College Football Pick
Nothing was too surprising in the first Game for either of these teams. While UCF didn’t even get a win last year, they came out and dominated South Carolina State last weekend. Of course, that doesn’t mean a whole lot as now they get to travel to Michigan. The Wolverines are the bigger story here who came into the season with tons of hype and lived up to it in a 60-point win over Hawaii. They opened as a -34.5 point favorite at the first sportsbook to post their lines each week betonline.
A question for Michigan going into the year was at quarterback and it looks like sophomore Wilton Speight is getting the call. While he threw an interception in his first pass against Hawaii, he still managed to go 10-of-13 for 145 yards. With Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh to throw to, Speight has the tools around him to match what Jake Rudock did a year ago. The bigger question will be if the Wolverines can keep up the ground Game. They went for 306 rushing yards and Four touchdowns against the Rainbow Warriors, but Hawaii might have the worst run defense in the country. That said, UCF was terrible in every facet of the Game last year and it’s still unknown just how good/bad they are after an easy opener.
Either way, Michigan figures to take a similar approach to this Game, using the ground Game to control things with Speight passing here and there.
The biggest thing for the Knights in trying to cover this Game will be scoring. It looks like Michigan’s defense will once again be dominant against weaker teams, similar to last year. After Hawaii dropped 31 points against California in the opener, they only managed three points against the Wolverines.
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As for the Knights, it can’t be forgotten that their new head coach is SCott Frost, who is the former Oregon offensive coordinator. Justin Holman at least has plenty of experience at quarterback, although his numbers are still questionable at best. He went just 14-of-28 in their 38-0 win. In addition, UCF could only muster 3.7 yards per carry.
Most bettors will be on the Wolverines in this Game, simply assuming they could get another Game in which Michigan scores 50 points and allows single digits. Under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan is a highly popular team on a national scale and that will remain so throughout most of the early season without much resistance in the Schedule.
With most of Michigan’s offensive line intact from 2015, expect the Wolverines to use the ground Game to control most of their early Games. And that will apparently include a bevy of running backs from De’Veon Smith and Ty Isaac to Chris Evans, who actually led the team with 112 yards and two TDs in the first Game.
UCF got off to a nice start, but traveling to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines could go exactly the opposite for them. Covering this Game will come down to what Holman can do in his third season as starter and in SCott Frost’s offense.
Our Pick – UCF returns a healthy 8 starters on each side of the ball and while they were 0-12 a year ago, their early season results saw them hold Stanford and South Carolina to 31 points. We’ll go against all those Wolverine bettors as we think UCF keeps this within the spot. Central Florida +35