Though Willie Taggart left South Florida to become Oregon's head coach early this month, the Bulls still have a lot to play for when they face South Carolina in Thursday's Birmingham Bowl.
South Florida looks to finish the best season in school history and become the first Bulls team to win 11 games. The Bulls' offense, led by junior dual-threat quarterback Quinton Flowers -- who has rushed for 1,425 yards and 15 touchdowns this season -- has scored at least 30 points in 16 straight games, the longest active streak in the FBS. Flowers ranks fourth among FBS quarterbacks in Total QBR this season (85.9). The only FBS quarterback with more rushing yards is Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville (1,538).
However, the Bulls will have to break South Carolina's stout defense, which has only allowed 30 points twice this season. Senior defensive lineman Darius English has been a key for a unit that is tied for third in the SEC with nine sacks this season. With one more sack, English would join Jadeveon Clowney (13 in 2012), Melvin Ingram (10 in 2011) and Andrew Provence (10 in 1982) as the only players in South Carolina history with double-digit sacks in a season.
South Carolina seeks its fifth straight bowl victory and its seventh win this season after going 3-9 in 2015. The Birmingham Bowl will mark the second all-time meeting between these schools, with South Carolina winning 34-3 in 2004.
ESPN's Football Power Index gives South Florida a 71 percent chance to win.