Matchup: UCF Knights vs. Louisville Cardinals
Date/Time: October 18th, 8:00 ET
College Football Odds from BetDSI.EU
Point Spread: Louisville -10.5
About the only team that is left in the way of the Louisville Cardinals this year is the UCF Knights. The boys from Orlando are coming on the road this week with hopes of taking down one of the best in the land, but this isn’t going to be an easy test for either of these teams.
UCF has made quite the name for itself this year. The team has a win over the Penn State Nittany Lions on the road, and it almost beat the South Carolina Gamecocks at home. That said, last week, the club really probably should have lost to the lowly Memphis Tigers, who are one of the deadbeat teams of the new AAC. Was that a sandwich game, or a sign of things to come? We’ve seen some good things out of the Knights on defense this year, but the key to this game is going to be getting QB Blake Bortles going in a big time way. Bortles is averaging 9.4 yards per pass attempt this year, and though this is a rushing team by nature, the passing game is as good as it has been in quite some time. Bortles has thrown for 1,334 yards in five games and has nine TDs against just three picks. He’ll have to be at his best against a stout Louisville defense to give the Knights a shot at sticking around in this game.
Louisville caught a bit of a test last week against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in what amounted to be perhaps the most competitive game of the season. QB Teddy Bridgewater and the gang were never in danger of losing though, and though the Heisman Trophy favorite had the worst game of his season, he was picked up by his teammates. This poor Louisville squad isn’t going to get many opportunities like this one to showcase itself on national television. Last week didn’t go so well. This week, even if it goes tremendously well and the team wins by 70, it isn’t going to make a lick of difference in the eyes of the voters. The first BCS rankings come out next week, and that’s when we’ll see just how legitimate this team is viewed. The Cards haven’t given up more than 13 points in a game all season long, and for all that we could say positive about Bridgewater and his stacked offense, it’s the ‘D’ that is really making the difference.
We would love to think that UCF is the toughest challenge for Louisville on the season, and that probably is the case when push comes to shove. However, if the Knights don’t figure out how to become the first team to score two touchdowns in a game against this unit, the game isn’t going to be all that close. For as good as the Knights have been defensively, they aren’t holding Louisville in the teens. This could be close for a little while, but it’s blowout city in the fourth quarter like the rest of the Cardinals game.
UCF Knights vs. Louisville Cardinals Pick: Louisville Cardinals -10.5
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.