(18) Central Fla at Cincinnati
Time: 7 PM CT, Friday
Spread: UCF -4
Odds c/o 5dimes
The 4-1 UCF Knights knocked off UConn 56-21 in Week 5 to win its first game since the 34-35 loss to Pittsburgh that ended a 27-game regular-season winning streak for the Knights. UCF travels to face conference rival Cincinnati as 4-point favorites in Week 6, with the over/under set at 60 total points according to NCAA football oddsmakers at 5dimes. The game will kick off at 7 PM CST on Friday on ESPN.
UCF was clicking on both its run offense and its pass attack last week in its dismantling of UConn. The Knights led 42-0 at the half and were outscored 21-14 over the final two quarters with the game fully in control. Dillon Gabriel threw 11 of 16 for 281 yards and three Touchdowns and Darriel Mack Jr. threw 9 of 13 for 97 yards and one touchdown. Adrian Killins Jr. rushed just three times for 77 yards and a TD, with 75 of those yards coming all on one touch.
Bentavious Thompson rushed 11 times for 71 yards and a TD, while the Knights racked up 230 yards on 37 carries, good for 6.2 per attempt as a team. Gabriel Davis and Jacob Harris led the team in receiving yards with 119 and 74, Harris having accomplished all his on a single catch. Davis had three TD receptions and Marlon Williams added three more catches for 62 yards and a touchdown. The Knights held UConn to 281 yards passing and 145 via the rush, but the Huskies threw an interception and failed to score a rushing TD in the game despite 40 carries.
UCF moved up from No. 22 ranked to No. 18 rank with its win over the Huskies, but the Knights’ work is more than cut out for them with a loss on its record in 2019. Sure, UCF will make a premier Bowl appearance again but any chances at the top-4 finish it has coveted are firmly out of the window. Gabriel has had a tremendous season at quarterback too, with 1,338 yards and 14 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Greg McCrae and Killins are both excelling at running back, and Gabriel Davis has 499 receiving yards on 25 catches already this season while topping 20 yards per reception. Tre Nixon and Harris have 290 and 231 yards respectively. Killins has done well in receiving plays with his five catches for 102 yards this season.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are 3-1 after consecutive wins over Miami of Ohio and Marshall. This week it returns to FBS quality opponents with No. 18 ranked UCF. Cincinnati lost 0-42 to Ohio State in its only matchup this season against a ranked opponent, but the Bearcats have been better since that against the lower caliber competition.
What will the story be against UCF this week?
Desmond Ridder has thrown for 815 yards at a 64.3 percent clip with eight TDs and three interceptions. He has rushed for another 88 yards on 40 carries. Michael Warren II and Tavion Thomas have rushed for 262 and 193 yards on the season, and the Bearcats average 4.1 yards-per-rush as a team on the season.
Warren has scored four of the team’s seven rushing touchdowns while also having the long-rush of 73-yards. Alec Pierce has been the top receiver with 14 catches for 277 yards with a touchdown, but the best end-zone target has been tight end Josiah Deguara. He has 12 catches for 83 yards with three touchdowns already this season. The Bearcats have eight receiving touchdowns as a team, but only Deguara boasts of multiple TD receptions of the receiving core. Thomas Geddis, Warren, and Rashad Medaris have all caught TDs, as has backup tight end Bruno LaBelle.