Game Preview: The Birmingham Bowl
Who: The South Florida Bulls and The Texas Tech Red Raiders
Where: Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama.
How to Listen: 1340 The Fan!
When: Saturday, December 23rd, 11 a.m.
Broadcaster Team: Tom Hart and Gene Chizik
What pregame show to listen to: 1340 The Fan’s Countdown to Kickoff, 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 23rd.
This is the Red Raiders 38th bowl game in program history, with a 14-22-1 record in the previous 37. Kliff Kingsbury is 1-1 in his two appearances. Kingsbury has also faced South Florida head coach Charlie strong three times and was 1-2 in those games when Strong was a Longhorn instead of a Bull.
South Florida was 9-2 in their regular season with losses to UCF and Houston. Their leader on the field is Senior Quarterback Quinton Flowers who is their leading rusher and passer with 31 total touchdowns.
As a passer Flowers isn't incredibly dangerous with a 53 percent completion percentage and about a 3-1 touchdown to interception ratio. He is, however, incredibly shifty in the pocket and can scramble at an elite level. He does run his share of called run plays as well with 972 yards on 182 attempts.
If the Red Raider Defense can stall Flowers the runner, Flowers the passer will be stalled by default.
The Red Raider offense will need to rely on their athleticism to outpace the Bulls defense.
With Nic Shimonek as the starter, a simple, fast, run-heavy offense will be the best option. When the Texas Tech offense was at it's best Shimonek was doing one read RPO packages that highlighted his accuracy and power.
Tre King and Justin Stockton should be in the backfield and I wouldn't be surprised if McLane Carter spins the rock a bit as well.
This game should be close throughout with Texas Tech pulling away at the end, but with Texas Tech's history in close games and with leads I'm not confident in a late blowout.
I am confident in Texas Tech covering and the over. USF is favored by 3 with a 66 point O/U. The over is easy here with Texas Tech winning 45-38.