Primetime College Football: Meineke Car Care Bowl
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features the University of South Florida Bulls taking on Clemson University Tigers in the 9th annual Meineke Care Care Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Clemson, 6-6, 4-4 ACC, Tigers season has been somewhat of a disappointment thus far after reaching the ACC title game last year. they faltered down the stretch this year, going 2-2 over their last four games to finish at 6-6.
Clemson is led offensively by quarterback Kyle Parker, who has thrown for 2,079 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. In the regular-season finale Parker was benched in the third quarter in favor of redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd. Parker is expected to get the start despite a heated sideline exchange with head coach Dabo Swinney following the benching.
The offense has dragged its feet all season, due in part to the departure of running back C.J. Spiller to the NFL. The void has been filled most prominently by Jamie Harper, who has rushed for 726 yards and 6 touchdowns this season. The Tigers are averaging 146.4 rushing ypg, 191.4 passing ypg and 23 ppg.
Defensively the Tigers have Sunday bound Da’Quan Bowers who is the Bronco Nagurski Trophy winner with his 15.5 sacks on the year. He also has recorded 67 tackles, including 25 tackles for loss.
South Florida, 7-5, 3-4 Big East, Bulls experienced a productive season under first-year coach Skip Holtz, as they matched last year’s win total and finished the season strong, winning four of their final six games. Three of the team’s five losses were decided by a touchdown or less.
The Bulls was lead by quarterback B.J. Daniels, who threw for 1,496 yards, 9 touchdowns and 12 interceptions before he suffered a quadriceps injury late in the year. True freshman Bobby Eveld played well in Daniels absence leading a fourth-quarter comeback against Miami and playing efficiently in his only start, against UConn. Coach Holtz has said that the team will prepare as if Eveld will get the start who has completed 42-of-75 passes for 454 yards and 2 touchdowns with 3 interceptions.
A constant in the USF backfield has been senior running back Moise Plancher, who was the team’s leading rusher this season with 743 yards and 4 touchdowns, after being granted a sixth year of eligibility due to medical hardships. He leads a backfield which has amassed 17 rushing touchdowns and averages 149.4 rushing ypg. However the team will be without fullback Jeff Hawkins and running back Bradley Battle due to injury.
This matchup marks the first ever meeting between South Florida and Clemson.
PICK: Clemson University Tigers