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#13 UCF vs. Pitt: Preview & Prediction

UCF will host an ACC team for the first time since their 30-3 win over BC in 2011

UCF charges on to the field vs. FAU (Photo: Derek Warden)
UCF charges on to the field vs. FAU (Photo: Derek Warden)

#13 UCF looks for their 17th straight victory as the Pitt Panthers come to town in this non-conference matchup. This is a great chance for UCF to get a solid win over a "brand name" team from a "power conference." This is the highest UCF has ever been ranked in the regular season. To-date, they are 20-1 while ranked in the AP Top 25. The Knights will look to head into conference play as a potential top 10 team if they can come away with a win this Saturday.


Kickoff

TV

Series

Pitt leads 1-0.

Last meeting: 2006. The only other meeting between these two programs came in 2006 when Pitt (6-1) came to Orlando to take on the Knights (2-4). This was the last season UCF played in the Citrus Bowl as Spectrum Stadium opened the following season. Despite a 70 yard performance by Kevin Smith, Pitt steamrolled UCF by a score of 52-7. The Knights would finish 4-8 that season.

Pitt Coming In

When UCF Has the Ball

UCF Offense: Business as usual.

game

against FAU

Pitt Defense: Experience isn't everything. This Pitt defense features 7 starting seniors, however, they have struggled to have success this season. They rank 101st in yards allowed per rush (4.9) and 100th in rushing yards allowed per game (191). As you can see, stopping the run has been their weakest area. UCF will look to exploit these weaknesses as they come into this game 4th in the nation in yards per carry (6.4), 7th in rushing yards per game (283.7) and 2nd in the nation in sacks allowed (1).

When Pitt Has the Ball

Pitt Offense: Ground and pound.

UCF Defense: Stop the run. Like I mentioned above, Pitt is a run-heavy team who is going to want to do their best to determine the game on the ground. UCF has had similar issues to Pitt on defense, ranking 119th in rushing yards allowed per game (239), 99th in yards per rush (4.8) and 3rd worst in sacks (4). The bright spot out of the front seven has been creating negative plays. The Knights are T-11th in tackles for a loss per game (8.7). The secondary has been strong as they are tied for 2nd in the nation in interceptions (7) and passing touchdowns allowed (2). They are also 4th in the nation in opposing passer rating (91.2).

Final Details

Weather:

Line: UCF is a 13½ point favorite

Pick: UCF 45, Pitt 24