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UCF vs FAU: Preview & Prediction

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Don’t call it a rivalry... yet. This in-state battle should be a whole lot of fun.

NCAA Football: South Carolina State at Central Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Friday, September 21

Time: 7:00pm ET

TV: ESPN

Stream: WatchESPN/ESPN App

Radio: ESPN West Palm 106.3/96.9 The Game in Orlando

Location: Spectrum Stadium-Orlando, FL

Betting line: -13.5 UCF

O/U: 77


In-state match ups are always intense and this one will be no different. The Knights and the Owls are both coming off the best season in their respective program’s history and will now face off in what should be a fast pace, high scoring game. This game got a little bit of added juice when FAU coach Lane Kiffin found some bulletin board material to fire up his players. The only issue? Knights defensive back Nevelle Clark never really said what was printed out.

Central Florida outlook

The Knights haven’t skipped a beat from last season under new head coach Josh Heupel. We know about this high scoring offense lead by quarterback McMenzie Milton who has 549 passing yards and six touchdowns through two games. He’s found big time weapons like wide receivers Tre Nixon and Gabriel Davis but gotten some much needed balance from running back Adrian Killins Jr. They’ll be going against an FAU defense that has given up a lot of points through three games and this shouldn’t be any different. The real question mark for UCF will be defense under new coordinator Randy Shannon. Shannon is no stranger to putting together championship level defenses as he had one as a coordinator at Miami. He looks to improve the weakness from this team a year ago but he will have his hands full. This is first stiff test of the season for Shannon’s group who will see an offense with many weapons of their own.

NCAA Football: South Carolina State at Central Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Atlantic outlook

We all saw the Owls get their teeth kicked in week one against Oklahoma but that was a completely different animal. They’ve bounced back with two wins in a row and look to be ready to reclaim some of that preseason buzz they had. Under new coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. the offense has been coming a long nicely by finding new starting quarterback Chris Robison who has 799 passing yards and 4 touchdowns through the first three games of the season. Running back Devin Singletary hasn’t picked picked up exactly where he left off but this could be a game to really kick things into gear. Wide receiver Jovon Durante has been a nice addition to this offense having 297 yards receiving and two touchdowns so far and they got tight end Harrison Bryant more involved last week against Bethune Cookman. The defense has gotten off to a rocky start giving up 63, 27 and 28 in each of their first three games. If they want to stay in this game they’re going to have to find a way to slow down the UCF attack.

NCAA Football: Bethune Cookman at Florida Atlantic Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction

This game has the potential to provide back and forth scoring drives along with big exciting plays. The key to this game will be the defenses, which one will be able to get just enough stops to outscore the other? UCF is going to get FAU’s best shot and I believe Lane Kiffin will have his guys focused and motivated but I think eventually the defending national champions (yeah I said it) will be too much for the Owls. Too much firepower and an underrated home field advantage at Spectrum Stadium. Is this a rivalry? No, well not yet at least but this game could get the ball rolling on that. I like the Knights to win but not cover and you should probably take the over!