Central Florida Knights Vs. East Carolina Pirates 10/4/12 Mark’s Free College Football Pick Against the Spread
The East Carolina Pirates head to the Sunshine State to take on conference rival the Central Florida Knights.
Any body that watched East Carolina football last season knows this team could score points but also gave them up even quicker behind a suspect defense and mistake prone offense. Talk about a turn around...the Pirates have shown some backbone on defense and are far less prolific on the attack with fewer mistakes. I might be still living in 2011 because I thought UTEP had a great chance at beating ECU in week five before the Pirates walked away with a 28-18 victory. The boxscore showed solid efforts all around with the Pirates owning a 481-303 edge in total yards behind a balanced attack. Vintavious Cooper paced the ground game with 151 yards while Shane Carden (28-40/258) did well when he threw to his own team but three picks were killers. The defense compensated by forcing four turnovers but the special teams gave up a 96 yard kick return.
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Central Florida has a lot of eyes on them in 2012 with many experts claiming this is the best team in the CUSA. The Knights have won when supposed to and lost when expected and dropped a toss up to Missouri in week five by a 21-16 count. The defensive minded Knights have the weapons on the attack and out gained Missouri 395-346 but struggled with a 6-18 mark on third down. Their downfall in this was a lack of a consistent ground attack that went for for 140 yards and averaged a little over 3 1/2 yards. The Passing of Blake Borttles (29-43/267) was more productive with eleven players making receptions with a quality intermediate game going. Two plays cost UCF; an 80 yard catch and run and a 66 yard punt return for six that arguably were the difference in losing a game where they had the statistical edge.
I hate this spread with Central Florida probably giving a few more points because of the preseason hype. East Carolina will cover if the Knights don't force turnovers but right now I'm laying the two scores but reserve the right to change...