Birmingham Bowl: Texas Tech Red Raiders at South Florida Bulls
Expect Lots of Points in this Year's Birmingham Bowl
There are four more bowl games before Christmas Day, and three will be played today, Saturday, Dec 23. Our Texas Tech plays South Florida 2017 Birmingham Bowl pick offers the Bulls at -3.0 and the over/under at 66.5. The Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-6) were 3-6 in the Big 12, finishing eighth. Although the Red Raiders were 2-3 for their final five games, they ended the season with a big 27-23 win over their major rival, Texas. The South Florida Bulls (9-2), who were 6-2 in American Athletic Conference play, ended the season second in the East Division. The Bulls, who went 3-2 for their final five, finished their season with a 49-42 loss to the #15 UFC Knights, who ultimately took the AAC crown this year.
Texas Tech Overview
The Red Raiders have no problem putting points on the scoreboard, as they are averaging 34.3 PPG. They have an especially explosive pass attack, as they’re averaging 326.8 YPG through the air. Senior QB Nic Shimonek (68.2 COMP%, 30 TDs, 8 INTs) has thrown for over 3,500 yards this season. Five Texas Tech receivers have three or more TDs with junior wideout Keke Coutee (82 REC, 1,242 YDs, 9 TDs) leading the team in receptions, TD catches, and total receiving yards. There are three rushers who have a total of 15 scoring runs, including Justin Stockton, who is averaging 6.1 YPA and has four TDs, and Desmond Nisby, who has seven touchdown rushes.
Texas Tech does have a problem in stopping opponents from scoring. Teams are averaging 31.8 PPG. They have a tough time controlling opponent ground and air games, allowing a total of 434.0 PPG. DB Jake Parker, who leads the Raiders with four picks and four forced fumbles, could have his hands full today against a very tough Bull offense. Although they have a decent rush D, Texas Tech does not have much of a pass rush. Eli Howard is their top-player in the area with 4.5 sacks and 8.5 TFL.
Red Raiders Summary
- Exceptional pass attack
- Solid and accurate pocket QB
- Defense has some major challenges
South Florida Overview
In developing our Texas Tech plays South Florida 2017 Birmingham Bowl pick, we can see that the Bulls play both sides of the ball well. They’re scoring on average 38.3 PPG while generating over 500 yards of offense per game. At the same time, they are holding teams to 22.5 PPG and allowing opponents 342.5 yards of offense per game.
The Bulls have 18 picks, more than 45 PD, over 30 sacks, and 85 TFL. This is one very tough defense. They probably won’t stop the Raiders entirely, but they will slow them down. Junior DT Bruce Hector leads the team in sacks with seven and is tied for tops in TFL with 13. There are three players who have three or more picks, including senior Deatrick Nichols with three INTs and a team-best 11 PD. LB Auggie Sanchez, who leads the Bulls with 77 tackles, has two interceptions, 2.5 sacks, and 9.5 TFL. The evasive and talented Quinton Flowers (53.4 COMP%, 21 TDs, 6 INTs) has passed for 2,600 yards and rushed for 972 more, averaging 5.3 YPA while scoring 10 TDs on the ground. Flowers’ primary pass catcher is WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (50 REC, 746 YDs, 14.9 AVG, 5 TDs). Wideout Tyre McCants, who has five TDs, is averaging 19.9 YPC.
- Diverse offense
- Flowers can make things happen
- Very tough defense
Three Birmingham Bowl Takeaways
Our Texas Tech plays South Florida 2017 Birmingham Bowl pick includes these three important takeaways-
- QB edge passing goes to the Raiders
- QB edge playmaking goes to the Bulls
- Defensive edge goes to South Florida
Our 2017 Birmingham Bowl Pick
We expect a lot of points to be scored in this game. That means in our Texas Tech plays South Florida 2017 Birmingham Bowl pick, we are going with over 66.5. We also like USF in this game. Our pick is the Bulls at -3.0.