The Louisville vs. South Florida series is currently tied at 5-5.   With the Cards moving to the ACC and the Bulls remaining in the American Athletic Conference tis series may not be played for awhile making Saturday’s match-up a tie-breaker for quite some time.

UofL has won the last two meetings, but the Cards only have one win EVER in Tampa against USF.  The Bulls have just one win ever in Louisville as well and in the 10 games between the two schools the score is: 275-259 in favor of South Florida.  Of the 10 games between the two schools, 4 of the games have been decided by 4 or fewer points.  Including last year.

Last Year

Last year’s game was a thriller, and no one tells the story quite like our very own:  CrumsRevnge.  Enjoy.

FB: Louisville 27 vs. USF 25 from @CrumsRevenge on Vimeo.

Statistical Comparison

Louisville USF
Scoring Offense (ppg) 40.1 (17th) 16.2 (119th)
Total Offense (ypg) 496.7 (17th) 258.5 (123rd)
Passing Offense (ypg) 330.9 (14th) 138.2 (117th)
Rushing Offense (ypg) 165.86 (66th) 120.33 (105th)
Scoring Defense (ppg) 11.7 (2nd) 30.2 (89th)
Total Defense (ypg) 260.4 (3rd) 360.5 (33rd)
Passing Defense (ypg) 173.9 (7th) 200.0 (22nd)
Rushing Defense (ypg) 86.57 (3rd) 160.50 (66th)
First Downs (per game) 23.1 (44th) 13.2 (123rd)
Opponent First Downs (per game) 13.4 (1st) 18.7 (31st)
Turnover Margin (season) +8 (9th) 0 (69th)
Time of Possession 32:22.86 (26th) 28:28.17 (88th)
Sacks (per game) 3.29 (8th) 1 (115th)
Sacks Allowed (per game) 1.29 (28th) 2.67 (90th)
Tackles for Loss (per game) 8.29 (7th) 6.33 (45th)
Tackles for Loss Allowed (per game) 4.00 (10th) 6.17 (77th)
Interceptions (season) 9 (23rd) 6 (75th)
Passes Defended (per game) 4.86 (49th) 3.83 (90th)
Fumbles Recovered (season) 6 (27th) 7 (19th)
Fumbles Forced (season) 10 (8th) 7 (37th)
Fumbles Lost (season) 5 (60th) 7 (98th)
3rd Down Conversions (%) 63.64% (1st) 23.26% (123rd)
Opponent 3rd Down Conversions (%) 26.67% (2nd) 38.64% (58th)
Red Zone Conversions (%) 88.89% (26th) 85.71% (45th)
Opponent Red Zone Conversions (%) 66.67% (6th) 71.43% (13th)
Field Goal % 76.9% (50th) 90% (16th)
Opponent Field Goal % 57.1% (24th) 44.4% (6th)
Punt Returns (ypr) 5.44 (95th) 7.11 (72nd)
Kickoff Returns (ypr) 23.43 (34th) 20.06 (91st)
Opponent Punt Returns (ypr) 2.33 (10th) 4.41 (27th)
Opponent Kickoff Returns (ypr) 21.94 (81st) 22.38 (84th)
Punting (ypp) 41.06 (67th) 41.30 (62nd)
Kicks/Punts Blocked (season) 1 (44th) 2 (17th)
Penalties (ypg) 52.7 (75th) 52.0 (72nd)

Offense vs. Defense Matchups

Louisville Offensive Trends

Total Defense Louisville Gained vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg Allowed
Ohio 394.3 615 220.7 155.97%
Kentucky 437.3 492 54.7 112.51%
FIU 416.3 464 47.7 111.46%
Temple 486.1 525 38.9 108.00%
Rutgers 390.8 461 70.2 117.96%
UCF 368.3 445 76.7 120.83%

South Florida Defense Trends

Total Offense USF Allowed vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg Allowed
Michigan St 365.1 265 -100.1 72.58%
Florida Atlantic 374.7 228 -146.7 60.85%
Miami (FL) 499.8 540 40.2 108.04%
Cincinnati 467 350 -117 74.95%
Uconn 303.3 356 52.7 117.38%

Louisville Offense vs. South Florida Defense Analysis 

This is a good match-up statistically. USF does a good job patrolling the air and are susceptible on the ground.  Louisville is very good through the air and has been “OK” with their rushing attack.  Louisville does have the advantage here, but it isn’t by much. USF’s biggest problem on Defense (and I will get to this in the next section) is the USF Offense.  South Florida finds themselves defending a lot of short fields and they end up playing a lot of snaps as a result of their offense.

USF is strong on 3rd down & inside the Red Zone, but so is UofL.  To me, this is where the battle really will take place.  I expect that the Cards will get a fair amount of short fields on Saturday and if USF holds on 3rd Down and in the Red Zone then the Cards won’t score as often to cover that 20.5 spread this weekend. But if the Cards start executing inside the Red Zone & STOP the recent turnover bug then the 20.5 spread won’t be enough.

