Central Florida Knights (6-2, 7-1 ATS) at Houston Cougars (5-3, 5-3 ATS), Week 10 College Football,
Friday November 5th, 8:00PM
By Jay Horne, Professional Sports Handicapper of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: UCF -2.5/HOU +2.5
The Central Florida Knights have jumped out to one of the best starts in school history with a 6-2 mark on the season. The Knights only two losses on the season come by two different teams currently ranked in the Top 25 by less than one score in both contests. The Knights breakout season was evident last week when they defeated the East Carolina Pirates 49-35. The Knights are currently the only team remaining in Conference-USA without a conference defeat and they will host the Houston Cougars this Friday Night in a battle of conference powers. Houston has been one of the most consistent front runners in Conference USA over the last few seasons and they will look to prove that they remain superior this Friday.
The Cougars destroyed Memphis last Saturday 56-17 and they will bring one of the highest powered offenses in the country to Central Florida on Friday Night. Houston is averaging 41 points per game which ranks 8th in the country and has produced 468 yards of total offense on the season as well. Heisman hopeful QB Case Keenum was lost earlier this season with an ACL injury, but backup David Piland has filled in nicely during his absence. Piland has thrown 11 touchdowns with only 3 picks so far this season while throwing over 1,100 yards in just 4 games this season. Those numbers are incredible for the amount of time the freshman has seen the field this season and he will look to keep that rhythm going this Friday.
Of course having some big playmakers at the wide receiver positions make things much easier for a young quarterback. Wide outs Patrick Edwards and James Cleveland have combined for just less than 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns thus far on the season. Central Florida has played very well against the pass thus far this season allowing just 177 yards per game to rank 15th in the country. However, they have not face a receiving core equal to the talent that Houston will bring to the table so it will be interesting to see if they can continue to stand strong.
Another standout for the Cougars offense comes by the way of running back Bryce Beall. Beall has rushed for 638 yards on the season while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Beall gives the offense a lot of consistency on the ground which makes the passing attack even more effective when they establish success on the ground. The major focus in the game will be how the Knights defense holds up against such a potent offense. So far this season, Central Florida has been extremely strong on the defensive side of the ball ranking 9th in America holding opponents to just 279 yards per game. Central Florida has held opponents to just 16 points per game this season so something will have to give considering the Cougars are averaging 46 points per game in conference action.
Even though Central Florida’s defense will be a focal point in withstanding the Cougars offense, the Knights also have an offense that can post points on the board as well. The Knights have scored 35 points or more in each of their last 4 games. However unlike Houston’s balanced attack, the Knights rely heavily on their ground attack that is averaging right at 200 yards per game. Running back Ronnie Weaver has rushed for 638 yards on the season while averaging 5 yards per carry with 10 touchdowns.
QB Jeffery Godfrey is also a rushing quarterback that contributes to the ground efforts. The freshman quarterback has rushed for 394 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season. The only problem is that when Godfrey has been forced into passing situations he has been pretty mediocre with 4 touchdowns and 4 picks on the season. Expect Houston to put a lot of focus in stopping the run and forcing more passing situations from Godfrey and the Knights offense. However, thus far this season Houston has had a ton of trouble stopping the run this year allowing 194 yards per game so that might be much tougher than it sounds.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I really think Houston will pull this one off and early line movement has definitely moved in their favor. Take the Cougars to get the money.