Thursday night features two games on the college football slate; one from the American conference and another from the Sun Belt.
Here’s a closer look at those matchups:
Temple Owls (-2) @ South Florida Bulls, 8:00 PM:
The Temple Owls (5-3) dropped a second straight game after getting torched by the UCF Knights 63-21.
Temple was competitive and trailed 28-21 at half before being outscored 28-0 in the third quarter and shutout in the entire second half.
Juniors Anthony Russo and Branden Mack did most of the heavy lifting for the Owls.
Russo completed 12-of-24 for 199 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Mack caught five passes for 104 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown.
The South Florida Bulls (4-4) got back on track with a commanding 45-20 win over the East Carolina Pirates.
After falling behind 7-0, the Bulls would score 35 unanswered first half points and cruise past the Pirates from there.
South Florida had nearly two 100-yard rushers in senior Jordan Cronkrite and freshman Jah’Quez Evans. Cronkrite had 12 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns; Evans had six carries for 99 yards and one touchdown.
South Florida is my play at (+2) @ -110.
These teams mirror each other in a lot of ways, so I’ll give the advantage to the home team.
Both sit at 2-2 in the American East division yet are heading in different directions - USF has won three of the last four while the Owls are on a losing streak.
There is only one common opponent between the two, and it’s #23 ranked SMU.
The Owls played at the Mustangs two weeks ago and lost 45-21; the Bulls also lost by 20+ but at home in Week 4, 48-21.
They also reflect each on offense and defense. Temple averages 27.6 ppg and allows 27.8 ppg; USF averages 26.1 ppg and allows 28.4 ppg.
Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (-14) at Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, 7:30 PM:
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (6-2) picked up a second win in a row after handling the Texas State Bobcats 31-3.
Junior dual threat quarterback Levi Lewis was sharp, completing 13-of-21 for 183 yards and two touchdowns, adding seven carries for 40 yards.
Junior running back Elijah Mitchell got it going on the ground, rushing for 126 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.
Coastal Carolina (4-4) snapped a three-game losing streak in thrilling fashion, defeating the Troy Trojans 36-35 on a game-winning two-point conversion.
The Chanticleers did most of their damage on the ground rushing for 191 yards as a team. Junior running back Jacqez Hairston lead the way, rushing for 72 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.
Sophomore wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh had himself a day, catching 12 passes for 107 yards.
My pick is the Ragin’ Cajuns to cover the spread (-14) @ -110.
Louisiana sits atop of the Sun Belt West division with a 3-1 conference record while Coastal Carolina is at the bottom of the East division at 1-3.
My expectation is the Ragin’ Cajuns will be far too much for the Chanticleers to handle. Louisiana ranks second in the conference averaging 37.1 ppg and allowing 18.4 ppg.