Missouri vs. UCF
Time: Noon, Saturday, Sept 29th
Spread: UCF -2.5
M/L: UCF -140, Mizz +120
Last week, against Florida Int’l, UCF led 23-0 at the half, as Blake Bortles threw for 251 yards and two TDs, to improve the Knights to 2-1. They held Florida Int’l to only two first downs and 26 total yards in the first half, but their defense deteriorated in the second half, as they gave up 280 yards and 20 points.
It will take a stronger four-quarter effort to beat Missouri, though the Knights find themselves 2.5 points favorites against the SEC squad. Missouri is 2-2, and both their losses have been to ranked opponents (Georgia and South Carolina).
Missouri’s offense struggled against South Carolina last week, but the Gamecocks had only given up three TDs all year prior to that game, and they held Mizzou to a season low 255 yards. Starting QB James Franklin returned from a shoulder injury, but didn’t appear to be fully recovered. He had just 92 yards and was sacked three times.
Mizzou receiver T.J. Moe said he “didn’t even know how many times (they) gave (themselves) a chance to make plays….so bad offensively…didn’t put ourselves in a position to make plays.”
UCF, however, is a fairly average defensive team, so the Tigers could get some things cooking. It’s just that Missouri’s offense has been pretty mediocre against quality competition. Save a 62 point outing against Southeastern Louisiana to start the year, the Tigers have failed to score more than 20 in any give game so far.
They will need Kendial Lawrence to come up big. Since the blowout against Southern La. he hasn’t had a big game. He rushed for 121 yards on opening night against Southern La., but has maxed out at 67 yards since then. Last week, he did have 6.1 yards per carry on 11 carries though, so that is a good sign.
If the Tigers’ OL can provide quality blocking against a UCF team that blitzes a lot, it could help the Tigers to victory. The UCF secondary isn’t that strong, but don’t expect the Tigers to be able to capitalize on that with Franklin still not in top gear and a struggling core of receivers.
Missouri: Tigers are 4-0 ATS in last 4 following an SU loss, 7-1 ATS in the last 8 following an ATS loss, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 on the road.
Central Fla: Knights are 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 following an ATS loss, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 following a Bye week, and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 after allowing less than 170 yards passing in previous game.
Missouri: OVER is 7-1 in last 8 after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in previous game, UNDER is 5-1 in Tigers’ last 6 games following an SU loss of 20+, UNDER is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 non-conf games.
Central Fla: UNDER is 4-0 in Knights last 4 vs SEC, UNDER 8-1 in last 9 following an SU win, UNDER is 12-3 in Knights last 15 non-conf games.
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