UCONN vs. Virginia - 9/17/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Virginia Cavaliers (0-1) at UCONN Huskies (1-1)
College Football: Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 1:30 pm (Rentschler Field)
The Line: UCONN Huskies -5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: SNY; ESPN College Extra, ESPN 3
The Virginia Cavaliers will travel to Rentschler Field to take on the Connecticut Huskies this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The Virginia Cavaliers fell to 0-2 (0-0 ACC) on the season after being defeated by the 24th ranked Oregon Ducks, 44-26, this past Saturday. Virginia was able to hang around with the Ducks early as they were down by just a 13-6 margin at the end of the 1st quarter but allowed Oregon to score 17 unanswered points in the 2nd to fall behind by a 30-6 margin at halftime. Virginia had trouble slowing down the high-power Oregon offense as they were outgained by a 632-388 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 2-0 margin. Leading the way for Virginia was RB Albert Reid who a TD and 126 yards on 15 carries. On the season, Virginia is averaging 23.0 ppg on 345.0 total yards per game (229.5 passing, 115.5 rushing). QB Kurt Benkert has 5 TD & 3 INT on the season while completing 63.0% of his passes and averaging 228.5 yards/game. Leading the Cavaliers backfield has been Albert Reid (10.50 att/game, 77.00 yds/game, 1 TD) and Taquan Mizzell (8.50 att/game, 27.50 yds/game, 1 TD). WR Olamide Zaccheaus is the biggest threat at the receiver positon for the Cavaliers and has 1 TD on the season while averaging 61.0 yds/game on 4.0 rec/game. Defensively, Virginia is allowing their opponents to average 40.5 points per game on 578.0 total yards per game (334.0 passing, 244.0 rushing). Virginia struggled with creating turnovers in 2015 and looks like they’ll have trouble again as they’ve yet to force a TO in their first two games this season. Leading the way for the defense will be DB Quin Blanding who had 16 tackles so far on the season.
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The Connecticut Huskies allowed Navy to score the winning TD with just over 3 minutes left to play and fell to 1-1 (0-0 AAC) on the season after suffering a 28-24 loss this past Saturday. Connecticut fell behind by a 21-7 margin at halftime but scored 17 unanswered points in the 2nd half to almost pull off the come from behind victory. Connecticut was outgained by Navy by a 373-354 margin and couldn’t get much going on the ground as they gained just 90 rushing yards in the loss. Leading the way for Connecticut was QB Bryant Shirreffs who completed 23 of 26 passes for 239 yards and a TD. On the season, Connecticut is averaging 24.0 ppg on 358.0 total yards per game (213 passing, 145 rushing). QB Bryant Shirreffs has been only able to throw 1 TD pass this season but has been solid as he is completing 79.6% of his passes while averaging 200.5 yards per game. Shirreffs has also been the leading rushing for Huskies averaging 63.50 yards per game on 16.5 carries/game. Connecticut backfield is led by Ron Johnson (12.5 att/game, 49.0 yds/game, 3 TD) and Arkeel Newsome (12.0 att/game, 26.5 yds/game, 1 TD). WR Nole Thomas Jr has been the main target for Shirreffs this season as on the season he has 1 TD and is averaging 93.0 yds/game on 10 rec/games. Defensively, Connecticut is holding their opponents to an average of 24.5 ppg on 341.0 total yards (199.5 passing, 141.5 rushing). Leading the way for the Huskies defense has been LB’s Matthew Walsh (16 tackles) and Vontae Diggs (15 tackles).
The Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win and 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 road games. The Huskies are 16-34-2 ATS in their last 52 games overall and 4-10 ATS in their last 14 home games.
Virginia suffered a difficult loss to Richmond to open the season and although they did lose by 18-points against Oregon, looked significantly better than they did in their season opener. Connecticut looks again to be a team that will need to rely on their defense to keep the games low scoring and hope that their limited offensive weapons can do enough to pull off victories. I think that this is most likely going to be a close game but as I think Virginia is the better overall team, I’m going to take the Cavaliers and the points in this one. Take Virginia and the points.