College Football
Marshall at South Florida
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 20, 2018
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida


1. South Florida hopes to soothe the sting of a five-game losing streak that ended the regular season when it takes on Marshall in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 21 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Bulls, who face the Thundering Herd for the first time, started the season with seven consecutive victories and had visions of a major bowl game before injury issues and a leaky defense (39.6 points per game allowed in losses) led to five double-digit setbacks. Marshall won three straight games to seal its fifth bowl appearance in six years before ending the regular season with a 41-20 loss at Virginia Tech.

2. USF goes for its sixth win in seven bowl games after beating Texas Tech and South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl the last two years while the Thundering Herd have won six in a row, including a 31-28 triumph against Colorado State in the 2017 New Mexico Bowl. The Bulls, who are 6-3 overall in bowls, started that run with a 41-14 victory over Memphis in the St. Petersburg Bowl less than 30 minutes away at Tropicana Field in 2008. Marshall won the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in 2011 and the St. Petersburg Bowl in 2015 at Tropicana Field and coach Doc Holliday told reporters: “The state of Florida has been good to our program for several years now and we’re excited to get back down to the Tampa area.”

3. South Florida hopes to have a healthier offense after a four-week break following the 38-10 loss to No. 7 Central Florida on Nov. 23 and the Bulls, who averaged 35.6 points during their 7-0 start, will face a defense that allowed 22 points per game and tied for sixth in the nation with 39 sacks. USF did not have No. 1 quarterback Blake Barnett in two of its last three games because of a shoulder injury and he may return, but the Bulls will have a new play caller after offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert was hired as McNeese State’s new coach after the regular season. Marshall is permitting 103.9 rushing yards per contest while senior linebacker Chase Hancock leads the way with 98 tackles, junior lineman Ty Tyler boasts a team-best eight sacks and 11 players have an interception.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Marshall -2.5

ABOUT MARSHALL (8-4, 6-2 Conference USA): Freshman quarterback Isaiah Green had a solid first year at the helm, throwing for 2,238 yards with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but completed only 55.7 percent of his passes. Sophomore Tyler King rushed for 655 yards in the first seven games, but has been out the last five contests with an undisclosed injury, and freshman Brenden Knox picked up the slack with 485 in the last four - 204 against Virginia Tech. Senior receiver Tyre Brady, a Conference USA first-team pick, is the top target for Green after hauling in 66 passes for 914 yards and nine touchdowns this year.

ABOUT SOUTH FLORIDA (7-5, 3-5 American Athletic Conference): Barnett threw for 2,498 yards in 10 games, but had 11 interceptions to go along with 11 touchdown passes, and sophomore Chris Oladokun or junior Brett Kean would step in if the former Alabama quarterback can’t go. Junior Jordan Cronkrite has rushed for 1,095 yards - sixth most in a season at USF - and the top receiving targets are 5-11, 240-pound senior wideout Tyre McCants (58 catches, 612 yards, three TDs) along with junior tight end Mitchell Wilcox (40 receptions, 506 yards, two TDs). Senior linebacker Khalid McGee leads the beleaguered Bulls' defense with 104 tackles.

PREDICTION: South Florida 31, Marshall 21
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Marshall 8-4 L1 27.4 22.0 4-2 4-2 0-1 0-1 6-2
South Florida 7-5 L5 29.2 31.5 4-2 3-3 5-3 0-1 3-5
Last Meeting
Marshall South Florida
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Marshall N/A
South Florida N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Marshall N/A
South Florida N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Marshall N/A
South Florida N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Marshall N/A
South Florida N/A
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Marshall I. Green 55.4 2060 15 10
South Florida B. Barnett 62.1 2477 11 11
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Marshall T. King 108 655 6.1 4
South Florida J. Cronkrite 173 1095 6.3 9
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Marshall T. Brady 60 819 13.6 9
South Florida T. McCants 58 607 10.5 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Marshall T. Brady 9
South Florida J. Cronkrite 9
Quickchart Matchup
Marshall Marshall Off vs  South Florida South Florida Def
Marshall 384.5 yards
South Florida 442 yards
Marshall 4.3 yards/rush
South Florida 5 yards/rush
Marshall 6.7 yards/attempt
South Florida 7 yards/attempt
South Florida South Florida Off vs  Marshall Marshall Def
South Florida 442.8 yards
Marshall 335.6 yards
South Florida 5 yards/rush
Marshall 2.9 yards/rush
South Florida 7.2 yards/attempt
Marshall 6.6 yards/attempt