Central Florida Knights vs. Marshall Thundering Herd
The Central Florida Knights look to get back to winning as they return home to face the Marshall Thundering Herd. The Knights are -18 point favorites over the Thundering Herd with an over/under point total set at 43.5.
After starting the season 2-0 thing were looking up for the UCF Knights but following two consecutive losses this looks more like the young team they are, gaining experience. George O’Leary has put together some solid recruiting classes at Central Florida but the issue is by playing younger players there is a growth process and that is where this team appears to be. QB Jeff Godfrey has completed 69 percent of his passes for 740 yards but he has yet to throw a touchdown and has an interception while he has rushed for 163 yards and 8 touchdowns. Ronnie Weaver has a 5.7 yards per carry average but he has just 198 yards and one score. The Knights have a talented set of wide receivers with Quincy McDuffie grabbing 18 catches and A.J. Guyton catching 16 but neither has recorded a touchdown. The UCF defense has six sacks, one fumble recovery, and four interceptions but the offense has put the ball on the ground 10 times losing five. The Knights defense’s leading tacklers are Kemal Ishmael with 24, Josh Linam with 22, and Jonathan Davis with 19. This is a very talented team at Central Florida but their youth showed in their last two games, both on the road.
No one is going to accuse the Marshall Thundering Herd of under scheduling as they have played three BCS conference schools and their two other games were against teams that went to bowl games last season. While Marshall is 2-3 and have taken some one sided losses, it’s a young team and is gaining experience and confidence each week. QB Rakeem Cato has completed 58.5 percent of his passes for 987 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Tron Martinez is averaging 4.5 yards per carry for 302 yards but Marshall has yet to score a rushing TD this year. Aaron Dobson leads the Thundering Herd in receiving catching 21 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns and Antavious Wilson has 11 catches for 166 yards. The Marshall defense has sacked opposing QB’s 11 times, has snatched six interceptions, and recovered six fumbles. The Thundering Herd’s leading tacklers are Omar Brown with 48, Tyson Gale with 39 tackles, and George Carpenter with 36 tackles. Marshall’s schedule doesn’t get much easier this week.
Central Florida is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven home games, 10-2 against the spread against a team with a losing record, and 8-1 against the spread following a loss. Marshall is 4-1-1 against the spread in their last six conference games, 5-1 against the spread in their last six games overall, and 1-4-1 against the spread following a win. The underdog is 7-2 against the spread in the last nine meetings of these two, the road team has covered in four of the last five, and Marshall is 1-6 against the spread the last seven times they have played UCF.
Central Florida is clearly better home teams than they are on the road at this point but with the spread at 18 this is just too big for a team who hasn’t thrown a TD pass and who turns the ball over against a team who is adept at creating turnovers. I’ll take Marshall to cover here.
Marshall Thundering Herd +18 Central Florida Knights