It's a Big East game between two teams both struggling to find their identity when the Cincinnati Bears (7-3, 3-2) play host to the South Florida Bulls (3-7, 1-4 on Friday night.
South Florida's season wasn't going all that well when they were healthy, but with starting QB B.J. Daniels and dynamic RB Lindsey Lamar both on the shelf, things have gotten ugly fast in Tampa.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, continues to play musical chairs with its QB spot and continues to get mixed results. Neither Munchie Legaux or Brendon Kay has been able to establish themselves as the unquestioned starter.
Here's everything you need to know heading into a rather mundane Friday night of Big East action.
When: Friday, November 17 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati
Live Stream: ESPN3
Radio: 98.7 FM The Fan (South Florida), 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati)
Betting Line: Cincinnati -14, Over/Under (via Covers.com)
Cincinnati scores nearly 14 points more per game than it surrenders, and South Florida is playing without its best player and starting quarterback, B.J. Daniels.
Coupled with the fact that the Bulls are allowing nearly 30 points per game to the opposition, take the Bearcats giving 14.
Who Might Not Play for South Florida (via USA Today)
DB Jon Lejiste (Leg): Questionable
TE Evan Landi (Ankle): Questionable
WR Derrick Hopkins (Leg): Questionable
RB Willie Davis (Ankle): Questionable
QB B.J. Daniels (Ankle): Out for Season
DB Chris Bivins Jr. (Knee): Out for Season
RB Lindsey Lamar (Collarbone): Out for Season'
WR Sterling Griffin (Knee): Out for Season
T Mark Popek (Ankle): Out Indefinitely
WR Chris Dunkley (Suspension): Out Indefinitely
Who Might Not Play For Cincinnati (via USA Today)
DB Trenier Orr (Undisclosed): Questionable
DL Walter Stewart (Upper Body): Out Indefinitely
Neither team figures into the national picture—Cincinnati received one vote in the latest USA Today Coaches' Poll—but the Bearcats are hoping to improve their chances for a quality bowl game by winning out to end the season.
A loss to South Florida would pretty much crush any chances the Bearcats had of jumping over Syracuse in the Big East standings and getting into a more prestigious bowl game than the Belk Bowl, which is where ESPN currently has Cincinnati headed.
South Florida Player to Watch: Matt Floyd, QB
This isn't how the Bulls planned on transitioning from B.J. Daniels to Matt Floyd, but with Daniels out, Floyd is going to get invaluable experience at the end of the 2012 season that they hope will speed up his development as a college QB.
While Floyd completed 57 percent of his passes in his first collegiate start against the Miami Hurricanes last week, he only threw for 175 yards—a five-yard average per completion—while being intercepted twice without finding the end zone.
While South Florida's chances to beat the Bearcats rest on his shoulders, this is more about looking for positive signs moving forward than winning right now.
UCLA Player to Watch: Brendon Kay, QB
Senior Brendon Kay, starting in place of the struggling Munchie Legaux (who might have the coolest name in all of college football), struggled himself last week against Rutgers, throwing for 251 yards and two interceptions.
With Kay under center again, the Bearcats will be looking for a much stronger performance against a defense that allows opposing quarterbacks to complete 68 percent of their passes for 263 yards and a touchdown per game.
Prediction: Cincinnati 28, South Florida 3
Cincinnati is simply too talented on both sides of the ball for a deflated and destructing South Florida squad to hang with.
Were B.J. Daniels playing, this would be a completely different game. Without him under center, though, the Bulls will be thoroughly thrashed by the Bearcats.
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