Miami of Ohio. The Gators didn’t even look like the No. 24 team in the country this past weekend. Florida played about as poorly as humanly possible against a team that won just one game in 2009. That’s the sole item of focus this week, and it’s hard to talk about anything else.

NCAA football betting: South Florida Bulls @ Florida Gators

Online Betting Odds: Florida -16

Why To Bet On South Florida

Why to bet on South Florida? Just look at what Florida did against Miami of Ohio. The Gators – just minutes into the fourth quarter – had 38 total yards against an undersized, outmanned and generally not-very-good RedHawk defense. Florida should be able to push Miami of Ohio all around the ballyard, but not on Saturday. And even when the Gators tried to use a more finesse-based approach, they failed. Quarterback John Brantley – though a junior and not a freshman – did not fill the shoes of Tim Tebow with any distinction whatsoever. Florida had only 13 yards in the first half and never got out of its own way on offense until speedy running back Jeff Demps scooted 72 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Gators a 27-12 lead. It was only because of a pick-six and a bad fake punt by Miami that Florida was able to score its first two touchdowns. Had Miami not committed a number of major-league blunders, Florida might have trailed heading into the fourth quarter. Yes, the Gators were that bad.

South Florida is a lot better than Miami of Ohio and has the dual-threat quarterback in B.J. Daniels who can make plays against Florida’s defense. Daniels is interception-prone, but he also creates a lot of big plays. South Florida scored several touchdowns last year on passes of over 50 yards from Daniels’ live right arm. If USF can avoid turnovers, it should definitely keep this game close, and it might be able to steal one at The Swamp.

Why To Bet On Florida

The Gators are still the Gators. Season openers are for working out the kinks. These are the two basic reasons to trust Florida this upcoming Saturday. The transition away from the Tim Tebow era is undeniably difficult. This is what happens when a program has purred for three years with Tim Tebow at quarterback. This is what happens when an icon so fully handles the psychology and tactics of football and allows everyone else on a roster to exude confidence. Florida is trying to adjust to a new era, and the Miami game exposed that reality.

One would do well to recall that the last time an iconic Gator quarterback left the scene and handed the reins to someone else, a period of Florida dominance in the SEC was interrupted. Doug Johnson did not catch the baton Danny Wuerffel extended to him, and Florida went three years without an SEC crown until Jesse Palmer and Rex Grossman teamed up. However, there’s little to suggest that the hard-working Brantley is anything like Doug Johnson, a party animal with horrible habits who got in Steve Spurrier’s doghouse in 1997. Brantley has a good work ethic and should be able to bounce back from his disastrous first start. If Florida really is as good as its ranking, this game won’t be close.

How The Game Will Play Out

The Gators will win, but will they cover the big spread, given their offensive woes? Florida will need defensive scores or very short fields in order to roll up enough points to cover the number. South Florida is still growing into form under first-year coach Skip Holtz, but Florida’s offense is undeniably a work in progress. South Florida won’t score 20 points in this game, but Florida won’t reach 30. A 24-13 score sounds just about right.

South Florida Betting Pick: South Florida

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