No. 22 USF back from weather-imposed layoff to face Illinois

Sep 14, 2017 - 3:24 PM Illinois (2-0) at No. 22 South Florida (2-0), Friday 7 p.m. (ESPN) . Line: South Florida by 17½. Series record: First meeting. WHAT'S AT STAKE South Florida aims to tie school record eight-game winning streak, as well as beat a Big Ten opponent for first time. The Bulls' return to action after last week's American Athletic Conference opener at Connecticut was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. Illinois looking to start 3-0 for first time in six years and get it first nonconference road win since beating Syracuse in 2007. KEY MATCHUP USF dual-threat QB Quinton Flowers leads an offense that's scored at least 30 points in a nation-leading 19 consecutive games. He's off to a relatively slow start in throwing for 398 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 137 and one TD through two games. He figures to present a challenge for an Illini defense that held Western Kentucky to 6 yards rushing but has yet to face a QB as elusive as Flowers. PLAYERS TO WATCH Illinois: RB Mike Epstein is coming off his first 100-yard rushing performance against Western Kentucky and had 105 all-purpose yards in the Illini's season-opening win over Ball State. QB Chayce Crouch has thrown for 252 yards, one TD and two interceptions. South Florida: RB Darius Tice leads the Bulls in rushing with 151 yards and 3 TDs. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling has 10 receptions for 106 yards and 1 TD. FACTS & FIGURES The nationally televised game is a homecoming of sorts for Illinois coach Lovie Smith, who coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before being fired and taking over at Illinois after the 2015 season. ... USF plays its home games in Raymond James Stadium, home of the Bucs. ... The Bulls are 0-5 all-time against Big Ten teams, losing to Penn State in 2005, Michigan State in 2013, Wisconsin in 2014 and Maryland in 2014 and 2015. ... Illinois is 2-0 for the fourth start in five years. The Illini need one win to match last year's victory total. ___ More AP college football coverage: and at

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!