A Deeper Look: North Texas and Central Florida, Week 8
by Strike Point Sports - 10/18/2006
Tyler Palko and Pittsburgh handed Central Florida a butt whooping of epic proportions when the Big East program visited the Sunshine state this past Friday.
Off last week after its thrilling seven overtime win against FIU on Oct. 10, North Texas now has its focus on Sun Belt leading Arkansas State. At 1-1, the Mean Green are still in the conference race and a victory this Saturday would put them at a tie with the Indians atop the Sun Belt.
Next Upcoming Game: North Texas at Arkansas State 10/21 7:05 pm
North Texas' win against FIU could be season changing, however no one can look past its ineptness to score on offense. Averaging 12 points per game while giving up 30, its safe to say the team's overtime win means nothing if they cannot continue to produce scores. As a team they aren't even gaining 200 yards collectively.
Arkansas State, itself, has not been offensive juggernaut, but a lot of its stats are negatively disproportionate because of the non-conference opponents they've already played. The Indians are scoring just under 17 per game, but are coming off their most impressive victory of the season when they went into C-USA Memphis and came out with a victory, 26-23.
The one conference opponent each have both played is Florida International. While North Texas nickel and dimed their way to a victory, Arkansas State went into to FIU and won 31-6. If this game was at home for UNT, things might be different. But until the Mean Green can prove they can score consistently, they will not get backed to win big games.
Prediction: Arkansas State 23, North Texas 10
After a big win on the road against Marshall, UCF had a chance to carry some momentum into its non-conference match-up versus Pittsburgh. Granted this game didn't carry conference implications, however every win counts when trying to become bowl eligible. Pittsburgh then routed UCF last Friday and gave the Knights their worst loss of the year.
This game was over when Pitt stepped off the bus. They returned the opening kickoff for a score and went up 21-0 in the first quarter. That deficit only grew and jumped to 48-0 after a touchdown run by Larod Stephens-Howling. The Panthers gained more than 200 yards both through the air and on the ground and Palko tossed two scores while Stephens-Howling rushed for three touchdowns. UCF committed four turnovers in the loss.
Predicted Score: Pittsburgh 27, Central Florida 17
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 52, Central Florida 7
Week 8 Upcoming Game: Rice at Central Florida Friday 10/21 - 4:00 p.m.
The Owls have won two of their last there and starting quarterback Chase Clement has risen to the top as one of the upcoming stars in Conference USA. The sophomore signal caller has already thrown for more than 900 yards and 12 scores, as well as rushing for 273 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Central Florida actually should thank Rice, as the Owls defeated then 2-0 UAB atop the East division. Now UAB and Southern Miss are tied for first at 2-1 and as badly as it has gone for UCF, they are just one game out of first. A win here at home against Rice would put them at 2-1 in the conference standings and leave them in good position going forward.
Once again Steven Moffett had a poor outing against Pitt and forced head coach George O'Leary to make the move to backup Kyle Israel. Its safe to say that Israel will get time this Saturday, as O'Leary is looking to put the best product on the field.
Prediction: Rice 31, Central Florida 21