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League : NCAAF

MEMPHIS vs UCF Prediction & Preview



#149 University of Central Florida
Knights -3
#150 University of Memphis
Tigers 3

Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 3:30pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports



It's an AAC battle here as Brady White, and the Memphis Tigers host the UCF Knights. Memphis is 1-1 following a loss at SMU, while UCF sits at 2-1 on the young season following a disappointing loss to Tulsa. As both teams look to bounce back, oddsmakers have the Knights as a small favorite for this one, which will be televised nationally by ABC.


UCF Struggling On Defense

TheUCF Knightshave been the best non-power conference team in the nation over the past handful of years, but could that reign be coming to an end? UCF entered the 2020 campaign with high expectations yet again, and they climbed up to #11 in the latest AP poll before last game's disaster. They shockingly blew an early 18-point lead to lose at home to Tulsa, snapping a 21-game home winning streak. The gutting loss understandably raised a lot of questions about just how good this team is. Their wins this season were against Georgia Tech and East Carolina, which they can't get too much credit for.


The offense has been fine for the most part, but the defense is alarming. Even in their win over East Carolina, they gave up 28 points, which was eyebrow-raising, and then they surrendered 34 to Tulsa. They lost several starters on defense to graduation, and a few more to COVID-19 opt-outs, so maybe the defensive struggles shouldn't be too surprising. They let the Golden Hurricane average 9.4 yards per pass attempt while their own quarterbackDillon Gabrielstruggled. Even when UCF was winning games, they weren't always covering inflated numbers, as they're now just 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 contests. They also haven't fared very well in this stadium, as they're 0-4 against the spread in their previous four trips to Memphis.


Brady White Back For One More

TheMemphis Tigershad another very successful season last year that culminated in a Cotton Bowl appearance. Unfortunately, it was too successful, as head coach Mike Norvell was then poached away by Florida State. Luckily they promoted Ryan Silverfield, who was Norvell's assistant head coach, so there's still been a lot of continuity within the program. During this unprecedented year, continuity is more important than ever before, and they also have it at quarterback. It feels likeBrady Whitehas been in college forever, but he's back for one more run under center. The sixth-year senior has loads of experience and is coming off a 2019 campaign where he averaged 9.6 yards per pass attempt.


The Tigers are 1-1 this season, but their one loss was an understandable one on the road against a ranked SMU team by only three points. I think Memphis was also rusty for that game since they hadn't played since September 5th before it. I expect them to be in much better shape here, and White should be able to dice up a UCF secondary that is struggling big time at the moment. This team always seems to play better in their home stadium, and they're 13-6-1 against the spread in their last 20 home games. They also usually bounce back after down games, as they're 7-3 against the spread in their previous ten games following a loss.

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