UCF vs. Marshall 7:30 EST ESPN2
I backed Marshall in one of their earlier games this season at Kansas State. After watching them lose the cover late in the fourth after yelling profanities at them for two and a half hours, I swore to myself that I would never back this squad again this year. They have a quick defense that pursuits well, but their offense is atrocious. Even when they did something positive offensively, they'd turn the ball over on the very next play.
Their Offensive Line can't handle the blitz, and their Quarterback always seems to be on the run. They've played a much tougher schedule than the Knights to date and have had 10 days to prepare for this game. That being said, I still don't believe they have the goods to get past this UCF squad that had many opportunities to win a week ago. We cashed with Head Coach O'Leary's Golden Knights last week even though they did everything they possibly could to lose the game SU; from having a punt blocked to set up the Golden Eagles first TD, to fumbling the ball going into the endzone that would have given them their first lead of the game. Still, they managed to stay within the number and anger a bunch of people in the process considering a ton of steam came in on the Golden Eagles late.
UCF vs. Marshall – Total 44
This certainly isn't the prettiest match-up ESPN could have dished out on a Wednesday night, but it's weeknight college football, and many across the land will no doubt have a rooting interest. Both of these squads are flat out dawgs, but I have a gut feeling that this could turn out to be one of the more entertaining games of the midweek games to date.
Marshall's offensive bread and butter has been its ground attack. However, the Golden Knights defend the run well, but they're an absolute sieve when it comes to defending pigskins thrown in the air. UCF's allowing opponents to pass for 298 YPG, and of the 12 TD's they've surrendered this year, nine came via the pass. Marshall's defense has been balanced all year long in that it gives up a ton of yardage on the ground and in the air. They've allowed opponents to convert 45% of their 3rd down tries and a whopping 94% of their red zone chances. In other words, the only time the Thundering Herd's defense has gotten off the field is after they allowed their opponent to score.
With each club having major deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball, I'm expecting both offensive units to put forth their best efforts of the young season. This series has historically been low scoring, but I'm looking for a wrench to be thrown into that trend this evening.
College Football Picks: Take the OVER 44