Friday night features two games of college football action, headlined by an American Conference matchup between the UCF Knights and Cincinnati Bearcats. Here’s a closer look at both of those matchups:
#18 UCF Knights (-4) at Cincinnati Bearcats, 10:00 PM:
The 18th-ranked UCF Knights head to Cincinnati as a pair of one loss AAC teams meet head to head after big offensive outings.
Coming off their first loss of the season, UCF bounced back in dominant fashion. The Knights lea 42-0 at half-time and went on to defeat the UCONN Huskies 56-21 behind a solid outing from freshman quarterback Dillion Gabriel.
Gabriel completed 11-of-16 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Gabriel Davis caught all three of those touchdown passes and totaled five receptions for 119 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown reception.
The Cincinnati Bearcats rolled on the road led by the play of three sophomores, and large in part from quarterback Desmond Rider, defeating Marshall 52-14.
Rider had a career-high four touchdown passes while completing 18-of-22 for 221 yards, adding nine carries for 48 yards. Wide receiver Alec Pierce caught a team-high six receptions for 108 yards and one touchdown.
Running back Tavion Thomas rounded off the sophomores with 70 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.
UCF is my play at (-4). The Bearcats have covered against the spread in all but one matchup this season (3-1), but that matchup was against the team’s only ranked opponent so far; Cincinnati lost to Ohio State 42-0.
The Knights will be the Bearcats’ toughest opponent in weeks, and after already losing on the road to an unranked opponent, my anticipation is that UCF has a huge game. I’d also advise taking the over in this matchup at 60.5.
New Mexico Lobos @ San Jose State Spartans (-6.5), 10:00 PM:
The New Mexico Lobos and San Jose State Spartans look to bounce back and get themselves back in the mix of the Mountain West standings.
San Jose State (2-2) was held in check for most of the game during their 41-24 loss to Air Force. Despite the loss, the Spartans managed to score two late touchdowns with under four minutes left to cover the 19.5-point spread.
San Jose State’s starters failed to get anything going, but found production out of freshman backup quarterback Nick Nash. Nash completed 5-of-7 for 82 yards and two touchdowns, adding a team-leading 11 carries for 62 yards.
New Mexico (2-2) also significantly struggled on the road at Liberty, falling to the Flames 17-10.
Sophomore quarterback Tevaka Tuioti did what he could to make plays, completing 12-of-26 for 139 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, adding seven carries for 57 yards.
The pick is San Jose State (-6.5). New Mexico is 0-2 on the road this season, and are averaging 12 ppg in those two outings. Add those numbers with the Lobos’ defense allowing 41.5 ppg, and I have plenty of reason to believe the Spartans cover this spread with ease