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Central Florida Knights vs. Akron Zips Free Pick 8/29/13

Akron Zips (0-0) at Central Florida Knights (0-0)

College Football: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Bright House Networks Stadium)

The Line: Central Florida Knights -22--- Over/Under: 56 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3

The Akron Zips pay a visit to the Central Florida Knights in season opening action Thursday, August 29th at 7:00 PM.

Central Florida enters American Athletic play coming off a rock solid 10-4 season that included a 7-1 showing in Conference USA.  The Knights are led by junior quarterback Blake Bortles who threw for just under 3100 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.  Bortles showed out in the Knights bowl game last season and will feature the same key skill players around him this year as well.  Five of UCF’s top six receivers from last year, including top two targets J.J. Worton and Rannell Hall return..  Worton led the Knights with five touchdowns and Hall led the way with just over 600 yards on the year.  The Knights were one of the top defenses in the country in multiple statistical categories last year and were the class of Conference-USA by a wide margin.  The Knights ranked 16th nationally in turnover margin and top in the C-USA in scoring defense.

Central Florida Knights vs. Akron Zips Free Pick 8/29/13

Akron had another season to forget last year as they stumbled to a dismal 1-11 record for the third straight time.  The Zips ranked 108th in rushing yards per game and 107th in points against with a defense that yielded over 35 points per game to opponents.  Former Auburn head coach Terry Bowden enters his second year and should see a slight improvement as he implements his system and improved recruiting efforts.  The Zips lose quarterback Dalton Williams who threw for 3400 yards, 25 touchdowns and 16 picks.  With Williams gone, a wide open battle will ensue this summer with Kyle Pohl and Nick Hirschman   The Zips also lose top WR Marquelo Suelm but return all other wideouts who saw plenty of action in this pass happy scheme a season ago.  Akron’s defense has been among the worst in the country for multiple years but expect most talent from a young unit last year back and feature three of their four db’s from last year.  

Central Florida is 1-0 against the spread against Akron in their series history and Akron is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 road games.

Central Florida enters this one as 21 point favorites and should have no problem dismantling a defensive unit that is still 1-2 seasons away from being competitive.  Look for Blake Bortles to continue his string of interception free contests and put on a clinic and the Central Florida defense to overwhelm Akron’s newly appointed quarterback.

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Central Florida -21

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