Friday night football picks in Provo are going to be tough to make, as a pair of teams that are trying to make a name for themselves duke it out at Lavell Edwards Stadium, as the BYU Cougars host the UCF Knights.
Though that sentiment really never came through the rest of the country, many in Orlando thought that this could be a BCS type of season for the Knights. They were highly touted as potentially even the second best team in the state behind the Florida State Seminoles, but those thoughts were quickly quelled last week with a loss to the Florida International Golden Panthers. FIU, a team out of the Sun Belt, might have drawn up the game plan for beating these Knights, as it stacked the box with eight players all night long and dared QB Jeff Godfrey to throw the football. Though Godfrey is certainly a superior talent in the state at the quarterback position, he isn’t quite finely tuned enough as a passer to make defenses pay for that type of look. That being said, this running game is phenomenal with RBs Latavius Murray, Brynn Harvey, and Ronnie Weaver, especially when you throw into the mix the fact that Godfrey has six rushing touchdowns on his own. The defense has been stout all year long, allowing just 20 total points in three games.
Heck, the Cougars allowed that in the fourth quarter alone against the Utah Utes last week! It was the home opener for BYU off of a tough loss against the Texas Longhorns, and all of the air was taken out of Lavell Edwards Stadium in the second half of the “Holy War.” It was a closely run contest at halftime, with the Utes leading 14-10, but from there on out, the newest members of the Pac-12 went on a 40-0 scoring run to blow the game out of the water. Neither side of the ball played particularly well in the second half, as the offense allowed a TD, and the defense was picked apart for three long scores. Five TDs for Utah came from at least 30 yards away from the end zone. That must stop this week if the Cougars have any chance of redemption in this, their first year of independence in college football. QB Jake Heaps is also a sophomore like Godfrey, and, much like Godfrey, he has a lot of talent. However, he has a lot of growing to do as well, and this isn’t the defense to be going through growing pains against.
UCF Knights @ BYU Cougars Pick: We just don’t know if BYU has the goods in this game to stick with UCF’s defense. As long as FIU doesn’t essentially beat the Knights twice, we like the guests in this one to come on the road and pull off the upset in one of the bigger wins on national television in school history.
NCAA Football Pick: UCF Knights +3 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.