South Florida at Cincinnati game preview

Published Nov. 22, 2012 3:15 p.m. EST

Game time: Friday at 7 p.m. ET

CINCINNATI (AP) -- South Florida and Cincinnati are finishing off the season with their title hopes in tatters, pretty much like their quarterbacks.

Who will be able to play on Friday night? Will they get through a whole game? Or get into the end zone?

The Bearcats (7-3, 3-2 Big East) had their title hopes dashed by a 10-3 loss at home to league-leading Rutgers last Saturday. They've lost to both the Scarlet Knights and Louisville, ending their chances of catching up with the front runners.

Senior quarterback Brendon Kay hurt his non-throwing elbow during the game, leaving the possibility that Cincinnati could have to return to Munchie Legaux at some point. Kay started the last two games in place of the struggling Legaux and is likely to start against South Florida (3-7, 1-4).

The question is whether he can make it through the game.

"Both quarterbacks gain equal repetitions like they normally do and we will see how the elbow progresses," coach Butch Jones said.

The Bearcats have nothing on the Bulls when it comes to injured quarterbacks.

South Florida lost B.J. Daniels to a broken left ankle on Nov. 3. Bobby Eveld took over and separated his left shoulder during the first quarter of a 40-9 loss to Miami last weekend. Matt Floyd finished it out and completed 20 of 35 passes for 175 yards with a pair of interceptions.

Like the Bearcats, the Bulls couldn't get into the end zone, settling for three field goals. Floyd is expected to make his first start on Friday night.

"I like the headiness the poise the way he handled himself, especially starting with a little adversity," coach Skip Holtz said. "Matt is a gutsy performer. He took some shots. I don't think we did a lot to help him -- we did drop six (passes). The receivers definitely need to pick it up."

Floyd was nervous at the outset, but got a little smoother as the game went on. The Bulls still couldn't get a touchdown.

"We moved the ball great," Floyd said. "We'd go up the field, then we'd stutter and stop. We didn't come out with any points. We've shown we can move the ball offensively. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes, we have to come up with big plays."

The Bearcats avoided their first shutout since 2005 with a field goal in the closing seconds. For the first time since 1987, they lost a game when they gave up only 10 points.

Cincinnati had been the league's top-ranked offense heading into the game.

"We are not used to very many offensive performances like that," Jones said. "I told our offensive team that it's a standard and an expectation around here, and putting three points on the board is flat-out inexcusable."

The Bearcats will honor 24 seniors before their final home game, which could include challenging weather. A cold front is expected to move through early Friday, bringing rain, falling temperatures and wind gusts.

"I joked with Skip at media day," Jones said. "I said, `I hope we have a foot of snow.' You know what, that doesn't matter. There's nothing you can do about that because we're working to get to eight wins. We're working to get to a quality bowl and it's all about winning.

"If it's a little (more) bitter colder than usual, that would be nice too."

The Bulls will have the turtlenecks ready.

"Just hope nobody comes out in a scarf," Holtz said. "It's a mental thing, a toughness thing. It's still about finding a way to win.

"I will not be bundled up with gloves and a hat."