Week 8 – UCF at Memphis

Posted Oct 19, 2012

Week 8 Fearless Prediction & Game Analysis – UCF at Memphis

UCF (4-2) at Memphis (1-5) Oct. 20, 3:30, CSS

Here’s The Deal: UCF remains firmly in the hunt to represent the East Division in the Conference USA championship game, thanks to an appeal of NCAA sanctions and last week’s double-overtime win over Southern Miss. If the appeal lasts until the end of the year, the Knights could wind up playing in the 14 games that they covet. By beating the Golden Eagles and East Carolina in the last two games, they’ve left little doubt over who’s the class of this half of the league. Memphis plummeted back to Earth following its first victory of the season, bowing without much of a fight to East Carolina, 41-7. The Tigers will continue to use the likes of UCF as measuring sticks to better understand how far they have to go before becoming competitive once again.

Why UCF Might Win: In head-to-head matchups, the Knights are a cut above the Tigers at just about every position on the field. Better offense, better D and a lot more speed and experience. After getting torched for five touchdowns by journeyman East Carolina QB Shane Carden, Memphis can’t feel good about this week’s matchup. Blake Bortles is a steady distributor from the pocket, and the backfield combination of Storm Johnson and Latavius Murray will run circles around the Tigers defense.

Why Memphis Might Win: Hope for the home team comes in the form of a UCF defense that showed a few rare cracks last week. Yeah, the Knights still lead the league in total D, but a bad Southern Miss team still hung 31 points on them, and rallied late to send the game to overtime. The ground game won’t stand a chance, leaving QB Jacob Karam to attempt to keep the chains moving by airing it out to receivers Marcus Rucker and Keiwone Malone.

What To Watch Out For: To its credit, the Memphis D-line has shown life in recent weeks, sparked by the play of Martin Ifedi. The sophomore leads the team in sacks and tackles for loss, and has gotten to the quarterback in each of the last three games. He could become a nuisance for Bortles, who had USM’s Jamie Collins in his face for much of last week’s game in Orlando.

What Will Happen: Memphis will continue to fight and learn under rookie coach Justin Fuente, but it’ll be out of its league in this game. UCF has far too much talent for a struggling opponent, especially now that Murray has returned to complement Johnson in the backfield. The pair will combine for more than 200 yards rushing, fueling a lopsided Knights victory.

CFN Prediction: UCF 44 … Memphis 13
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) UCF -21.5 O/U: 50
Must Watch Rating (5 – Seven Psychopaths, 1 – