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UCF Knights vs Tulane Green Wave: Preview, Betting Line, Start Time, TV, Radio

After a brutal second half collapse against Houston, UCF should notch a win against the easiest game remaining on the schedule.

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Start Time: Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 5 PM EST.

Location: Brighthouse Networks Stadium , Orlando, FL

TV/Streaming: WatchESPN. Sigh.

Radio/Live Stats: 96.9 FM/740 AM in Orlando, and over here for live stats.

Betting Line: UCF opened as a 16.5 favorite, but is now a 17 point favorite depending where you look.

Records: UCF is 4-4, 2-2 in the AAC. Tulane is 3-5, with four conference losses and not a single win.

All-Time Series: UCF leads, 5-2. Tulane has never won in Orlando.

UCF Outlook: This is an important game for the Knights in order to get bowl eligible. At this point in the season, we know who the Knights are – a middling team that shows promise for the future but makes too many mistakes and has trouble closing out games (Maryland in double overtime. Temple with :01 on the clock. Houston in a second half collapse). Looking at the schedule that remains, USF is a likely loss. Tulsa a toss-up. Tulane and Cincinnati look like the likely wins – so let’s see the Knights collect them and get bowl eligible. If on the other hand the Knights lose to a poor Tulane team, it portends very bad things for UCF’s bowl prospects.

So let’s take care of business and not have to worry about it, hm?

Last week’s collapse was lamentable, but linebacker Shaquem Griffin continues to be the star of the defense. Against Houston, the one-handed Griffin notched 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and – yes – his first interception.

I thought I might embed a video of the interception, but then I thought this was mroe awesome and decided to embed it instead:

Griffin has 10% of the team’s total tackles (tied for first on the team with fellow LB Mark Rucker – both have 48). Griffin also leads the Knights in tackles for loss (12), sacks (8.5, or 43% of the Knights’ sacks), and forced fumbles (2).

I’ll look for his success to continue against the most beatable team left on the slate ...

Tulane Outlook: Like the Knights, Tulane is also coming off a tough loss. The Green Wave allowed SMU to score 14 points in less than six and a half minutes and lost 35-31. That made it three in a row for Tulane, who also lost to Memphis and Tulsa in October.

During its three game skid, Tulane has suffered from numerous self-inflicted injuries in the form of penalties. After only having 29 penalties through the first five games of the season, the Green Wave racked up 26 in the last three.

Expect the Green Wave to pound the ball. Tulane has the sixteenth ranked rushing offense in terms of total yardage with an average of 248 per game. Tulane is led on the ground by junior RB Dontrell Hilliard, who has eight touchdowns and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Two other RBs are also getting at least six yards per carry – seniors Josh Rounds and Lazedrick Thompson.[1] If Tulane’s going to win, it’s because they follow a Temple-esque blueprint.

[1] Among those with meaningful carries. Freshman Andrew Zuckerman has 26 yards on 4 carries. OK.