UCF Knights at Marshall Thundering Herd Betting Preview

UCF Knights at Marshall Thundering Herd
Wednesday, 10/13/10, 8:00 PM EDT, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread: UCF -6.5
Current Betting Line: UCF -5
Opening Total: 46.5
Current Total: 44

UCF has a stingy defense lead by Bruce Miller and is favored by 5 points tonight over Marshall

UCF is currently 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Conference USA play and now head to Huntington, West Virginia to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd.  The Knights enter with a seven-game regular-season winning streak in conference play, which is the second-longest active streak in the league behind East Carolina (8).  Among all teams nationally, UCF’s streak is the sixth-longest active streak in the nation.  UCF and Marshall have played every year since 2002 when the two schools were football members of the MAC.  Since that time, the Knights have posted a 5-3 record versus the Thundering Herd.  A Wednesday contest in this series is nothing new, as the Knights fell in Orlando, 21-7 in 2003 and gained revenge in a 23-22 win in Huntington in 2006.  The squad is 10-5 ATS in conference games over the past three years.

The Knights produced its best offensive performance of the season against UAB last week, picking up a 42-7 home victory.  Freshman Jeff Godfrey and junior Rob Calabrese shared quarterbacking duties, giving the team a sense of balance.  Godfrey rushed for a game-high 80 yards and Calabrese came off the bench to complete all three of his passes, including a touchdown.  “The rotation was really good and I thought both played really well,” coach George O’Leary said.  “I think it’s a good way to use them.  On the other side of the ball, UCF is giving up only 265.2 yards per game and holding opponents to 148.2 passing yards.  Opponents have yet to rush for over 140 yards or pass for over 200 yards in a game against them this season.

Marshall is a disappointing 1-4 on the season and 0-1 in conference play and has an 0-2 mark in non-Saturday games this season.  “We’re use to it,” head coach Doc Holliday said.  “You just back-up from whatever the day of the game is so our preparation never changes.  It will be the same.”  The Thundering Herd must finish 5-2 to finish 6-6 and remain bowl eligible, but that will prove difficult against this week’s opponent and returning C-USA defensive player of the year, UCF defensive end Bruce Miller.  “He’s a great player and he’s got a lot of friends,” Holliday said.  The team’s only victory this season was a 24-23 squeaker over Ohio.  Marshall is 1-4 ATS this season and 12-16 ATS over the last three years.

The Thundering Herd have been challenged by a tough schedule in losses to Ohio State and West Virginia, while being plagued by a -5 turnover margin.  Marshall has thrown five interceptions and lost five of 12 fumbles.  The team has a 2-2 record at home versus the Knights and has compiled a solid 6-2 record on Wednesdays.  Senior quarterback Brian Anderson seems to play his best in front of the home crowd, completing 85 of 147 passes for 880 yards and eight touchdowns.  In two home games this season, he is 41-of-59 for 524 yards and six touchdowns with no interceptions.  Marshall is 33-28 ATS at home in its last 61 opportunities.

Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Knights are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 road games, but 4-9-1 ATS as a road favorite.  Marshall is on a disappointing 0-4 ATS run in conference, but a formidable 12-4 ATS as a home underdog.  Compare lines on this game at multiple sportsbooks via our college football odds page.

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