Central Florida Looks to Notch a Power 5 Win with Stanford
The Stanford Cardinal and the Central Florida Knights will meet on Saturday at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando. The 16th-ranked Knights looks to add a pair of victories over Power Five teams to its resume the next two weeks. It starts with this home matchup against Stanford. UCF visits Pittsburgh next week. But first things first.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: UCF -9; O/U: 59.
The Knights rolled over Florida A&M 62-0 in its opener at home and was just as impressive last Saturday. They went on the road and whipped Florida Atlantic 48-14 for the programs 24th straight regular-season victory.
The big question for the Knights is who will coach Josh Heupel at quarterback. Senior Brandon Wimbush started the opener while freshman Dillon Gabriel got the call at Florida Atlantic. Sophomore Darriel Mack Jr., who was out with an ankle injury, was cleared to play this week. He threw for 348 yards in the AAC title game last year. “There’s some reps that have been missed,” Heupel told reporters of Mack. “The last couple weeks, he’s been throwing routes on air and moving, doing escape drills, and his movement is where we need it to be. … He’s got as much experience or more than anyone in the room in playing in our offense.”
Stanford beat Northwestern 17-7 in the opener before falling 45-20 in its Pac-12 opener at USC last week. Senior quarterback K.J. Costello (concussion) is expected to return after missing the Southern Cal game. Head Coach David Shaw knows the Cardinal are facing a different team than the one they beat 31-7 in 2015. “They’re night and day from the team we played years ago,” Shaw told reporters. “Bigger, faster, longer. … They’ve done a lot, they’ve won a lot and they play the game fast but they play the game well.”
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Stanford Cardinal have started the season 1-1. Costello was 16-of-20 for 152 yards and a touchdown in the victory over Northwestern. Junior Davis Mills threw for 237 yards with a TD and an interception against USC. Wide receiver Connor Wedington finished with a career-high 187 all-purpose yards in last week’s setback. He leads the Cardinal receiving corp with 12 catches for 136 yards along with a touchdown. Tight end Colby Parkinson has gained 127 yards on 11 receptions. Running back Cameron Scarlett leads the rushing attack with 179 yards. The offense took a big hit when tackle Walker Little, who made the preseason Outland Trophy watch list, was lost for the season with a knee injury.
Central Florida has started the season 2-0. While Mack and Wimbush are experienced options, senior tackle Jake Brown has been impressed with Gabriel’s presence. He told the Orlando Sentinel: “He does not act like a freshman. You wouldn’t believe it. He acts like a senior. He leads and does his thing.” Gabriel has five TD passes on the season. Two of them have gone to receiver Gabriel Davis. Davis has six catches for 166 yards in the first two games. The Knights are also deep at running back with four players rushing for at least 100 yards in the early going. Bentavious Thompson (155, one TD), Greg McCrae (149, two), Adrian Killins Jr. (143, two) and Otis Anderson (112, one).
The Dart Throw: Central Florida 42, Stanford 17
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Central Florida Knights Trends
- Trend Over is 6-1 in Knights last 7 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. Hit % 85.70% (7) O/U 6|1 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 5-2 in Knights last 7 games as a home favorite. 71.40% (7) 2|5 0
- Over is 4-1 in Knights last 5 games as a home favorite of 0.5-3.0. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
- Under is 4-1 in Knights last 5 games as a home underdog of 10.5 or greater. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
Stanford Cardinal Trends
- Trend Over is 5-1 in Cardinal last 6 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 83.30% (6) O/U 5|1 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 9-3 in Cardinal last 12 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 75.00% (12) 6|1 0
- Over is 14-2 in Cardinal last 16 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0. 87.50% (16) 14|2 0
- Under is 7-2 in Cardinal last 9 games as a road favorite. 77.80% (9) 2|7 0
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Stanford home to Oregon Saturday, September 21
UCF at Pittsburgh Saturday, September 21
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