CENTRAL FLORIDA KNIGHTS (4-1)
at LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (6-0)
Kickoff: Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: Louisville -12, Total: 53
No. 8 Louisville attempts to stay undefeated behind the arm of Heisman hopeful QB Teddy Bridgewater as UCF looks for a huge upset in this American Athletic Conference matchup.
Bridgewater and the Cardinals have been outstanding this season, with their closest game coming last week against Rutgers where they had only a touchdown lead late in the fourth quarter, eventually winning 24-10. UCF has looked strong lately as well, beating Penn State 34-31 on the road three weeks ago and then nearly pulling off an upset against South Carolina the next week in a 28-25 loss. UCF also pulled off an unusual win in Memphis this past week, scoring two touchdowns (both fumble recoveries) in nine seconds late in the fourth quarter en route to a 24-17 victory. The Knights have been exceptional on the road in their past eight games (6-2 SU) and are 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) away from home this season. But they will have the task of facing a Louisville team that has won 10 of its past 11 games at home SU and has outscored its opponents by 41.2 PPG on average this season in Louisville. This meeting will be the first between these two programs.
Can UCF put a major scare in the unbeaten Cardinals on Friday? For the answer, connect to College Football Best Bets for all the StatFox Experts picks throughout the 2013 regular season and bowl season. The experts continued their hot streak in college football Best Bets with a strong 64% ATS record (14-8-2) this past week, highlighted by StatFox Brian's perfect 6-0 ATS mark. The four experts are now a combined 59% ATS (75-52-5) for the season. StatFox Gary is a sizzling 73% ATS (11-4-1) in college football Best Bets over the past five weeks and 63% ATS (12-7-1) this year. StatFox Brian is also at 63% ATS (17-10-1) for the year in Best Bets, while StatFox Scott is 59% ATS (13-9-2) on Best Bets in the past four weeks and 57% ATS (21-16-2) for the season. StatFox Dave is 71% ATS (12-5-1) on Best Bets in the past three weeks and 57% ATS (22-17) for the season.
UCF has looked great this year and nearly pulled off a huge upset earlier in the season in its only loss against South Carolina, losing 28-25, but did not surrender a single point to the Gamecocks in the first half. QB Blake Bortles has enjoyed another strong season with 1,334 passing yards, nine touchdowns and only three interceptions. All three of Bortles' interceptions came in the games against tough opponents, Penn State and South Carolina. The duo of WR Breshad Perriman (397 rec. yards, 1 TD) and WR Rannell Hall (373 rec. yards, 3 TD) has combined to catch 39 of the 95 receptions (41%) for the team. Helping the passing game out has been the ever-consistent HB Storm Johnson. He has carried between 16 and 20 carries in each of the five games and has totaled 455 rushing yards (5.2 YPC) with seven touchdowns. The Knights defense is what has been really impressive this season, only allowing 16.6 points per game (11th in the nation) and much of their success can be attributed to forcing 12 turnovers against their opponents, including eight over the past two games.
Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater has done everything that was expected of him this season, as he has thrown for 1,812 yards, 18 touchdowns and only two interceptions, leading the Louisville pass attack to 14th-best in the nation. Star WR Devonte Parker (375 rec. yards, 6 TD) is listed as questionable for this game with a shoulder injury that forced him to watch from the sidelines against Rutgers. WR Damian Copeland has filled in nicely as the number one receiving option for Bridgewater, and had eight receptions for 115 yards in Parker's absence last week. Also picking up some of the offensive slack last week was HB Senorise Perry, who ran for 104 yards on 13 carries (8.0 YPC) and one touchdown; bringing his season numbers to 402 yards on 67 carries (6.0 YPC) with five touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, look for LB Preston Brown to lead the nation's second-ranked rushing defense (68.3 rush YPG allowed) and fifth-ranked pass defense (161.2 pass YPG allowed). The Louisville defense has not allowed more than 13 points in any of its six games this year, and has given up the least amount of points per game in the nation (7.3 PPG).