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Central Florida Knights at Penn State Nittany Lions Free Pick 9/14/13

Central Florida Knights (2-0) at Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 6:00 pm (Beaver Stadium)

The Line: Penn State Nittany Lions -3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Big Ten Network

The 2-0 Central Florida Knights travel to Happy Valley for a non-conference duel with the 2-0 Penn State Nittany Lions at 6 PM on the Big Ten Network.

Central Florida kept their hot start ,rolling this past weekend with another dominant performance.  This time, the Knights only had to travel about 3 hours south to blank FIU 38-0.  The Knights built a 24-0 lead at the half and never looked back.  Blake Bortles continued to impress as he threw for 214 yards and a TD in another turnover-free outing.  The Knights turned to the run game for the win in this one as Storm Johnson racked up 3 TDs and 89 total yards in his return to the Miami area.  Rannell Hall hauled in 4 passes for 127 yards, but was unable to reach the end zone.  The Knights have looked very strong in their first 2 games and while I don’t think they have the horses to challenge Louisville, UCF is looking more and more like they will factor into the race for 2nd place in the AAC.

Central Florida Knights at Penn State Nittany Lions Free Pick 9/14/13

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State moved to 2-0 with a dominant win over Eastern Michigan 45-7.  The Nittany Lions had some trouble putting away Syracuse in week 1, but that was not the case this week as they rebounded from a 7-0 hole to whip off 45 straight.  Highly touted freshman Christian Hackenberg was 23-33 for 311 yards and a TD and Akeel Lynch and Bill Belton both rushed for 108 yards and Belton added two TD’s to Lynch’s one.  The Nittany Lion defense dominated the much less talented Eastern Michigan offense, holding them to 183 total yards and just 11 first downs for the entire game.

Some trends to consider -- UCF is 4-1 against the spread in their last 5 non-conference games and Penn State is 5-0 against the spread in their last 5 September contests.

This is one of the best non-conference games of the weekend in my opinion and a great opportunity for the UCF Knights to make a big statement.  I expect the veteran Knights squad to not be phased by the bright lights of Happy Valley and if Bortles can play mistake free ball as he has thus far this season, the Knights should be in it at the end.  Ultimately, the Penn State defense and home field advantage will be the difference late as Penn State gets the win by a TD.

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