Louisville Cardinals vs. Central Florida Knights Free Pick 10/18/13
Central Florida Knights (4-1) at Louisville Cardinals (6-0)
NCAAF Football: Friday, October 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Papa John's Cardinal Stadium)
The Line: Louisville Cardinals -17 -- Over/Under: 53 See the Latest Odds
The 4-1 Central Florida Knights look to keep their strong road play up as they visit the 6-0 Louisville Cardinals under the lights Friday night at 8PM on ESPN.
Central Florida enters this one after a much needed bye week. The Knights got to 1-0 in conference play prior to their bye with a 24-17 win over a scrappy young Memphis team. The Knights have been strong on defense all season long but had yet to rely on their D or special teams to get a win with their offense staggering along. The Knights struggled to get a rhythm going in this one and found themselves down 17-10 with about 3 minutes to play. After marching down the field for what looked like the tying touchdown, the Knights coughed the ball up in the end zone and were bailed out by offensive lineman Chris Martin who jumped on the ball for the score and the tie. On the ensuing kickoff, a jarring hit by William Stanback knocked the ball loose and the Knights took it to the house for the game winning touchdown. After looking lethargic most of the contest, the Knights scored twice in 9 seconds to shock the Memphis home crowd. Blake Bortles finished the game with just 176 yards and no touchdowns. The UCF offense cannot afford to lay another egg at Louisville or things could get out of hand early.
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Louisville moved to 6-0 on the season after taking care of a solid Rutgers team last Thursday night 24-10. The Cardinals were a little sluggish initially in this one before Teddy Bridgewater connected with De La Cruz for a 34 yard TD and Senorise Perry punched one in to give Louisville a commanding 17-7 halftime lead. That is all the cushion the top ranked Louisville scoring defense would need. Routine pressure and strong coverage by the Cardinals DB resulted in 4 Gary Nova interceptions and plenty of good field position for Teddy Bridgewater and company. Bridgewater finished the game with 310 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception and Senorise Perry had a game high 104 yards on the ground with a touchdown as well. With Rutgers out of the way, if the Cardinals can get past UCF Friday night, an undefeated season becomes a very real possibility with a weak late season schedule looming.
Some trends to consider - UCF is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 Friday night games and Louisville is 4-10 against the spread in their last 14 Friday games.
This game lost a bit of its luster after the Knights came back to earth and looked somewhat shaky against Memphis two weeks ago. I do expect a better game from Blake Bortles and the Knights will certainly look to establish the run with Storm Johnson early. Look for UCF to keep this one close for about 2 and a half quarters before the Cardinals kick things into another gear and pull away for the 3 TD win and the cover at home to move to 7-0.