Connecticut Will Bounce Back Against East Carolina

Bryant Shirreffs

Jake Walker

Friday, September 22, 2017 3:59 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 22, 2017 3:59 PM GMT

East Carolina travels to Rentschler Field to take on Connecticut on Sunday. The Huskies are favored by 4.5 points on the college football odds board and the total has been set at 65.

East Carolina Pirates (0-3)

East Carolina comes into this game off a tough 64-17 loss at Virginia Tech last Saturday. The Pirates have struggled on defense the last few years and they have been torched in three games this season.

In the loss to No. 16 Virginia Tech, East Carolina led the game 17-14 in the 2nd quarter but Virginia Tech took control after that and outgained them 675-281 in the
whole game. 

The East Carolina offense ranks 93rd in the nation with 372.7 total yards per game, 34th with 287.0 passing yards per game, 120th with 85.7 rushing yards per game and 117th with 17.0 points per game. Gardner Minshew leads the team with 460 passing yards and three touchdowns, Tyshon Dye has 102 rushing yards and Trevon Brown has 10 catches for 253 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Their defense is just as bad as their offense, ranking 129th with 636.0 total yards allowed, 123rd with 327.7 yards allowed against the pass and 129th with 308.3 yards against the run, while allowing 51.3 points per game (128th in the nation).

 

Connecticut Huskies (1-1)   

Connecticut suffered a 38-18 road loss against a Virginia team that outgained them 626-434. UConn did beat Holy Cross in their season opener but they were also outgained 447-438 in that game.

Giving up 626 total yards against Virginia is a real concern for the Huskies, as their offense is not good enough to counter a bad defense like that. Connecticut had 434 total yards against Virginia, including 207 rushing yards, but they also had two costly turnovers. Still, bad defense is their main issue. The Huskies gave up 28.1 points per game last season (65th in the nation) and just five of the starters from that unit are back. 

The Connecticut offense averaged just 14.8 points per game last season and while they seem to have improved on that side of the ball, they're still struggling, as they
come into this game ranked 54th in the nation with 436.0 total yards per game, 54th with 252.5 passing yards per game, 54th with 183.5 rushing yards per game and 105th with 22.5 points per game.

Bryant Shirreffs has 351 passing yards and three touchdowns, Nate Hopkins has rushed for 164 yards with three touchdowns and Hergy Mayala has 11 receptions for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

Their defense has been very poor, as they rank 125th with 536.5 total yards allowed per game, 130th with 406.5 yards per game against the pass and 52nd with 130.0 yards per game against the run, while giving up 29.0 points per game (86th in the nation).

 

Betting Trends 

East Carolina is 8-19 ATS over the last 3 seasons, 4-11 ATS as an underdog over the last 3 seasons and 3-13 ATS against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.  

Connecticut is 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games after rushing for more than 200 yards in their previous game.

 

Betting Predictions

These two teams met at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium last season and East Carolina won 41-3. The Huskies and the Pirates are struggling on defense and neither is putting up a lot of points but the Connecticut defense is a bit better.

East Carolina might have dominated Connecticut last season but their defense this year is terrible. The home team has won all three meetings between these two teams by at least 10 points and Connecticut should score enough to get the win and cover -4.5 at -105 college football odds.

The UConn defense is the more reliable of the two and even though quarterback Bryant Shirreffs didn't play so well at Virginia last week, he did throw a pair of touchdowns and he can improve against a weak East Carolina defense.

Free NCAA Football Pick: Connecticut -4.5 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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