UCF hasn’t lost a Game since 2016 and is again looking to go undefeated. The Knights haven’t had much competition in the AAC and while Temple has the same 4-0 Conference record, it’s hard to see the Owls pulling off a road upset. The Knights opened as -10.5 point favorites with an over/under of 60.5 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
When these teams met a year ago, it wasn’t a contest with UCF winning easily 45-19. The Knights were surprisingly outgained by 13 yards, but Temple committed five turnovers and shot itself in the foot too many times to stay competitive. The bad news for the Owls is that they’re still turning the ball over a ton with sophomore quarterback Anthony Russo already throwing 10 interceptions in just six starts. He threw three picks against Cincy last week and they still managed an overtime win, but expecting that to happen again is a stretch.
At the least, Temple is playing much better than the one that lost to Villanova and Buffalo the first two weeks of the season when Frank Nutile was at quarterback. The Owls have won five of their last six with the most recent one coming against previously undefeated Cincinnati. UCF has great numbers, but also hasn’t faced much competition, though did allow 36 points to FAU and 30 to Memphis in a narrow win. If the Owls don’t turn the ball over, they could be in business, but getting a ground Game will be important. Top running back Ryquell Armstead has missed the last couple Games and if he can’t go again, Jager Gardner will see the most touches and he’s averaging only 3.1 yards per carry on the season. But again, if Temple doesn’t turn the ball over, Russo has moved the ball well enough and that would keep McKenzie Milton off the field.
Of course, Milton didn’t play in the last win against ECU due to health issues and his status is still up in the air for this Game. That’s going to be an important injury going into this matchup as freshman Darriel MACk wasn’t challenged against ECU and only threw for 69 yards, though ran for 120. If Milton can’t play, Temple’s defense, which hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in its last three Games, could be an issue. Even if Milton plays, the Owls could put up a fight against an offense that has yet to play a legit defense. In the one-point win at Memphis, the UCF only scored 31 points and if Temple doesn’t give UCF short fields, it’s not going to be a free Game for the Knights.
Temple has shown its one of the better teams in the AAC over the last few weeks and could stay competitive against UCF no matter who the quarterback is. With UCF being untested, the Owls will be looking to exploit them.
The Owls are 22-5 ATS in their last 27 Conference Games and 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Knights are 4-1 ATS in their last five at home and 4-1 ATS in their last five overall. The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these schools.
Our Pick – Games involving teams with weak Schedules always present a handicapping challenge. Are they that good? Certainly UCF has proven itself having not lost since 2016.
Our numbers indicate UCF should be favored by about a TD. Which gives us a bit of a cushion when getting +10.5. However, we watched the Temple/Cinci Game a couple of weeks ago and the final was very deceiving. Temple could have easily lost that Game by 10+ bu tluck was on their side, they hung around and managed an OT win.
With that in mind, we are going to go against Our own numbers here and hope we can get a better number than is currently available on Monday. We’ll call it Central Florida -10 or better.