Getting after it defensively
South Florida is mired in a four-game losing streak, which includes a 16-6 setback to the SMU Mustangs as six-point home underdogs, but the program has tallied six consecutive contests with eight-or-more tackles for loss.
The Bulls held the Mustangs to a season low 280 yards of offense—201 below their 481.6 yard per game average that ranks 20th in major college football.
Gunning for a title
UCF could clinch at least a share of the AAC title with a victory in this spot, as the program enters with a 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS record through 10 games, which includes a 41-17 win over Rutgers that college football odds had listed them as 20-point home favorites last Thursday.
The Knights rank 10th in turnover margin, which has played a big role in their 3-0 SUATS record as favorites of 21.5 to 31 points during the 2013 campaign.
College football handicappers need to realize that the Bulls are 4-0 SUATS versus the Knights, but the last meeting came back during the 2008 campaign.
South Florida gained at least 426 yards of total offense in all four of those games with the series starting in 2005, but this year’s unit will have a hard time reaching that type of number Friday, as it averages 263.2 yards per game.
The Knights have one of the more balanced offensive attacks in college football, with quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson leading the way.
UCF is averaging 35.8 points per game, which is the fourth-highest scoring mark in school history, while it occupies the same position in gaining 455 yards a contest.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Knights, as they’ve gone 5-0 ATS in their last five home games versus a team with a losing road record. Adding them to our college football picks seems like a pretty safe bet.
South Florida will be playing away from home for just the third time since Sept. 7.
College Football Pick: UCF Knights -26.5