UCF Knights (1-0) at East Carolina Pirates (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
The Line: East Carolina Pirates +24.5 -- Over/Under: 76 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The UCF Knights and the East Carolina Pirates meet Saturday in college football action from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
UCF enters this one at 1-0 on the 2020 season, taking a 49-21 road victory over Georgia Tech in the opener. As for East Carolina, this will be their first action of the year. The Pirates had a disappointing campaign in 2019, going just 4-8 with a 1-7 record in American Athletic Conference play. Check back all season long for free college football picks and college football predictions at Sports Chat Place.
The Knights had a pretty successful campaign last year, going 10-3 overall with a 6-2 record in American Athletic Conference play. That result put UCF in second place in the standings, and earned the team a trip to the Gasparilla Bowl. The Knights were victorious in that one, taking out Marshall 48-25.
UCF got 2020 off to a nice start in the 49-21 win over Georgia Tech. The Knights were up 28-14 heading into the fourth quarter, then rattled off three more touchdowns to seal the victory. UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel posted 417 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in that one, and Marlon Williams led the receivers with 154 yards and two touchdowns off 10 grabs.
Over on the East Carolina side, they’ve got quite the uphill battle ahead after a tough 2019 campaign. Last year, the Pirates’ lousy 1-7 conference record left the team one spot out of the basement in the East Division, and was the second-worst record in all of the AAC. Head coach Mike Houston is back for his second season along with offensive coordinator Donnie Kirkpatrick. They’ll be looking for answers along with new defensive coordinator Blake Harrell, who hopefully will help plug some holes in that unit.
UCF is 4-1 ATS in their last five games on grass and 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games in September. The Knights are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 gams as a favorite and 2-6 ATS in their last eight conference games.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog and 17-36-1 ATS in their last 54 games overall. ECU is 13-38 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games after a bye week.
Pick: I’m sticking with UCF here. The Knights were a bit slow out of the gate in the first quarter versus a decent Georgia Tech team, but when UCF scored, they scored in bunches. Gabriel has a nice crop of receivers to work with this season, and guys like Otis Anderson should be able to hold it down in the running game. If all goes well, UCF is primed for big things in 2020.