There is certainly more than a fair share of reasons to be optimistic about the USF Bulls program going forward. With Alex Golesh in as the head coach, can this team rekindle some its lost luster, especially on the offensive side of the ball? Future optimism aside, Golesh’s hire did little to cure our pessimism for the USF season predictions this fall.
USF Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the American Athletic Conference and across the country.
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, how do the USF predictions look for 2023?
Week 1 – USF @ Western Kentucky: Loss, 12-35
Starting off the season with a tough non-conference road game, the Bulls travel to the Hill to take on Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are known for their high-flying offense and one of the nation’s best quarterbacks returns in Austin Reed.
USF’s secondary will be tested and by all accounts exposed in Week 1 against this incredible offense.
Week 2 – USF vs. Florida A&M: Win, 28-19
Back home, in familiar territory, the Bulls can get a win against Florida A&M on account of their roster depth. In this outing, the Rattlers possess an interesting few players but have been decimated by the transfer portal over the past few seasons as any potential star player has transferred out.
USF can iron out issues against FAMU while getting ready for AAC play after their impending doom of a matchup in Week 3.
Week 3 – USF vs. Alabama: Loss, 7-41
This one will be about limiting mistakes and hoping to get out of dodge without major injury. The Alabama Crimson Tide come to town with questions aplenty, most notably around their quarterback.
But Alabama will have a home game against Texas already in their bags when facing USF and should have their quarterback situation figured out. USF can’t match up anywhere on the field with ‘Bama, and this has the makings of a game that’s over quickly.
Week 4 – USF vs. Rice: Loss, 24-27
The Rice Owls brought in JT Daniels as their quarterback and have the ever-talented Luke McCaffrey to deploy from various alignments. USF’s offense will be tested against a talented Rice defense including defensive back Gabriel Taylor.
In the end, it’s the size difference that Rice possesses at nearly every position that gives them a slight advantage in this game.
Week 5 – USF @ Navy: Loss, 24-28
Playing containment football against Navy is key, and USF has shown they struggle to do that against the Midshipmen in recent matchups. USF’s defense should be able to limit Navy at times, but the impending containment break is bound to happen with the lack of depth on their roster.
USF’s offense will be trusted to score more than their defense allows, and that’s a tall ask at this stage of their rebuild.
Week 6 – USF @ UAB: Loss, 16-31
The UAB offense is set to be very different under Trent Dilfer as the head coach. As such, their firepower will be hard to contend with, and their defense brings back a few pieces that should covet national attention.
Week 7 – USF vs. FAU: Loss, 24-29
Casey Thompson is in the running as the top quarterback from the Group of Five quarterbacks in the state. This is a marquee matchup to showcase what he can bring to the table with his arm against a depleted USF secondary.
The offense for USF may not be an issue, but the defense needs to answer a tone of questions to the halfway point of the season for them to be a favorite.
Week 8 – USF @ UConn: Loss, 27-32
Here is the turning point for USF as they end the year with a few winnable games. However, like their other predicted losses, their opponent in Week 8 presents a challenge to contend with.
UConn has the talented Zion Turner behind center and Victor Rosa at running back. That combination will give USF’s front seven fits and ultimately be the difference maker.
Week 10 – USF @ Memphis: Loss, 26-37
Seth Henigan and Memphis bring a talented offense to the fray for this Week 10 contest after USF’s bye week. Henigan is one of the top signal-callers in the country, not just the American, and has the potential to torch USF’s secondary once again.
Week 11 – USF vs. Temple: Loss, 21-26
The Temple Owls have done a great job at building their roster back up through the transfer portal this offseason. Combine that with the fact that E.J. Warner returns as an ascending quarterback, and Temple has the makings of surprising a few teams in 2023.
USF’s secondary, once again, is their undoing as Temple’s weapons on the outside and inside — namely Dante Wright — can prove too much to handle.
Week 12 – USF @ UTSA: Loss, 15-35
The cream of the crop of the new additions to the American host USF in Week 12. UTSA is the defending Conference USA Champions and on track to contend for the AAC in their first season in the conference.
Frank Harris has a wealth of skill players to find at receiver, tight end, or out of the backfield. There are far too many ways the Roadrunners can beat the Bulls here to think this one will be close.
Week 13 – USF vs. Charlotte: Loss, 23-28
Both USF and Charlotte will be fighting to end their first seasons under their new head coaches off on a high note. Ultimately, Charlotte has a better chance at doing so because of the potential star power added on defense.
Former Michigan EDGE Eyabi Okie is a game-changer and should be considered a potential top draft pick as well. He’s the difference maker here for the 49ers who get Biff Poggi a win in his final game of his first season with the program.