UCF at Tulane - 12/3/22 College Football Picks and Prediction
Tulane Green Wave (10-2) vs UCF Knights (9-3)
Game Info: Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 4:00 pm (Benson Field at Yulman Stadium)
Betting Odds: Tulane Green Wave -2.5 -- Over/Under: 57.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The UCF Knights will head down to New Orleans and battle the Tulane Green Wave for the American Athletic Conference conference this Saturday afternoon from Yulman Stadium on ABC. Tulane and Central Florida have faced off 12 times since the year 2000, dating back to their time in the Conference USA. UCF leads the all-time series 10-2, and they picked up a seven-point win in New Orleans back in Week 11.
UCF comes into this one at 9-3 after winning the War on I-4 and defeating USF. The Knights nearly had their conference title hopes stripped after losing to Navy at home in Week 12, and they barely got out of Tampa safely. The Bulls stormed back into the game after falling behind by three scores, and took a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Knights managed to prevail with a last minute touchdown. Central Florida scores 34.9 points per game, while passing for 242.8 yards per game (102nd), and rushing for 243.7 ypg (14th). The UCF defense allows 22.4 points per game.
John Rhys Plumlee’s hamstring injury is something to keep your eye on heading into this one. The Ole Miss transfer has been dynamic this season, but after leaving last week’s game with a nagging injury, how he holds up against a stiff Tulane team remains to be seen. Plumlee was flawless against USF, and he stung the Green Wave when these two schools met in Week 11. Plumlee has thrown for 2,195 passing yards with 13 touchdowns to seven interceptions, and he’s ran for a team-lead 848 rushing yards and eleven scores on the ground through eleven starts this season.
RJ Harvey leads the backfield in rushing after taking on the head role down the stretch with 733 rushing yards. Isaiah Bowser has also been effective, scoring a team-lead 13 touchdowns to go along with 675 rushing yards. Alabama transfer Javon Baker has caught a touchdown in three of the last four games, and he leads UCF in receiving yards (710). Ryan O’Keefe leads the team in receptions out of the slot for the second year in a row with 67 catches for 688 yards.
Tulane enters this one at 10-2 after a strong Week 13 road win over Cincinnati. The Green Wave went into Ohio and spoiled the Bearcats season with a three-point win. Cinci and Tulane went back-and-forth and traded leads five times, before the visitors would pull away late, and end the preseason AAC favorites aspirations of repeating. Tulane scores 34.9 points per game, while passing for 242.8 yards per game (102nd), and rushing for 243.7 ypg (14th). The Tulane defense allows 21.6 points per game.
Michael Pratt has been sharp during his junior season. The three-year starter has turned it up and played mistake free down the stretch, tossing seven touchdowns to no interceptions over the last three games. Pratt performed well in the first round against UCF, and he’ll have more than enough motivation this weekend to complete the mission this time. Pratt has thrown for 2,382 passing yards with 21 touchdowns to four interceptions, and he’s ran for 347 rushing rushing yards and nine scores on the ground this season through eleven starts this season.
Tyjae Spears has been a real difference maker for Tulane out of the backfield. The junior running back has surpassed the 125-yard mark in seven of ten games this season, and in each of the last six, including a 196-yard showing in the Week 13 win over Cinci. Spears has run for 1,177 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Senior wideout Shae Wyatt leads Tulane in receptions (30) and receiving yards (582).
UCF is 8-4 against the spread this season, with a 3-2 record on the road. Tulane is 10-2 against the spread this season, with a 5-2 record at home. Tulane is 15-3 ATS in their last 18 games overall. The Over is 5-1 in Tulane's last 6 games.
John Rhys Plumlee has been special this year, but this moment has been five years in the making for Willie Fritz and Tulane. The Green Wave dominated against the spread last season, and put scares on schools all year. Here in 2022, Tulane has put it all together and they’ve enjoyed one of the best season’s in school history. I feel it will have a happy ‘ending’ here in the Conference USA title game.
UCF stung Tulane back in Week 11, just as they became ranked for the first time since 1998, and while they remained in the polls, it paused their ascension and revenge will be a dish best served here for the Green Wave. Tulane’s got the unit to stifle a UCF team that will be limping into Yulman, and they say defense wins championships. Trust that here, and roll with the Green Wave to cover at home Saturday to become AAC champions for the first time ever.