Black Friday will bring us a heated American Athletic Conference rivalry in the Sunshine State as the UCF Knights will welcome the USF Bulls to the Bounce House for the annual War on I-4. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
UCF (7-4, 4-3 AAC) bounced back from a blowout loss to SMU the week prior by flattening former conference foe UConn 49-17 last Saturday. The trio of quarterback Mikey Keene, running back Johnny Richardson, and wide receiver Brandon Johnson stepped up big for the Knights on offense. On the other side of the ball, their defense picked off Steven Krajewski three different times. On Friday, UCF will go for a record fifth straight victory in the rivalry and will try to take the series lead for the very first time.
USF (2-9, 1-6 AAC) is coming off a ghastly performance at Tulane last Saturday, getting shredded by a Green Wave for a 45-14 loss. Tulane had only managed to score 35 points combined in its prior three outings, and yet gashed the Bulls for 501 yards on 8.5 yards per play. The defensive performance was so horrendous that much maligned defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer was fired on Sunday. Assistants Daniel Da Prato and Ernie Sims take over duties calling plays for the defense on Friday.
Here’s all the data you’ll want, and a pick for the game!
USF: 112th overall, 98th offense, 119th defense
UCF: 59th overall, 48th offense, 64th defense
No new injuries to report
RB Isaiah Bowser Questionable - Leg
LB Bryson Armstrong Out - Knee
QB Dillon Gabriel Doubtful - Clavicle/Illness
Against The Spread
USF: 6-5 ATS
UCF: 4-7 ATS
USF: Over 6-5
UCF: Over 7-3-1
Current lines at DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: UCF -18.5
Moneyline: UCF -1000, USF +650
Opening line: UCF -18
Opening total: 63
75 degrees, 10 MPH Winds WNW, Mix of clouds and sunshine
Given the state of USF defense, UCF will comfortably get points on the board unless the Bulls get a miraculous dead cat bounce from the Spencer firing. The total is going to come down to USF’s ability to move the football on offense and outside of last week’s disaster at Tulane, they’ve made strides over the last month of the season.
Freshman QB Timmy McClain is still rough around the edges but has shown flashes of being an electric playmaker. With talented skill position players in his arsenal, he should have a better day offensively over last week and give the Bulls enough juice to push the over.
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