UAB Blazers (1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. UCF Knights (2-2 SU, 2-1 ATS), Week 6 College Football, 8:00 p.m. EST, Wednesday, October 6, 2010, Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, Fla. TV: ESPN
by Ryno, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Betting Odds: University of Alabama-Birmingham +12.5/University of Central Florida -12.5
Over/Under Total: 48
UAB and UCF are both coming off a tough loss to a BCS conference team. Now, both teams must rebound and try to come up with a big Conference USA win in a Wednesday night ESPN game.
On Saturday, September 25, UAB and UCF both had a chance to knock off BCS conference teams on the road. UAB lost 32-29 at Tennessee, while UCF lost 17-13 at Kansas State. UCF started its season with a 38-7 win over South Dakota State. After losing 28-21 at home to North Carolina State, the Knights rebounded with a 24-10 road win at Buffalo. UAB opened the season with a tough 32-31 loss at home to Florida Atlantic. It got worse the next week when the Blazers were blown out by SMU, 28-7. They got their only win a week later, 34-33 over Troy.
UAB’s loss to Tennessee was in double overtime. After both teams kicked a field goal in the first overtime, UAB kicked a field goal in the second overtime to take a 29-26 lead. But Tennessee QB Matt Simms completed a 25-yard TD pass to win the game. It was quite disappointing for UAB, which trailed 23-7 and battled back to tie the game up and force overtime. UAB QB Bryan Ellis was 29-for-55 for 373 yards, a touchdown and an interception. RB David Isabelle had 16 carries for 63 yards and a rushing touchdown, and also completed 4-of-5 passes for 56 yards and a passing touchdown. WR Frantrell Forrest had seven receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown. UAB dominated Tennessee in total yards of offense, 544-287. The Blazers had 429 passing yards and only allowed 42 rushing yards. The difference in the game may have been that UAB had one turnover, which was an interception returned for a touchdown, and Tennessee had no turnovers.
In UCF’s loss to Kansas State, the Knights had a 13-10 lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter. But Kansas State QB Carson Coffman ran in a 7-yard touchdown to win the game for the Wildcats. UCF is a run-first team. QB Jeff Godfrey was just 8-for-18 for 92 passing yards and threw two interceptions. But the Trojans totaled 252 rushing yards in the game, led by Ronnie Weaver’s 130 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Godfrey also ran for 99 yards on 17 carries.
For the season, UCF has nearly twice as many rushing attempts as it does passing attempts. Weaver has 205 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while Godfrey has 203 rushing yards and two touchdowns. If UAB can shut down the run, it will win the game. UCF relies heavily on the run. UAB also runs the ball more than it passes, but is more of a balanced attack. Ellis has 777 passing yards this season with four touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 56.3 percent of his pass attempts. Isabelle leads the way in the rushing department with 327 yards and four touchdowns on 59 carries.
UCF is averaging 184 rush yards per game, while UAB is averaging 181.8 rush yards per game. UCF is allowing 117.3 rush yards per game to its opponents, while UAB is allowing 132.3 rush yards per game.
UCF is 5-0 ATS in its last five games against teams with a losing record, 7-1 ATS in its last eight conference games, and 4-1 ATS in its last five games as a favorite. The Knights are also 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a bye week. The over is 5-1 in UAB’s last six games overall, 5-1 in its last six games following an ATS win, and 5-1 in its last six games as an underdog. The under is 10-2-1 in UCF’s last 13 games as a home favorite. The under is also 5-1-2 in UCF’s last eight games in October.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I hate to take a favorite on a gameday where there is only one featured game, but I do believe that Central Florida is 2 touchdowns better than UAB so I’m laying the points here and taking UCF.