TAMPA, Fla. -- Quick halftime analysis from Raymond James Stadium, where Connecticut leads South Florida 10-3.
Turning point: No doubt about this one. UConn linebacker Lawrence Wilson grabbed a pass tipped by lineman Trevardo Williams and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown and the lead with 1:11 left. The interception happened on the first play after Jon Lejiste picked off Zach Frazer inside the USF 10 and returned it to midfield. The crowd was stunned into silence at the unbelievable turnaround.
Stat of the half: UConn has 124 total yards while USF has 131, and each is averaging right at 4 yards per play. That's how close it is. This has been a defensive battle, and the Huskies have come up with the huge defensive play for a score.
What South Florida needs to do: The Bulls' defensive strategy has been pretty clear. They're loading the box to stop the running game, and doing a reasonably effective job at it. Jordan Todman has 50 yards on 16 carries at the half, a down game for him. USF is playing single coverage against the UConn wide receivers and daring Frazer to beat it. That has worked and should continue to work. But the Bulls need to find a way to move the ball with true freshman walk-on quarterback Bobby Eveld, who has already thrown two interceptions. It may take a big special teams or defensive play for South Florida to win this game.
What Connecticut needs to do: The Huskies are just 30 minutes away from a BCS bid. They need to hold on and not succumb to the pressure of the moment. Frazer must hit a couple of long throws to loosen up the defense, but he can't make mistakes like he did on the Lejiste interception late in the half. The defense is playing great, and the Bulls don't look capable of scoring much against it. If they stick with what got them to this point, UConn will be going to a BCS game.