Week 2 College Football Picks, Odds: UCF Knights at Michigan Wolverines

Amara Darboh and the Wolverines are heavy 35.5 point favorites over lowly AAC foe the UCF Knights in Week 2.
Amara Darboh and the Wolverines are heavy 35.5 point favorites over lowly AAC foe the UCF Knights in Week 2.

UCF – Michigan
Spread: MIC -35.5
M/L: MIC -30000, UCF +10000
Total: 53

Betting odds c/o 5dimes


The UCF Knights took a nose dive in 2015, losing all 12 games in a disaster that offset the recent successes of the program. Consistency has been an issue for the Knights even pre-dating their time in the AAC, but to solve these issues the Knights turned to a pretty proven commodity: former Oregon OC Scott Frost. Frost will attempt to jumpstart the Knights’ with a fast-paced high octane offense; you know, the kind that has made the Oregon Ducks into a powerhouse.

UCF is not Oregon, but it has to start somewhere. Senior QB Justin Holman has started for two seasons now and sophomore Tyler Harris and senior Nick Patti add depth. Patti started five games at WR, but he will move back to QB this season. As to who starts for the Knights, that remains to be seen. Holman is the likely starter, but it is not carved into stone.

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The Knights are strong at WR with Tre’Quan Smith (52 catches last year as a redshirt freshman) and Tristan Payton (21 last year as a true freshman). TE Jordan Akins had 14 catches in three games before his season ended due to injury, and his skills should only make Smith and Payton that much more viable.

The Knights have some passing options, and it stands to reason that Frost can put this all together. OC Troy Walters will play his role in carving this into a unit.

In the backfield the Knights have C.J. Jones, who started seven games as a redshirt freshman, rushing for 339 yards. Taj McGowan was good for 262 yards in his freshman year, despite battling injuries for most of the year. The OL returns four starters, and T Aaron Evans started all 12 games to bring some stability and experience to UCF’s OL.

UCF did something in Week 1 it did not do all of last season: record a win. The UCF Knights began the season by knocking off South Carolina State 38-0, setting the tone for what has to be a better 2016 in Central Florida.

Justin Holman threw 14 of 28 for completion, recording 193 yards and two TDs with no picks in the game. Holman rushed for 40 more yards on 12 carries as the Knights gained 201 yards on the ground. Jawon Hamilton rushed 14 times for 53 yards and Taj McGowan rushed 11 times for 48 yards as the Knights attempted 54 rushes in the game.

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Tre’Quan Smith was the top receiver with 65 yards on four catches and a TD. Tristan Payton caught three passes for 34 yards and a TD. Payton also returned a kick for 47 yards. UCF special teams play was good as Matthew Wright hit 4 of 4 FGA including a 46 harder and Caleb Houston averaged 44.7 yards per punt on three attempts.

The Knights held Caleb York of South Carolina State to 15 of 35 passing with just a 3.8 yard per pass average with an INT (picked off by Shaquill Griffin).


Michigan pummeled Hawaii 63-3 in Week 1. The Wolverines completed 17 of 20 passes for 206 yards with three TDs (though Wilton Speight did throw a pick). Chris Evans rushed eight times for 112 yards (14 yards per attempt) with two TDs and the Wolverines gained 306 rushing yards on 39 attempts, getting 7.8 yards per carry and four TDs in the game. Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh both caught three passes for 43 and 42 yards respectively, and Darboh had a TD.

Speight threw 65 percent of Michigan’s passing plays, but both the other QBs Morris and O’Korn were perfect at 4 of 4 and 3 of 3. The Wolverines may not settle into having Speight as a true full-time QB, but it appears at this point he will run at least half the offensive plays.

But O’Korn is not a bad option, either. He threw 34 TDs in a season-plus at Houston, and Speight did well last season when he led the team to a comeback win against Minnesota. The WRs will not leave whomever it is high and dry, with a strong unit that features first team All-Big Ten WR Jehu Chesson and All-American TE Jake Butt. WR Amara Darboh is also in his senior year and should have a big season.

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