NCAAF USF at Notre Dame betting for week two sees the Irish as another huge favorite at -24 vs. the Bulls. Brian Kelly’s team has started their season 1-0, but only beat Duke 27-13 in week one as -21.5 favorites. USF will travel for the first time this year, coming off a 27-6 win over the Citadel last week to cover the -18.5 point spread.
Can USF Coaches Give Them an Edge?
There are reasons to be excited for the Bulls now and in the future mainly because their new head coach is former Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott. Helping Scott with offensive play-calling duties is a person Irish fans should be familiar with, Charlie Weis, Jr., son of ND’s former head coach.
The USF offense does look solid coming into NCAAF South Florida at Notre Dame betting. Five players had runs of 20+ yards in week one as the team chewed up 302 yards of rushing. The only bad thing about that stat is that it came against an FCS team in the Citadel. Running like that against the Irish defense simply will not happen as Duke had just 75 yards on the ground on 30 carries a week ago.
The Citadel also ran for 200 yards a week ago against the Bulls defense. That’s trouble for a USF team preparing to face ND running back Kyren Williams who had 112 yards on 19 carries with 2 TD vs. the Blue Devils. USF QB Jordan McCloud threw for just 68 yards on 16 attempts in week one. Has he shaken off enough offseason rust to get into an up-and-down matchup with the Irish?
Irish Set to Dominate?
Notre Dame failed to cover the spread in week one, winning by ‘only’ two TD’s vs. Duke. The Irish failed to score in the first quarter but that can be expected in the first game of the season. It was also a rainy and dreary day in South Bend so there’s reason to think that Saturday’s offensive performance will be better in perfect fall-like conditions (62° and sunny).
It’s also not like the Irish offense was downtrodden in week one. Williams ran for 112 yards behind arguably the nation’s best offensive line and QB Ian Book had 263 yards through the air while replacing his top three receivers from a year ago. Williams should have another big day after three different Citadel players had 40+ yards rushing in week one vs. USF. The Bulls secondary is untested as well as Citadel QB Brandon Rainey was just 4-18 for 84 yards in the opener.
Notre Dame’s biggest advantage Saturday (2:30 PM, USA) will be their defense. The Irish rotated in 11 defensive lineman a week ago in holding 3.3 YPC. With no running game, South Florida will try to pass the ball but they managed just 5.6 yards per completion in week one. With the status of two starting USF lineman up in the air with undisclosed injuries, the trenches belong to the Irish.
NCAAF Week 2 USF at Notre Dame Betting Free Pick
Notre Dame should be much sharper in week two than they were in working out the kinks in week one. The weather favors a big offensive day for the Irish and USF even getting 10 points against this defense would be considered a success.
Notre Dame 36 South Florida 7
Free Pick: Notre Dame -24
Free Pick: Under 48