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Rutgers visits USF College Football Odds

RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (2-0) at SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS (2-0) Line & Total: South Florida -7.5 & 44.5
Opening Line & Total: Bulls -10 & 46

A pair of unbeaten teams begin their Big East schedule on Thursday night when South Florida hosts Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights have gotten the best of USF in conference play going 5-2 (SU and ATS), including five straight ATS wins. Last year, Rutgers erased a 17-3 deficit in the fourth quarter and won 20-17 in overtime. Brandon Coleman, who has all three touchdown receptions for the Knights this year, caught a TD pass with 1:08 left in regulation. USF's B.J. Daniels has thrown for 588 yards with 6 TD in his team's two wins in 2012, but is a subpar 31-of-68 for 438 yards, 3 TD and 4 INT in three career games against Rutgers. The Bulls have been a terrible wager at home recently, going 3-11 ATS in its digs over the past three seasons. Meanwhile, Rutgers being 0-2 ATS so far this year is a good sign considering the Knights are 16-6 ATS in road games after 2+ straight ATS losses since 1992.

Rutgers' offense has yet to click on all cylinders, as it was favored by 19½ points in its season opener at Tulane (24-12 win) then failed to come close to covering the 42 points against Howard last week in a 26-0 victory. QB Gary Nova hasn't been outstanding against these weak opponents, completing just 26-of-47 passes for 288 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT. Nova was also a subpar 11-of-24 for 110 yards with 0 TD and 0 INT in last year's win over USF.

Senior WR Mark Harrison averaged a whopping 19.6 yards per catch last year, but that number has plummeted to 4.6 in 2012, as Harrison has just 37 yards on his eight receptions. Nova's best option is to hand off to RB Jawan Jamison, who already has 222 rushing yards on 7.9 yards per carry, plus 66 receiving yards on his three catches. The Rutgers defense has been rock solid though, ranking fourth in the nation in scoring defense (6.0 PPG) and sixth in total defense (206 YPG).

South Florida's offense exploded at Nevada last week with 572 total yards in a 32-31 win. Daniels connected with sophomore Andre Davis all over the field, as he finished with 12 catches for 191 yards and 2 TD against the Wolf Pack. It was his 56-yard TD grab with 38 seconds left that won the game for USF. This was quite a jump from the one catch for 13 yards Davis had in the season-opening 34-13 win over Chattanooga.

Senior RB Demetris Murray has 115 rushing yards (4.0 YPC) and 2 TD this year, but hasn't yet broken out against Rutgers with just 48 yards on 24 carries in his two career games in this series. Look for senior Lindsey Lamar (8 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD vs. Wolf Pack), to carry more of the workload on Thursday. Defensively, the Bulls need to shore up a unit that allowed 549 total yards (278 rushing, 271 passing) to Nevada despite forcing three turnovers. They will try to pressure Nova into making mistakes, but Rutgers has not allowed a sack yet this season.

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