In what might be UCF’s biggest regular season game of the year, the Stanford Cardinal travel to Orlando to take on #17 UCF. A sellout crowd, a 26 game regular season win streak, and no losses at home in 1,030 days should create the perfect storm for an electric atmosphere at the Bounce House. Can UCF make the statement win they’ve been looking for?
Location: Spectrum Stadium - Orlando, Florida
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game
Series: Stanford leads 1-0
Odds: UCF -9, O/U 59 (OddsShark)
Stanford Coming In
The Cardinal are coming off of a tough 45-20 loss against USC that dropped them out of the top 25. It was a game where they didn’t have their starting quarterback or Preseason All-American offensive tackle Walker Little. Their quarterback, senior K.J. Costello, will be back in action this week against the Knights.
#UCFierce vs. Stanford’s Offense
This is going to be a physical game in the trenches. Four of the five starting offensive lineman for Stanford are 6’6” or taller. Three of them are seniors and one is a junior so there’s definitely a ton of experience and size on that unit. In the absence of Walker Little, true freshman Walter Rouse will get the start at left tackle which might be an area UCF can look to exploit.
Despite their size and experience, Stanford is T-84th in tackles for a loss allowed (13) and T-90th in sacks allowed (5), two areas where the UCF defense has excelled through the first two games. The Knights have the sixth most sacks in the nation (7) and the most tackles for a loss (28). This will be the first big test for Randy Shannon’s front seven but he has to like the match up statistically.
Stanford’s offense is built around the ground and pound. They’re going to want to slow the game down and wear out the defense which is where UCF’s rotation is going to come in handy. If the run game isn’t working and Stanford is forced to throw the ball, I think UCF will have a definite advantage in the matchup.
#UCFast vs. Stanford’s Defense
Stanford’s defense had a strong showing to begin the season, allowing just 7 points and 210 yards to Northwestern. Last week was a different story. The Cardinal gave up 492 yards to USC who started a true freshman quarterback that wound up throwing for 377 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Graham Harrell, former Texas Tech quarterback, is now the offensive coordinator for USC and brought the Air Raid offense with him. Heupel’s offense has similar concepts to the Air Raid in the sense that both offenses want to attack vertically with the deep ball. In fact, Mike Leach was Graham Harrell’s head coach at Texas Tech where they perfected the Air Raid offense. Leach also ran that offense at Oklahoma as the offensive coordinator when none-other than Josh Heupel was the quarterback. I think USC’s offense exposed a lot of familiar areas to Josh Heupel that he will take advantage with in the passing game this week.
UCF 38, Stanford 24