No. 20 Houston (7-1) at South Florida (2-6), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT (ESPNU).
Line: Houston by 13 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Houston leads 5-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Houston moved into the Top 25 after beating previously unbeaten SMU 44-37 last week, giving the American Athletic Conference three ranked teams. The Cougars have won seven in a row following a season-opening loss to Texas Tech, their longest winning streak since an eight-game stretch spanning the 2015 and 2016 seasons. South Florida hasn’t beaten a ranked opponent since 2015.
Houston QB Clayton Tune, who threw for a career-best 412 yards and four touchdowns against SMU, vs. a South Florida defense that’s yielding 466.1 yards and 31.9 points per game. USF has rushed for 620 yards over the past two games, however Houston ranks among the nation’s best defensively while limiting opponents to 286.9 yards and 19 points a game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Houston: WR Nathaniel Dell had nine catches for 165 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win over SMU. The sophomore also had a 52-yard reception that led to a field goal.
South Florida: RB Jaren Mangham has 13 TDs rushing, and RB Kelley Joiner Jr. is coming off consecutive 100-yard performances with 126 in a victory over Temple and 103 in a loss to East Carolina.
FACTS & FIGURES
Houston has won five straight in the series, including a 56-21 blowout at home last season. ... Special teams have been a big part of Houston’s success this season. Marcus Jones has returned two punts and two kickoffs for TDs, including a 100-yarder in the final minute against SMU. ... Tune has completed nearly 70% of his passes for 1,836 yards and 16 TDs. Dell has 48 receptions for 675 yards and seven TDs. ... USF hasn’t defeated a ranked team since taking down (No. 22) Navy in 2015. The Bulls last defeated a team ranked in the Top 20, winning 23-20 at (No. 16) Notre Dame in 2011.
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