UCF vs. UConn fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, August 30
Game Time: 7:00 pm ET
Venue: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, Storrs, CT
UCF (0-0) vs. UConn (0-0) Game Preview
The defending national champs get to show the world what they can do with a new coach, some new key parts, and with the spotlight on a national stage on the first Thursday night of the college football season.
UCF still has several of the stars back from last year’s fantastic run, but with Scott Frost off to Nebraska, the pressure is on new head coach Josh Heupel to not just win right away, but win really, really big against a UConn team that desperately needs something positive.
6-20 going back to their shocking upset over Houston in 2015, the Husky program hasn’t been able to turn things around. Beating UCF – and avenging last year’s 49-24 loss – would be a great start.
One Reason Why UCF Will Win
Just how much has the UConn secondary improved over the last year? The Huskies allowed a nation-worst 334 passing yards per game through the air, UCF had the second-most efficient passing game.
There’s experience returning in the secondary, but it has miles to go just to be decent. Not helping the cause overall is the inexperience on a Husky defense that loses six of the top eight tacklers and has to replace just about everyone up front.
UCF – even with all of the changes and tweaks – isn’t the team you want to go against if you need to tune up the D. Heupel and QB McKenzie Milton are going to take one of of the nation’s best offenses and speed it up a bit.
One Reason Why UConn Will Win
The Huskies should be able to bomb away and keep up the pace.
QB David Pindell threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for a team-high 96 yards and a touchdown in last year’s meeting. The problem was a defense that gave up a big early lead, and Pindell and the O couldn’t keep up.
However, now Pindell should be a do-it-all playmaker with the upside to give American Athletic Conference teams fits, especially with the top seven wideouts returning from a passing game that averaged 269 yards per game.
The UCF secondary should still be fine even after losing star corner Mike Hughes to the NFL, but it’ll give up yards. Mostly, the problems last season came when teams throw and throw some more to try keeping up. That’s what UConn should do.
What’s Going To Happen
Jacked up to make a big statement on a national scale – and in the American Athletic Conference race – UConn will come out fired up. It’ll play inspired with a sharp offensive gameplan and terrific defensive performance. And it’ll last for just over a quarter.
Give UCF a little while to settle in, and then Milton will get on a roll, the offense will take advantage of a few turnovers, and the game will get out of hand.
It might not be the UCF of last year quite yet, but the UCF of last year was only up 28-17 going into the fourth.
Fearless Prediction & Line
UCF 41, UConn 23
Line: UCF -23.5, o/u: 72.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
Must See Rating: 3
5: Mission Impossible – Fallout
1: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again