No. 17 USF aims to stay atop American East against Houston
Houston (4-3, 2-2) at No. 17 South Florida (7-0, 4-0), Saturday, 3:35 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Line: South Florida by 10 ½.
Series record: Tied 2-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
South Florida looks to remain unbeaten, improve to 8-0 for first time in school history, extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 13 games, and keep pace with intrastate rival UCF atop the American Athletic Conference East Division standings. Houston, coming off a 42-38 home loss to Memphis, tries to avoid its first three-game skid since 2013.
South Florida’s explosive offense, led by dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers, against an opportunistic Houston defense, which has 10 interceptions and excelled in forcing turnovers past five seasons. Since Flowers became the full-time starter in October 2015, the Bulls have averaged 41.7 points per game while going 25-4. Cougars S Garrett Davis is for the AAC lead with four interceptions.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Houston: QB Kyle Postma has thrown for 1,120 yards, but just five touchdowns vs. six interceptions. RB Duke Catalon is the Cougars’ leading rusher with 496 yards and seven TDs, while WRs Steve Dunbar (47 receptions, 505 yards, 1 TD) and Linell Bonner (45-465, 3 TDs) have accounted for most of the team’s production in the passing game.
South Florida: Flowers has thrown for 1,245 yards, 12 TDs and three interceptions, while also rushing for 613 yards and seven TDs. The senior has accounted for 95 TDs during his career. RBs Darius Tice (634 yards rushing, nine TDs) and D’Ernest Johnson (569 yards, five TDs) are a productive tandem, while WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the leading receiver with 28 catches for 382 yards and four TDs.
FACTS & FIGURES
USF has scored at least 30 points in a record 24 consecutive games. ... Defensively, the Bulls lead the nation with 16 interceptions, with S Devin Abraham tied for first in the conference and 5th nationally with four. ... First meeting between teams since 2014. Houston has won the past two in series. ... USF is 16-3 in league play over past three seasons, and has won eight straight conference games overall.
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