The West Virginia Mountaineers visit the UCF Knights on Saturday in a game where the home team is looking for its first-ever Big 12 Conference win. The Knights are 0-4 in conference play and 3-4 overall. West Virginia is 4-3 and 2-2 in conference play. The West Virginia vs UCF preview sees Central Florida favored by 7 points, and the total on the game is 59.5.
Day/Time: Saturday, October 28, Noon ET
Line: UCF -7 | Total: 59.5
West Virginia Looking to Correct Course
After a 4-1 start, West Virginia has dropped its last two games to drop to 4-3 on the season. The Mountaineers are 4-3 against the point spread and 4-3 in totals. The college football standings show West Virginia being one of four teams in the Big 12 with 2-2 conference records.
The one thing the Mountaineers like to do offensively is run the football. West Virginia has rushed for at least 146 yards each game this NCAAF season. The Mountaineers aren’t a particularly great running team, averaging 4.4 yards per carry against teams allowing 4.2 yards. But they run the ball 44 times per game and throw 26 times. West Virginia completes just 53.6% of its passes for 202.6 yards per game. Overall, West Virginia is averaging 29.3 points against teams, allowing 28.7 points.
The Mountaineers aren’t bad defensively, allowing 26.3 points. West Virginia allows 4.3 yards per rush and isn’t bad against the pass. But the rush defense figures to be tested by the Knights. The Mountaineers just allowed 285 rushing yards to Oklahoma State, and that will have to improve in a hurry.
UCF Better Than Record Indicates
The Knights come into the game with a 3-4 straight-up record and are 3-4 against the point spread. UCF has gone 5-2 in totals. The Knights aren’t used to being under .500 at this point in the season, but it’s their first year in the Big 12. UCF hasn’t seen a schedule like this year’s, where it’s playing the top college football teams on a weekly basis.
UCF is solid offensively, averaging 34.1 points against teams allowing 29.6. Central Florida likes to run the ball and the Knights do it pretty well, gaining 5.6 yards per carry against teams allowing 4.3 yards. But the Knights can throw the ball, gaining 267.1 yards per game and 9.5 yards per pass attempt. UCF is -4 in turnovers for the season, which has hurt it taking advantage of the offense at times.
The defense is pretty average, allowing 28.3 points to teams scoring 27.7 points per game. The run defense hasn’t been that impressive, allowing 4.9 yards per rush to teams averaging 4.3 yards a carry. And the Mountaineers are going to test UCF’s defensive line.
What to Expect
Normally when you see two football teams who like to run the ball, the under isn’t a bad play. But both NCAAF teams should have some success on the ground, which makes the under a bit of a risky proposition in this one.
You have to expect plenty of rushing attempts by both teams, but the Knights are more likely to be able to mix in some passes along the way. But, the West Virginia vs UCF preview sees the Mountaineers scoring one point for every 13.5 yards gained and the Knights score a point for every 14.6 yards gained.
West Virginia hasn’t been a very good road team, while the Knights aren’t bad at home. That’s one reason the NCAAF scores and odds on this game have UCF as solid favorites with a higher total than West Virginia has played to this season. The Mountaineers’ previous high over/under was 55.5 points.
Who to Bet On?
The West Virginia vs UCF preview has to point out the spread is a bit high in this one. West Virginia has played a slightly more demanding schedule than UCF and has a pair of conference victories under its belt. The Knights just gave Oklahoma all it wanted in a 31-29 loss as 17-point underdogs. But the game may have taken a bit out of Central Florida.
Although you could almost make the same case with West Virginia, which lost on a last-play ‘Hail Mary’ two games ago and allowed 28 fourth-quarter points in a 48-34 loss to Oklahoma State last week.
Given the fact the Knights are 0-4 in conference play, the potential to get that first win should have them ready and focused. Central Florida’s running game will be the difference, so take UCF -7.
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