Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Central Florida Knights Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-4 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) vs. No. 17 UCF Knights (8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date and Time: Thursday November 21st, 2013. 7:30PM Eastern
Where: BH Network Stadium Orlando, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: Rut +16/UCF -16
Over/Under Total: OFF

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The UCF Knights overcame a big scare last week on the
road at Temple. Trailing 28-22 at the start of the 4th quarter, Knights
QB Blake Bortles hooked up with receiver J.J Worton twice for 38 and 30
yard touchdown passes. Still, UCF needed a 23 yard Shawn Moffit field goal
as time expired to hold off the Temple upset in a 39-36 thriller in Philadelphia.
A loss would have opened the door for Louisville to get back into the American
Athletic Conference Championship. Instead, the Knights have appeared to
seal the AAC’s first Championship barring any colossal collapse which would
require losses in 2 of their final 3 games over inferior opponents. This
week the Knights get the opportunity to avoid any embarrassing collapse
when they get the Rutgers Scaret Knights for a Thursday
Night spectacle inside BH Network Stadium.

UCF opened as 16 point favorites over a Scarlet Knights team that has lost 3 of their last 4 games excluding a field goal win over Temple. Rutgers ranks 94th in scoring defense giving up 31 points per game and 62nd in scoring offense averaging just 29 points per game. Obviously it is never a good sign when you average giving up more points than you score. The bottom line is that Rutgers is simply not that good and they are definitely not living up to the standard former coach Greg Schiano established before heading to the NFL.

While things have not went well under current coach Kyle Flood, there are a few angles that suggest the Scarlet Knights could play well this Thursday. Rutgers has covered 10 of their last 14 games against the spread as underdogs and covered their only two games this season as double digit underdogs. More importantly I believe that despite Rutgers 5-4 SU mark, I believe they will match up fairly well with the 17th ranked UCF Knights. Rutgers defense does not have a lot of speed but they are a physical group. They have struggled against offenses that spread the ball around and use speed to stretch the field. UCF is more of a physical offense that relies heavily on a power rushing attack behind junior Storm Johnson. Johnson has racked up 841 yards and 9 touchdowns this season and is the workhorse for the offense.


UCF has a very efficient quarterback in junior Blake Bortles who has completed 68% passing on the year for 2,484 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 5 picks. Still, coach George O’Leary likes to run the football and establish the tempo through ball control. Furthermore UCF’s offense does not possess a ton of speed but they are rather an extremely physical unit as well. So Rutgers’ defense will have the chance to play the type of football they prefer if they are up to the challenge this Thursday.

The other deciding factor this Thursday will be the play of Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova. The Scarlet Knights have a solid rushing attack with running backs Paul James and Justin Goodwin who have combined for more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, UCF has a very solid defense against the run and has only given up 20.6 points per game (20th in FBS). Therefore, Nova will be the x factor. So far this year, Nova has tossed 18 touchdowns and 13 picks in sort of a high risk/reward style of football. It will be interesting to see what side of the coin Nova is on this Thursday as I believe that will play a big part in the way this game shapes out.

Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I was expecting this line to be a bit lower and a bit surprised that Rutgers is getting more than two touchdowns up front. Rutgers has been inconsistent this season but I still believe they are the play in the game. Take Rutgers +16 and also maybe a small play on the under once the total is released.

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