USF’s DeDe Lattimore (6-1, 237, Sr) is the real deal and is by far and away USF’s best defensive player and leading tackler with 56 tackles, 2 TFLs, and 2 Forced Fumbles on the season.  South Florida really does NOT do a good job of pressuring the QB, but Luke Sager (6-3, 275, Sr.) & Ryne Giddins (6-3, 253, Sr.) are the main threats in the backfield. The Cards have gone from one of the worst pass-protection teams in the nation to one of the best in a single season.

USF’s defense is good enough to test the Cards, but USF’s offense is going to hang the Bull’s defense out to dry early and often.

Louisville Defensive Trends

Total Offense Louisville Allowed vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg Allowed
Ohio 413.1 273 -119.3 66.09%
Kentucky 352.3 376 23.7 106.73%
FIU 222.8 30 -192.8 13.46%
Temple 349.9 255 -94.9 72.88%
Rutgers 392.3 240 -152.3 61.18%
UCF 419.3 446 26.7 106.37%

South Florida Offensive Trends

Total Defense USF Gained vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg Allowed
Michigan St 228 155 -73 67.98%
Florida Atlantic 356.1 297 -59.1 83.40%
Miami (FL) 339.2 288 -51.2 84.91%
Cincinnati 286.9 241 -45.9 84.00%
Uconn 377.7 228 -149.7 60.37%

Louisville Defense vs. South Florida Offense Analysis

Unlike the above match-up of Louisville Offense vs. USF Defense……this is a complete and total mis-match.   I don’t ever want to disrespect a team or college kids that work hard, so I’ll stop short of my criticism by saying that the South Florida Bulls Offense is well below sub-standard.

In each game this season, South Florida has gained less than what their opponent allows on average.  There are only two teams in college football worse than the Bulls:  Miami of Ohio & Florida International.  The Cards played FIU and held the Panthers 0 points, and just 30 yards.

Despite Louisville’s loss to Central Florida last week where the Knights allowed 446 yards and 38 points, UofL still are in the Top 10 of most defensive categories.  Louisville has some things to fix, but do not expect South Florida to challenge……or even be a barometer for whether or not Louisville’s defense has recovered from the UCF game.  South Florida’s offense is bad…….and I am teetering on that disrespect that I said I wouldn’t do.  So let’s go to the stats:

The Bulls average just 16.2 points per game and 258.2 yards per game.  USF does not have a QB with a completion rate higher than 45% and Willie Taggart has given 3 different guys the opportunity.  Andre Davis is the only true viable weapon in USF’s passing game and he has just 19 catches for 270 yards.  South Florida relies heavily on RB Marcus Shaw (5-9, 178, Sr.) who has 552 yards on 86 carries in just 5 games.  That is outstanding.  However….Louisville is the 3rd best rushing defense in the country and have been anxious to get back on the field since UCF’s Storm Johnson sliced and cutback his way to a HUGE effort last Friday.

Given the lack of results for USF’s offense this season & a Cardinal defense with something to prove I don’t expect a good afternoon for the Bulls.

My Prediction

Willie Taggart is a GREAT coach.  And he is a great hire for South Florida.  But he can only work with the tools he has been given.  Taggart’s coaching is evident in the USF defense, but the Bulls’ offense just isn’t where it needs to be and it is killing this South Florida team.

Louisville has been dealing with the first sting of defeat after blowing their first 21-point lead in a loss since 1980 and ruining the Cards undefeated bid for the 2013 season.  Lately, Louisville’s offense has been one set of downs away, one play away, one block away from being REALLY REALLY REALLY good.  Teddy Bridgewater was taken off the Heisman Board in Vegas this week, Senorise Perry has had two fumbles in consecutive weeks on the wrong end of the field resulting in points, the offense has the motivation.  And really the USF Defense vs. the UofL offense is the match-up to watch in this game.  South Florida isn’t going to move the ball enough on Louisville and if the Cards get a few scores early……it’s game over.

We should be watching to see if the Cards FINISH.  The trend this season has been for UofL to give up a lot in the 4th Quarter.  Louisville has allowed 87 points this season, 37 in the 4th Quarter (42.53%) & 28 in the 3rd Quarter (32.18%).  So in the final two quarters of play Louisville has allowed  74.7% of their points on the season.  That’s significant and it is a big reason why UCF was able to come back.  Think of all of the late Touchdowns that didn’t matter against UK, Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Temple…..and then think about the 2nd half meltdown vs. Central Florida.

I think the offense gets all of their ducks in a row on Saturday, I think the Defense CLOSES THE DOOR against the Bulls and I think Louisville wins the game convincingly.

Louisville 38, South Florida 3

Game Week Videos

Attending, Listening, Watching

-Tickets are available on Ticketmaster

-Here in Louisville the Cards can be heard on 840 WHAS with Paul Rogers, Craig Swabek, and Doug Ormay.

-In Tampa the game will be broadcast on 98.7 FM or 1010 AM

-The Noon Kickoff will air on ESPN2 & WATCHESPN and will have Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway, and Paul Caraterra.

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of

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