Central Florida Knights (5-3 5-2 ATS) vs. No. 2 Texas Longhorns (8-0 3-4-1 ATS) Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium Austin, TX 12 PM EST Saturday November 7, 2009
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Knights +36.5 / Longhorns -36.5
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On Saturday afternoon in a non-conference game the 2nd ranked Texas Longhorns host the Central Florida Knights. OK, so not many are giving UCF a chance in this game even though they are 5-3 and have won 2 games in a row. Add to the fact that the Knights do have the nation’s 39th ranked defense even though they play in Conference USA and in their only game against a ranked opponent they lost pretty bad 27-7 against then #9 Miami. The Longhorns are on track to play in the Big 12 championship game and maybe even the BCS title game, as they do not face another ranked team and that includes the conference title game.
Last week Texas won the big game against Oklahoma State 41-14 while UCF narrowly beat Marshall 21-20.
In the win over OSU last Saturday the Longhorns did win by 27 points, but the game was not that lopsided, as Texas had only 23 more passing yards and 35 more rushing yards. However, OSU turned the ball over 5 times and that killed them. The Texas secondary played great in the game, as they had 4 interceptions and held OSU QB Zac Robinson to only 143 yards passing. The Texas’ D played a great all-around game holding the OSU solid rushing offense to less than 100 yards. The Longhorns were favored by 10 points so they easily covered the spread and the posted total of 55 points was a push with exactly 55 points scored.
In the Knights win over Marshall they needed a 1-yard TD pass with only 23 seconds remaining to preserve the victory. The Knights were a bit lucky in the game, as Marshall fumbled with only a little over 2 minutes remaining to give UCF another shot. The game was a shootout and the Knights had 342 passing yards. The Knights were favored by 7 points so they did not cover the spread and the posted total of 43 was not reached.
You want to know why the Longhorns are favored by a huge 36.5 points in this game? Well, here goes: the Longhorns rank much higher in per game averages of total yards, passing yards, rushing yards, points scored AND they have the nation’s 3rd ranked defense. Oh, yeah and the Longhorns are at home.
The Longhorns are solid on defense and they are stellar at defending the pass and the run.
For the Knights to have any chance to make this a close game QB Brett Hodges has to have a huge game since the UCF rushing offense only ranks 94th in the nation. The Knights leading rusher this season is Brynn Harvey, who is only averaging 3.9 yards per carry.
The Knights do have some playmakers at the WR position, as both A.J. Guyton and Kamar Aiken are averaging at least 17 yards per reception.
The Longhorns’ offense not only has Heisman candidate QB Colt McCoy and a slew of solid WR’s, but their rushing offense is legit averaging 155.9 yards per game.
The Knights do have a solid defense, as they rank 39th in the nation and they have a knack at getting to the opposing QB as well ranking 8th in the nation with 23 sacks this season. They have to get to McCoy and pressure him all game or this may be a blowout.
The Longhorns have been getting many big point spreads this season, but they are only 3-4-1 ATS and are only 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games at home.
The Knights are a solid 5-2 ATS this season and they are 5-0 ATS in their
last 5 games on the road.
Jason’s Pick: I am not going to go out on a limb and pick a massive upset in this game since Texas is much better on both sides of the ball. However, I will say to take UCF and the points since the Longhorns do not have a good ATS record and the Knights do. I think the Longhorns will easily win this game, but not by over 36 points.
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