St. Petersburg Bowl Preview

St. Petersburg, FL
December 20, 2008

South Florida (7-5) vs Memphis (6-6)
(Saturday, 3:30 pm, ESPN 2)

South Florida came into this season with high expectations. Coming off consecutive 9-4 seasons, and with a loaded roster returning, USF was supposed to challenge for the Big East championship and finally get the opportunity to participate in a BCS bowl. Instead the Bulls imploded and only managed two conference wins.

The majority of the disappointment falls on the shoulders of the offense, which turned the ball over 24 times this season and still hasn't put together any kind of real running game. I also happen to believe Jim Leavitt does more yelling than actual coaching, and his team follows that lead with inconsistent play.

Fortunately, the Bulls get to play a 6-6 Conference USA team in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Memphis is led offensively by a pair of junior college transfers, quarterback Arkelon Hall and running back Curtis Steele. The Memphis O-Line will have their hands full though trying to block one of the most active defensive lines in the nation. George Selvie and Jarriett Buie are excellent players up front who should give USF the advantage in the trenches.

After a difficult year, the Bulls will get some much needed positive momentum with a win.

J.Pike's Pick: South Florida 23, Memphis 17

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