Spread: UCF (-7.5)
Time and Location: 3:30 ET, Orlando, Florida
Stanford marched into Los Angeles on Saturday and were sent packing by the USC Trojans. The Cardinal lost 45-20 in a game where they only totalled 330 yards on the night. Stanford fell out of the rankings.
The key to the loss was the lack of run game that Stanford could produce. Top rusher Cameron Scarlett only mustered 82 yards towards the 98 total for the team. Scarlett scored the only rushing touchdown.
Quarterback Davis Mills only went 22 for 36 with one touchdown and one interception on an exceptionally low 6.6 yards per attempt. The coaching staff need to be better playing downfield. The only touchdown went to Conner Wedington who had a 13.4 YPC average.
Stanford’s defense wasn’t able to stop much as they gave up 45 points and 490 yards. The damage was shared equally between the passing and rushing games.
USC averaged 4.1 YPC but still managed 3 touchdowns with their 28 carries. Stanford knew that USC wanted to run when they got close but were unable to stop it as 2 of the touchdowns were from inside 10 yards.
The whole team was torched on passing plays. USC passed for 377 yards and 3 touchdowns and completed 28-33 pass attempts. The secondary was unable to intercept a pass, as the only turnover came on a fumble, and the line couldn’t get any pressure. The line only sacked the quarterback one. That has to be better.
The Golden Knights played in Boca Raton on Saturday and earned a 48-14 victory over Lane Kiffin’s FAU Owls. UCF rushed out to a 28-6 lead by halftime and never took their foot off the gas.
Josh Heupal made interesting personnel decisions as the main quarterback was Dillon Gabriel over Quadry Jones or Brandon Wimbush. Gabriel was okay, passing for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns with a passer rating of 179.9, but wasn’t very accurate. In fact, if you were to take away the two touchdown passes, Gabriel stats would be 131 yards, no scores, and a passer rating of only 94.1. He was lucky to get help from his receivers in that situation.
The running game was where UCF played its best football. Greg McCrae, Bentavious Thompson, and Otis Anderson all went for over 70 yards while Adrian Killins added 37. All 4 players found the endzone.
UCF only forced 1 turnover, but don’t let that fool you into thinking FAU were just bad offensively. UCF had a ton of success at breaking through the line of scrimmage and tackling for a loss. UCF had 16 TFL and 5 sacks.
FAU had decent success running, but passing was very difficult. UCF only allowed 177 yards in their air that contributed to a 314 total. Eric Mitchell was the leader as he accumulated 9 tackles with 2.5 TFL and a sack.
Analysis and Pick
Stanford will be looking for revenge coming off a tough loss, but rebounding against a ranked team in their stadium is a really tough thing to do no matter who you are. UCF has been waiting for the opportunity to play P5 teams for years to show everyone what they’re really made of, so this will be a tough game for Stanford.
The spread is too close for me to think about Stanford right now. I know Stanford was just ranked, but UCF is on a different level for me. I’m taking UCF at home unless something huge changes.
I’m also going to take the under in this match. UCF has yet to hit an over while scoring 48 and 62 points while Stanford is only 1-1 with a -0.8 average. UCF will handle Stanford but it won’t get way out of hand. So to recap, UCF covers while the under hits.