Marshall vs. UCF - 12/23/19 College Football Gasparilla Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Photo by Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
UCF Knights (9-3) at Marshall Thundering Herd (8-4)
College Football: Monday, December 23, 2019 at 2:30 pm (Raymond James Stadium)
The Line: Marshall Thundering Herd +17.5 -- Over/Under: 59.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The UCF Knights and Marshall Thundering Herd meet Monday in the college football Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.
The UCF Knights have won five of their last six games and look for double-digit wins for the third straight year. The UCF Knights have split their last six non-home games. Dillon Gabriel is completing 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,393 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Gabriel has 13 touchdown passes and five interceptions in his last seven games. Gabriel Davis and Tre Nixon have combined for 2,027 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns while Marlon Williams has 44 receptions. The UCF Knights ground game is averaging 216.5 yards per contest, and Otis Anderson leads the way with 665 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, UCF is allowing 22.8 points and 344.8 yards per game. Nate Evans leads the UCF Knights with 100 tackles, Brendon Hayes has 7.5 sacks and Aaron Robinson has three interceptions.
The Marshall Thundering Herd have won six of their last seven games and look for their eighth straight bowl victory. The Marshall Thundering Herd have lost three of their last four non-home games. Isaiah Green is completing 57.5 percent of his passes for 2,265 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Green has one or less touchdown passes in five straight games. Armani Levias and Brockets Thompson have combined for 820 receiving yards and three touchdowns while Xavier Gaines has 24 receptions. The Marshall Thundering Herd ground game is averaging 195.5 yards per contest, and Brenden Knox leads the way with 1,284 yards and 11 touchdowns. Defensively, Marshall is allowing 23.1 points and 362.3 yards per game. Tavante Beckett leads the Marshall Thundering Herd with 114 tackles, Darius Hodge has seven sacks and Steven Gilmore has two interceptions.
The Knights are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games, 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games on grass and 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Thundering Herd are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 bowl games, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The over is 6-1 in Knights last 7 games on grass. The over is 20-6 in Thundering Herd last 26 non-conference games. The Knights are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Marshall and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings. The underdog is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
The UCF Knights are clearly the better team here and should win the game, but we have to question just how motivated they are considering they're used to running the table and getting a respectable bowl game. UCF lost three games, and while they get a near home game in Tampa, Marshall isn't the opponent it had in mind. The Marshall Thundering Herd haven't lost bowl appearance since 2004, and they do have a strong road win over FAU as well as taking Boise State down to the wire on the road. Marshall isn't a pushover and should be motivated. I'll take the boatload of points.