College Football Predictions: UAB at Central Florida Odds and Preview
by Alan Matthews - 10/5/2010
UAB Blazers at Central Florida Golden Knights (-13, 49.5)
This opened at 12 at most books and is at 13 now at most of them. The total has jumped about a point at most books. UAB is 2-2 ATS this season and has covered in its past two games, a 34-33 win over a Troy team that is the four-time reigning Sun Belt Conference champion and then a 32-29 double-overtime loss at Tennessee on Sept. 25. UCF is 3-1 ATS, with the lone loss coming at home to North Carolina State. Last time out UCF lost, 17-13, at Kansas State in a game it deserved to win.
In last year’s 34-27 UCF win in this series, the Knights were three-point road favorites and the total closed at 52.5. Central Florida has won six of seven all-time meetings in this series.
No Quarterback Change at UCF
There was talk that Central Florida might bench freshman QB Jeff Godfrey for junior Rob Calabrese, so Godfrey's time on the sidelines could be used as a teaching opportunity before reinserting him back into the lineup. However, Godfrey was proclaimed the starter for the Conference USA opener.
Calabrese opened the season as the Knights' starter, but Godfrey beat him out for the starting job with a late rally against N.C. State. Godfrey ran for 99 yards against K-State, but threw two interceptions and Coach George O'Leary said the offense missed several scoring opportunities because of inconsistencies in the pass game, so Calabrese will get at least a series or two on Wednesday.
"Godfrey's starting,” O’Leary said. “There's no question there. I said we'd have the availability to play both quarterbacks. When depends on what we see going on and how he handles what's going on out there."
Godfrey has 203 yards and two touchdowns rushing and 394 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Knights are ranked No. 98 nationally and last in Conference USA with 169 passing yards per game so far this season. So there is one move being made. Offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe will move from the coaches' box to the sideline for the first time. The thought behind that is Taaffe can talk face-to-face with Godfrey between offensive drives.
“I'll have a chance to settle him down a little bit and be able to talk to him," Taaffe told the Orlando Sentinel.
Godfrey might need some settling considering UAB ranks No. 11 in the nation with 3.0 sacks per game so far this season.
UAB Picks a Kicker
Last week UAB coach Neil Callaway opened up the place-kicking competition after sophomore starter Josh Zahn missed all five of his field-goal attempts in regulation during UAB’s double-overtime loss to Tennessee. Zahn is 3-for-9 overall this season on field goals with a long of 35; he is 10-for-10 on extra points.
On Monday Callaway said he will stick with Zahn over Trey Ragland as the team's field goal and extra point kicker. Ragland leads Conference USA and ranks third in the nation with a 48.4 punting average.
This and That
During the past 39 games, UCF is 20-3 when scoring 20 points or more and 1-15 when scoring less than 20 points.
Three of UAB’s four games this season have been decided on the final play. QB Bryan Ellis has passed for 733 yards and four touchdowns in the past two games. He broke the school record with 55 pass attempts in the loss to the Vols. UAB uses David Isabelle at QB when it’s a running down; he’s the team’s leading rusher with 327 yards and four scores on the ground. When it’s a passing down, Ellis is usually inserted.
UCF, which closed 2009 with six straight conference wins, leads Conference USA in passing defense, scoring defense, passing efficiency defense and total defense this season. Only Troy, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Army and Arizona State have lost at least two games by a smaller margin than the Knights’ 5.5-point average margin of defeat.
UAB at Central Florida predictions
Both these teams should have beaten their BCS foes last time out, as UCF dominated K-State and UAB did the same to Tennessee. UCF certainly has the more overall talent but perhaps too much inconsistency at quarterback. The Knights, who are 7-1 ATS in the past eight C-USA games, will win but 12.5 points is too many. Also take the ‘over’
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