Connecticut at (22) UCF
Time: 6 PM CST, Saturday
Spread: UCF -43.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The No. 22 AP Ranked UCF Knights finally suffered a loss, falling 34-35 to Pittsburgh after winning Weeks 1 through 3 over FAMU, FAU, and Stanford. The Knights host visiting UConn this week as heavy 43.5-point favorites in a game that will kick off at 6 Central Saturday on ESPN2. The over/under is set at 65 total points according to college football oddsmakers at 5dimes.
UCF ended its 27-straight regular-season wins on a 3-yard fourth-down TD pass from Pittsburgh with just 56-seconds to play in the game. The Knights got 25 of 42 passing from Dillon Gabriel, who completed his 25 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw a pair of interceptions. The Knights rush attack was mostly thwarted by Pitt. It averaged just 2.5 yards-per-carry, though Adrian Killins Jr. was good for 46 yards and a TD on his eight carries. UCF gave up 196 rushing yards to Pittsburgh while allowing the Panthers 5.3 yards-per-carry. While Pitt led 21-10 the half, UCF scored three third-quarter touchdowns to take a three-point lead into the final quarter before being outscored 7-3 in the fourth.
UCF has still got good overall play from Gabriel. He has thrown for over 1,000 yards in four games, with a 60.6 percent clip, 11 touchdowns, and his only two interceptions have come in the lone loss. He has been sacked seven times for 37-yards lost, but he still boasts a 177.0 passer rating. The top-4 rushing options for UCF all average better than six yards-per-carry, with Bentavious Thompson’s 9.6 yards per leading the way on his 193 yards and 20 attempts. No. 1 in load has been Greg McCrae’s 298 yards on 48 attempts with a team-tying lead of three TDs.
Killins Jr. ranks No. 2 with 233 yards and three TDs, as well. The Knights turn to wide receivers Gabriel Davis and Tre Nixon as its No. 1 and No. 2 receivers. Davis leads the team with five receiving touchdowns while also leading in total catches (20) and total yardage (380). The Knights have scored 14 passing touchdowns and 10 via the rush, illustrating the versatility and power of the UCF offense. This week it should be fully on display against a UConn team that has not fared well in the past against the Knights.
UConn began its regular season with a 24-21 win over Wagner. But it has since fallen 23-31 to Illinois and 3-38 to Indiana. Facing its first AP Ranked opponent of the season, the outlook is not good.
Huskies quarterback Jack Zergiotis has struggled. He has thrown a respectable 59.3 percent for completion but he averages just 6.2 yards-per-catch and has not thrown for a TD yet, despite having three interceptions. He also is horrible rushing, with -41 yards on his 11 tries. The Huskies as a team are poor via the rush averaging just 2.7 yards-per-attempt, and lead-rusher Kevin Mensah has 205 yards on 60 attempts with two of the team’s four rushing TDs, of its total of four touchdowns.
UConn boasts four receivers with seven catches or more, and three have double-digit averages on gains, but the overall attack is very weak and UCF’s secondary should be able to break up most successes it may have otherwise had in this one. UCF will win big as oddsmakers project.
ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):