Back UCF in Tight Matchup Against SMU

SMU vs. UCF, 7 ET

A battle of two three-letter schools is upon us. SMU is traveling to take on UCF in a game that has been moved due to the hurricane. This is a game that is probably going to be closer than you'd imagine. I'm excited about it and have a side to play if you're interested. If you're reading, you must be, so let's get to it.

SMU is just 2-2 on the year but they've played pretty well. They've lost their last two games, both were to decent opponents though. They lost a tough one to TCU by one score, and the same with Maryland. It doesn't get much easier as they now must face a good UCF team. SMU has a really strong passing attack, even if Tanner Mordecai makes some questionable decisions at times. On the ground, they are averaging just 153 yards per game which isn't much in comparison to some of the other top schools in the country. They are making up for it in the passing game though. UCF has a solid secondary and has held teams to just under 170 yards per game through the air. I think we see the edge there.

UCF is 3-1 and their one loss came to Louisville. Outside of that, they've basically destroyed everyone. I was wrong about the Louisville game and could be wrong about this one too, but I think UCF has what it takes to complete this one at home and cover the spread. For them, they will need a big game from quarterback John Rhys Plumlee if they expect to take it home. While he isn't the most dangerous from the pocket, he can scramble and make plays downfield. He is the leading rusher for the team and has kept a lot of plays alive by making something out of nothing. He will need to do better than he did against Georgia Tech though. Even with an easy victory, he was just 8-for-16 and threw for only 49 yards and an interception. Sometimes it isn't pretty, but a win is a win.

Would it shock me to see SMU come in and upset UCF? Not really. I do think both are good enough teams that can win the game. However, I think that UCF's defense is in a better spot. If Rhys Plumlee can make any progress through the air, I think this is an easy cover. The problem is when he is throwing poorly, it is really poor. Quarterbacks have been able to get most of what they want against SMU though, so I'll lay the -3 with UCF.

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