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Thursday, October 15, 2009
Halftime review: Cincinnati 17, South Florida 10



Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett


TAMPA, Fla. -- A quick review of the first half at Raymond James Stadium, where No. 8 Cincinnati leads No. 21 South Florida 17-10:

Turning point: Cincinnati had a third-and-17 inside its own 10. George Selvie nearly sacked Tony Pike in the end zone. Instead, Pike rolled to his left and fired a pass to the sideline to D.J. Woods for a 25-yard gain. The Bearcats turned that into their first sustained drive of the half, scored a touchdown and went ahead 17-7.

Stat of the half: Cincinnati had 84 yards on that touchdown drive. But the Bearcats had only 49 yards the rest of the half combined for a total of 133. South Florida's defense has been great, but the Bulls have failed to capitalize on their offensive opportunities.

What South Florida needs to do: The Bulls' defense is doing its job. Cincinnati scored after a long interception return set it up at the South Florida 3, and thanks to two great catches on the one long drive. The Bulls just need to finish off drives and maybe let B.J. Daniels scramble even more.

What Cincinnati needs to do: The Bearcats need to get Mardy Gilyard more involved. He had only one catch until the long touchdown drive, when he got free on a crossing pattern and a throwback screen. South Florida is double-teaming him when he's split wide, so Brian Kelly has to continue to find different ways to get the team's most dynamic playmaker open.