UCF at SMU
Saturday, 4:15 pm PT - ESPN2
CRIS Opener: UCF -12 O/U 73.5
CRIS Current: UCF -14.5 O/U 72.5
The tremendous balance of UCF’s offense (313.1 ypg passing, 15th nationally; 216.5 ypg rushing, 26th nationally) is going to give SMU a ton of problems on Saturday. The Mustangs have an average at-best stop unit in terms of AAC play but it’s important to note they have yet to face Memphis, South Florida (who they don’t play), and UCF who arguably make up the top three offenses in the league. SMU’s numbers against the run look solid but eliminate the -8 yards they allowed to UConn and things get ugly. TCU, Houston, Cincinnati, and Tulsa all went for 245+ on the ground against the Mustangs. That resulted in 38.3 ppg allowed and the scary thing is UCF is just as explosive if not more than all for other those squads. A typical UCF output suggests it will have no trouble topping 45 points.
On the flip side, SMU should have some success offensively as well with quarterback Ben Hicks (60.1%, 19-6 TD-INT ratio) chucking the ball all over the field. The Mustangs have the 9th highest scoring offense in the country (41.5 ppg) and have only scored fewer than 30 points once. The UCF defense has been solid (5.22 ypp) but you can make an argument this will be its toughest test of the year. They’ve allowed 21+ in each of their last four games and none of those opponents feature as strong an offensive attack as SMU. Note that both squads are two of only 19 teams nationally that have hit on 15 or more 40+ yard plays. This one has the potential to be a shootout. Play it over.