Cincinnati at UCF - 10/29/22 College Football Picks and Prediction

UCF Knights (5-2) vs Cincinnati Bearcats (6-1)

Game Info: Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 3:30 pm (FBC Mortgage Stadium)

Betting Odds: UCF Knights -1 -- Over/Under: 56 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Cincinnati will travel to Orlando and take on Central Florida this weekend on ESPN. UCF and Cinci have crossed paths in every season since 2015, with the Bearcats holding a 4-3 series lead after winning each of the last three matchups.

Cincinnati improved to 6-1 after defeating SMU in Week 8. Cincinnati’s trip to Dallas did not come without theatrics, and a late stop on SMU’s two-point conversion would be enough for the Bearcats to escape with their sixth straight win. Cinci is scoring 36.9 points per game, passing for 267.4 yards per game (71st), and rushing for 160.2 ypg (119th). The Bearcat defense is allowing 22.1 points per game.

Ben Bryant has returned to Cinci and filled the shoes of Desmond Riddler admirably. The EMU transfer went for a season-high 354 yards in the win over Indiana, and he’s remained serviceable in conference play. Bryant is up to 1,761 passing yards with 15 touchdowns to six picks on the season.

Charles McClelland handles the backfield work for the Bearcats. The senior back has been tearing up the turf over past two games, dashing for 129 yards in the win over SMU, just after going for a career-high 179 yards and two scores versus USF. Let’s see if he has similar plans for UCF here. McClelland is among AAC leaders with 631 rushing yards this season. 

Tyler Scott has stepped up big time with the departure of Alex Pierce to the NFL. Sporting the iconic #21 at wideout, Scott was on a great stretch prior to going down in the Tulsa game, and his status for this weekend will be necessary to monitor. Scott leads Cinci with 500 yards and six touchdowns, while Tre Tucker has 396 yards on a team-lead 30 catches.

Central Florida dropped to 5-2 after falling to East Carolina in Week 8. Coming off of a 70-point outburst versus Temple, UCF found themselves in trouble in Greenville, failing to overcome the environment, and allowing ECU to pick up the three-score win. UCF is scoring 37.3 points per game, passing for 268.6 yards per game (68th), and rushing for 242.4 ypg (13th). The UCF defense is allowing 17.1 points per game.

John Rhys Plumlee was in no-man’s-land last weekend, as his play sunk well below the radar in front of a hostile Greenville crowd. The Ole Miss transfer wasn’t able to get anything going,he was sacked four times and threw three interceptions versus ECU, and it raises questions of how UCF will perform on the road. Plumlee’s got a lot of talent, but this will be a tough crop to bounce back against. Plumlee has thrown for 1,812 passing yards with 11 touchdowns to six interceptions, and he leads UCF with 506 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. 

lsaiah Bowser and Johnny Richardson have split the load this season for the Knights. Bowser is the workhorse, and he’s scored in all but one game this season. He’s up 378 rushing yards and ten touchdowns for the year. Richardson led the team in rushing last season, and he's got 267 yards through seven games. Ryan O’Keefe’s presence has been felt since the start of AAC play, posting a pair of 110-yard performances and scoring twice in wins over Temple and SMU. The senior wideout leads the team in receptions (32), while gaining 392 receiving yards. Javon Baker leads UCF with 411 yards on 26 catches.

Cincinnati is 2-4-1 against the spread this season, with a 0-3-1 record on the road. Central Florida is 5-2 against the spread this season, with a 4-1 record at home. UCF is 4-2 ATS in the last six meetings.

UCF faced reality when they left the state of Florida last weekend: they aren’t invincible. After hanging 70 on Temple, the Knights looked like the favorites to take the wide open AAC, but last week’s efforts will raise eyebrows, and with trips to Memphis and Tulane looming, they must have a sense of urgency heading into this one. 

Cincinnati has been on the plank of defeat in each of their first three conference games, and this might be where they fall off and their luck runs out. This is a talented bunch, but this isn’t the same CFB Playoff squad. The Bearcats have looked beatable, and they might end up being the prey this weekend in Disney World.

I like a bounce back effort from UCF here, as a return to Orlando should do them a bit of justice. If the Knights are able to put last week behind them, they should cover here at home.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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