Houston vs. UCF - 10/29/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
UCF Knights (4-3) at Houston Cougars (6-1)
College Football: Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm (TDECU Stadium)
The Line: Houston Cougars -12.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN U
The UCF Knights will travel to TDECU Stadium to take on the Houston Cougars this Saturday afternoon in College Football action.
The UCF Knights bounced back after their tough last second loss vs. Temple to defeat the UConn Huskies, 24-16, this past Saturday and improved to 4-3 (2-1, AAC) on the season. UCF used a strong defensive 2nd half in which they held to Huskies scoreless, to secure the victory after being down 16-14 at halftime. UCF was outgained by UConn by a 413-400 margin but did come up with two big 4th down stops late in the game. Leading the way for the Knights was QB McKenzie Milton who completed 29 of 45 passes for 317 yards and 3 TD. On the season, UCF is averaging 32.1 ppg on 403.1 total yards per game (212.7 passing, 190.4 rushing). Offensively, UCF has been led by RB Dontravious Wilson who had 7 TD’s and is averaging 53.0 yds/g on 12.4 att/g. QB McKenzie Milton has done an outstanding job since replacing Justin Holman, as Milton is completing 60.7% of his passes for 8 TD and 2 INT while averaging 240.0 passing yards per game. Tre’Quan Smith (3.3 rec/g, 51.4 yds/g, 3 TD), Jordan Akins (2.1 rec/g, 39.7 yds/g, 2 TD), Taylor Oldham (2.7 rec/g, 33.3 yds/g), and Adrian Killins (1.1 rec/g, 19.6 yds/g, 2 TD) have been the leading receivers for the Knights. Defensively, UCF is holding their opponents to an average of 23.7 ppg on 361.4 total yards per game (228.4 passing, 133.0 rushing). UCF has forced 11 turnovers on the season and has an overall turnover margin of 0.
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The Houston Cougars dropped to 6-2 (3-2 AAC) on the season after their shocking 38-16 defeat against the SMU Mustangs this past Saturday. Houston struggled on both sides of the ball and couldn’t fight back into the game after falling behind by a 28-7 margin at halftime. Houston was outgained by SMU by a 406-303 margin and lost the turnover battle by a 2-1 margin. Leading the way for the Cougars was QB Greg Ward Jr who completed 21 of 33 passes for 241 yards and 2 TD’s however, was able to gain just 3 yards on 17 carries on the ground. On the season, Houston is averaging 39.4 ppg on 479.9 total yards per game (297.1 passing, 182.2 rushing). Offensively, Houston is led by duel-threat QB Greg Ward Jr. who has completed 69.3% of his passes for 13 TD and 5 INT while averaging 311.3 passing yds/game. Ward Jr. is also the 2nd leading rusher for the Cougars and has 6 rushing TD’s this season to go along with an average of 59.6 rushing yds/game. The main receiving threats for the Cougars has been Linell Bonner (7.4 rec/g, 84.6 yds/g, 2 TD), Chance Allen (4.8 rec/g, 65.8 yds/g, 2 TD), and Steven Dunbar (4.5 rec/g, 62.5 yds/g, 4 TD). Leading the backfield for Houston has been Duke Catalon (16.25 att/g, 69.8 yds/g TD) and Dillon Birden (6.43 att/g, 27.14 yds/g, 6 TD). Defensively, Houston is allowing their opponents to average 21.4 ppg on 312.1 total yards per game (213.6 passing, 98.5 rushing). Houston has committed 13 turnovers on the season and has a turnover margin of -3.
The Knights are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games on turf and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Cougars are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games following a straight up loss however, just 1-4 ATS In their last 5 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
UCF continues to play solid football and although they’ve relied heavily on their 51st ranked rushing offense, have to be excited by the 300+ yards thrown by their freshman QB, McKenzie Milton, in their recently victory. Houston probably suffered the most shocking loss of this past weekend and although the Cougars enter this contest with the 13th ranked total defense in the country, they need to find some answers when it comes to defending the pass as the Cougars have given up 593 yards and 4 TD’s through the air in their last 2 games. Houston is a very tough place to play however, Houston’s defense has really struggled in their last three games and as UCF looks as if they have a legitimate passing attack to go along with their running game, I’m taking the Knights to cover with the points in this one. Take UCF and the points.