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UCONN Hosts Central Florida (21) to Open Season

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  • UCONN Hosts Central Florida (21) to Open Season

    Central Florida Black Knights


    Can Central Florida Do it Again?

    The Central Florida Knights and the UCONN Huskies will meet at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. This Thursday Night matchup will kick off the season for both teams. ESPNU has the kickoff at 7 pm.

    Oddsmakers opened the Knights as -16.5-point favorites versus the Huskies, while the game’s total opened at 69.5. The line is now Central Florida as 24-point favorites. The total is now 70.

    Central Florida will be hard-pressed to match its magical undefeated 2017 season. The Knights begin a new campaign in the American Athletic Conference expecting to make noise again. After losing Head Coach Scott Frost it will be tough.

    Former Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel takes over as coach.

    The Black Knights have won three of the five previous meetings. They had a 49-24 triumph last year in Orlando, Fla.


    UCONN Looks to Improve in 2018

    Coach Randy Edsall begins the second season of his second stint with the Huskies. He needs to replace nine starters on defense. He has told reporters this freshman class may be the best he has ever had at UConn.

    The Huskies’ offense is more seasoned with senior David Pindell taking over full time at quarterback. He passed for more than 200 yards in the last three games of 2017, including 201 against UCF.

    Edsall told reporters of Pindell: “He seems a lot faster, looks a lot faster than what he was a year (ago). Not a guy that talks a lot, but the kid is really respected, and he’s a hard worker.”

    The Huskies return their top rusher in sophomore Kevin Mensah. He had 561 yards and four TDs. Redshirt freshman Zavier Scott from Texas was listed as the starter on this week’s depth chart.

    Senior Hergy Mayala had 43 catches, 615 yards, and seven TDs in 2017. He keys the receiving corps that includes five players (also tight end Aaron McLean and wideouts Keyion Dixon, Quayvon Skanes and Tyraiq Beals) who registered at least 30 receptions last season.


    Central Florida Has New Coach, but Plenty of Talent

    Missouri finished in the top 10 in the nation for total offense last year under Heupel. Heupel is a former Oklahoma quarterback that excelled at his position. McKenzie Milton should prosper despite losing his top receiver Tre’Quan Smith to the NFL. It will be tough to match a 13-0 season.

    Junior All-Conference center Jordan Johnson anchors the offensive line for the Knights. They return sophomore Otis Anderson and junior Adrian Killins Jr., who had 790 rushing yards, at running back. Junior receiver Dredrick Snelson is back. He had 46 catches, 695 yards, and eight TDs.

    New defensive coordinator Randy Shannon must replace some key people. Senior linebacker Pat Jasinski had 104 tackles. Senior safety Kyle Gibson had four interceptions. They are expected to lead Shannon’s defense.

    Junior quarterback McKenzie Milton, who was eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting last year, leads the way for 23rd-ranked UCF.


    Prediction: UCF 42, UCONN 21





    Recent Form
    Central Florida 13-0 8-4-1 49.50 25.31 24.19 4-3 4-1-1 8-5 6-1 2-4
    Connecticut 3-9 5-7 27.67 37.92 -10.25 2-5 3-2 6-6 3-4 3-2

    Power Stats

    Yards Per Point
    UCF 10.25 16.91 -6.65
    UCONN 17.68 13.69 4

    Yards Per Pass
    UCF 14.02 13.35 0.67
    UCONN 13.01 12.60 0.41

    Yards Per Rush
    UCF 4.74 4.17 0.57
    UCONN 4.80 4.97 -0.17

    Team Records

    Central Florida Knights
    Overall 13-0 7-0 6-0 8-4-1 4-3 4-1-1 48.23 25.31 22.92
    vs Conf 9-0 5-0 4-0 5-3-1 3-2 2-1-1 46.78 26.89 19.89
    Last 3 3-0 2-0 1-0 2-1 1-1 1-0 48.33 41.33 7.00

    UCONN Huskies
    Overall 3-9 2-5 1-4 5-7 2-5 3-2 23.58 37.92 -14.34
    vs Conf 2-6 1-3 1-3 5-3 2-2 3-1 26.25 38.25 -12.00
    Last 3 0-3 0-1 0-2 2-1 0-1 2-0 20.33 36.67 -16.34

    Supergrid
    Away Team Overall Scoring vs Home Team Overall Defense 48.23 1 37.92 121
    Away Team Road Passing vs Home Team Home Passing Defense 282.67 22 338.71 128
    Awy Team Road Rushing vs Home Team Home Rushing Defense 190.00 36 200.86 106
    Home Team Overall Scoring vs Away Team Overall Defense 23.58 102 25.31 52
    Home Team Home Passing vs Away Team Road Passing Defense 288.00 31 236.50 69
    Hme Team Home Rushing vs Away Team Road Rushing Defense 146.57 96 149.17 36

    Head To Head Summary
    Central Florida 3-2 2-3 4-1 35.40 127.40 4.14 42.00 61.43 310.60 438.00 2.20
    Connecticut 2-3 3-2 4-1 26.80 164.60 4.01 30.00 54.67 199.20 363.80 1.40


    Head To Head Detail
    Nov 11, 2017 UCONN UCF 24-49 212 201 413 2 173 346 519 1
    Oct 22, 2016 UCF UCONN 24-16 83 317 400 0 171 242 413 0
    Oct 10, 2015 UCONN UCF 40-13 170 263 433 0 60 255 315 4
    Nov 1, 2014 UCF UCONN 29-37 145 284 429 4 179 148 327 1
    Oct 26, 2013 UCONN UCF 17-62 91 142 233 4 176 351 527 2

    NCAA Football Betting and Odds Trends

    Team Last 5 Games

    Central Florida Knights
    Jan 1, 2018 AUBRN 34-27 W 15/70.5 W/U 169 242 411 90 331 421 -2 A
    Dec 2, 2017 MEMPHS 62-55 W -6.5/80 W/O 232 494 726 282 471 753 2 H
    Nov 24, 2017 USF 49-42 W -10/65 L/O 160 373 533 150 503 653 -1 H
    Nov 18, 2017 TEMPLE 45-19 W -13/58.5 W/O 130 254 384 196 201 397 -5 A
    Nov 11, 2017 UCONN 49-24 W -39.5/64 L/O 173 346 519 212 201 413 -1 H

    UCONN Huskies
    Nov 25, 2017 CINCIN 21-22 L 6.5/58.5 W/U 176 273 449 136 199 335 0 A
    Nov 18, 2017 BOST.C 16-39 L 21/51 L/O 171 241 412 330 55 385 2 H
    Nov 11, 2017 UCF 24-49 L 39.5/64 W/O 212 201 413 173 346 519 1 A
    Nov 4, 2017 USF 20-37 L 23/63.5 W/U 148 176 324 217 385 602 -1 H
    Oct 28, 2017 MIZZOU 12-52 L 13/75.5 L/U 121 233 354 175 408 583 0 H


    Next up:

    UCF home to South Carolina State Saturday, September 8
    UCONN at Boise State Saturday, September 8


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