USF 2022 Conference Matchup Previews
The USF Bulls will start their AAC stretch on October 1st when they square off against East Carolina University. The AAC has been a growing conference with many good competitors. Recently featured Cincinnati who had made the playoff in 2021. Considering the striking upbringing of the AAC, the USF conference matchup previews show some of the tough opponents the Bulls will have to play. This coming fall USF is really going to have its hands full with these fierce competitors.
Week 5: ECU
To begin conference play USF will take on East Carolina University. ECU has become an impressive team in the AAC. The Pirates ended last season with a 7-5 overall record and a 5-3 conference record. One of their conference wins came against the Bulls on a Thursday night.
USF who struggled to throw the ball last season against ECU will target the run again which did have success. The Bulls ran 30 times against the Pirates for a total of 201 yards including a touchdown from Jaren Mangham. Regardless, the Bulls will have to find a way to play a better offensive game if they hope to start the conference playoff with a win.
Week 6: Cincinnati
Heading into week six the Bulls will take on former playoff contender Cincinnati. The Bearcats were a rock-hard force in 2021, beating everyone in the AAC by large amounts of points. USF took on Cincinnati late in the 2021 season and gave them a run for their money until a last-minute interception crushed the hopes of an upset.
The Bulls will strive to keep up their high-pressure defense this year against Cincinnati. With Desmond Ridder and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner now off the team USF will have their work cut out for them. Furthermore, If USF can yet again attack the middle of the field with guys like Xavier Weaver and Jimmy Horn Jr. the bulls could just come out of Nippert Stadium with a win.
Week 7: Tulane
After Cincinnati, in week seven the Bulls will return to Raymond James to play Tulane University. The Green Wave has a decent football program that is a couple of players away from being a big force in the AAC. Tulane and USF faced off against each other in 2021 late in the season which resulted in a beatdown of the Bulls from start to finish.
USF will have to execute a totally different plan than the one they used in November of 2021. Considering USF had a tad bit of success running the ball with Kelley Joiner, the Bulls will have to adjust their passing game so they can establish a balance against the Green Wave. USF’s defense will be another key part of this game. Tulane had a field day on offense last time these two foes met. That being said, if the USF secondary can control the sides of the field and make sure there are no big passing plays this game will be much closer.
Week 8: Houston
Following their bye week, the Bulls will have a date with the Houston Cougars. Houston who’s in the process of moving conferences has proven multiple seasons in a row as to why they deserve to be in a power five conference. Regardless, The Bulls did put up a good fight against a heavily touted Houston Offense last season. The game ended 54-42 which comes to show the defenses didn’t exactly come to play.
USF who had trouble getting the Houston offense off the field will have to step up big on defense. The Defensive line for the Bulls will have to ensure the running game doesn’t get going for the Cougars. Special teams were a big area for the Bulls in this game as well which will be key to getting going if they would like to take pressure off the offense. A better defensive outing and a bigger run game effectiveness will help the Bulls keep this one close.
Week 9: Temple
Meanwhile, for week nine, USF will battle Temple University. The Owls have normally been a well-rounded team but have regressed the last couple of seasons. In 2021 the Owls finished the season 3-9 overall and 1-7 in conference play. They tied Tulane and USF for the worst conference records in the AAC for the 2021 season. Regardless, one of the two Bulls wins from last season came against Temple. The game ended 34-14 in favor of the guys in green.
Even though Temple was a struggling team last year, USF was up to play when these two teams met. The Bulls ran the ball extremely well which resulted in their triumph. If the Bulls can continue their dominance in running the ball and execute even a tad bit more in the passing game they could easily come out of this game with a 2nd straight win against the Owls.
Week 10: SMU
Coming up on week 10 the Bulls will clash with the Mustangs of Southern Methodist University. SMU who gained a lot of publicity after their past couple of winning seasons will be another test for USF. USF and SMU had a big meeting in 2021 which ended with a complete meltdown of the Bull’s offense and defense.
Considering the Bulls played a very good SMU team there was really nothing good to take from this game. The Bulls will have to make sure they step up on the defensive side of the ball. Forcing Tanner Mordecai to throw the ball quicker will play a big part in this year’s game. Mordecai had a field day with the USF defense which comes to show if the defense can’t get off the field on 3rd down this year’s game will be another grueling one for the Bulls.
Week 11: Tulsa
Arriving at week 11 the Bulls will head to Oklahoma to take on the University of Tulsa. Tulsa ended the 2021 season on a four-game winning streak will be an interesting game for the Bulls. Tulsa had beaten USF earlier in 2021 by a score of 32-31 with USF giving up a late lead.
USF who played a sound game up to the 4th quarter will have to get better at finishing games. With the offense playing a great first half, the defense will have to step up and create havoc when they’re on the field. The Bulls got to have a better execution plan to make sure they’re limiting Tulsa’s time in the pocket to make a play.
Week 12: UCF
To wrap up the end of the regular season the Bulls will face their in-state rival the University of Central Florida. The more these two teams play the better the games get every year. USF lost a heartbreaking final game to UCF last year by the score of 17-13.
The Bulls played a sound defensive game against the Knights but failed to capitalize on big opportunities. USF must throw the ball downfield against the Knight corners if they want to come out of this game victorious. With more effective passing plays USF will have a feast on the UCF defense. A better offensive showing combined with some plays on special teams and USF will be the 2022 War on I-4 champs.