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How and what to watch for USF vs. Notre Dame

Notre Dame takes a break from its first-ever ACC schedule for a matchup with USF on Saturday afternoon.

NCAA Football: Camping World Bowl-Notre Dame vs Iowa State Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish take a break from their ACC schedule for a non-conference matchup with the South Florida Bulls on Saturday, Sept. 19. Both teams won their season openers and are looking to remain unbeaten heading into their second game of 2020.

Notre Dame started slow on Saturday in a 27-13 home win over Duke. The Fighting Irish didn’t score till the 10:39 mark of the second quarter and went into halftime ahead 10-6. Ian Book looked average, completing 19 of 31 for 263 yards with a touchdown and interception. Kyren Williams carried the ball 19 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. The Fighting Irish did not play their best and still won by double digits. Notre Dame likely doesn’t need to bring its best performance to handle USF.

The Bulls opened their season with a victory over an FCS opponent with The Citadel with a 27-6 score. This was the first game of the Jeff Scott era at USF. The Bulls finished 4-8 in Charlie Strong’s last season with the program, and Saturday’s game against Notre Dame could be very telling for how the transition has gone so far. If USF can hang with the Fighting Irish, that’s a very good sign for the program.

These two teams played once, which came in 2011. USF pulled out a 23-20 road victory.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Saturday’s game will start at 2:30 p.m. ET at Notre Dame Stadium. The game will be aired on the USA Network.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: USF (+25) vs. Notre Dame
Point Total: O/U 52 (-110)
Money line: N/A

  • The total went under in each of USF’s last five games.
  • USF is 2-6 against the spread in its last eight games on the road.
  • Notre Dame is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games.
  • Notre Dame is 19-0 straight up in its last 19 home games.

The Best Bet

It might be a long season for USF. Coming off a 4-8 season with a first-year head coach in a very limited offseason isn’t exactly the recipe for a successful team. Scott is known for his offensive mind and had been the co-offensive coordinator for Clemson, so it’s possible the Bulls could get something going. The total seems too low for a 25-point spread, especially since Notre Dame reached 52 points in all three games against Group of 5 opponents in 2019.

Pick: Over 52

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