East Carolina vs. UCF - 10/1/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
UCF Knights (1-2) at East Carolina Pirates (2-2)
College Football: Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
The Line: East Carolina Pirates -4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: CBS Sports Network
The UCF Knights will travel to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium to take on the East Carolina Pirates this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The UCF Knights snapped their two-game losing streak and improved to 2-2 (0-0 AAC) on the season after defeating the FIU Golden Panthers, 53-14, this past Saturday. UCF was outstanding on both sides of the ball and had little trouble cruising to victory after taking a 32-7 halftime lead. UCF outgained FIU by a 510-189 margin and won the turnover battle by a 1-0 margin. Leading the way for the Knights was RB Dontravious Wilson who had 58 rushing yard and 3 TD’s in the victory. On the season, UCF is averaging 32.3 ppg on 438.3 total yards per game (201.5 passing, 236.8 rushing). Offensively, UCF is led by a solid rushing attack which is led by Adrian Killins (4.0 att/game, 60.25 yds/game, 2 TD), Dontravious Wilson (12.5 att/game, 51.25 yds/game, 5 TD), and Jawon Hamilton (11.5 att/game, 44.75 yds/game). UCF has decided to go with freshman QB McKenzie Milton who had completed 58.0% of his passes for 3 TD and a INT while averaging 216.5 yds/game. WR Tre’Quan Smith (3.5 rec/game, 51.8 yds/game, 2 TD) and TE Jordan Akins (1.8 rec/game, 44.0 yds/game, 1 TD) lead the way for the Knights receivers. Defensively, UCF is allowing their opponents to average 23.8 ppg on 308.0 total yds/game (175.5 passing, 132.5 rushing). UCF has committed 8 turnovers on the season and come into this matchup with a turnover margin of minus 4.
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The East Carolina Pirates dropped their 2nd straight game and fell to 2-2 (0-0 AAC) on the season after being defeated by the Virginia Tech Hokies, 54-17, this past Saturday. East Carolina had no answers for Virginia Tech and couldn’t make it a game after falling behind 38-0 by halftime. East Carolina was outgained by Virginia Tech by a 462-443 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 1-0 margin. Leading the way for the Pirates was WR Jimmy Williams who had 179 receiving yards and 2 TD’s in the loss. On the season, East Carolina is averaging 29.3 ppg on 523.8 total yards per game (368.0 passing, 155.8 rushing). Offensively, the Pirates have been led by QB Philip Nelson who has completed 73.1% of his passes for 9 TD and 3 INT while averaging 364.3 yds/game. Nelson’s main targets have been WR Zay Jones (12.3 rec/game, 139.5 yds/game, TD), WR Jimmy Williams (3.0 rec/game, 80.5 yds/game, 3 TD), WR Quay Johnson (6.3 rec/game, 52.0 yds/game, TD), and RB Anthony Scott (4.5 rec/game, 38.3 yds/game, 3 TD). Leading the Pirates backfield has been Anthony Scott (11.50 att/game, 69.5 yds/game, 2 TD) and James Summers (9.25 att/game, 60.25 yds/game, 2 TD). Defensively, East Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 27.8 ppg on 399.0 total yards per game (237.3 passing, 161.8 rushing). East Carolina has struggled with turnovers as they have a turnover margin of minus 6.
The Knights are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 conference games. The Pirates are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games in October.
UCF went winless in 2015 and although they have picked up a couple of wins already this season with a new fast-paced offensive, this is still a team that is a few years away from getting back from the UCF teams we consistency saw in Bowlsgames just a few years ago. East Carolina has gotten great production out of QB Philip Nelson, who formally played at both Minnesota and Rutgers, and have an outstanding weapon at the WR position in Zay Jones. UCF is certainly headed in the right direction however, East Carolina is the better overall team in this matchup and as I think the Pirates will be able to put up plenty of points on the Knights defense, I’m taking East Carolina to cover.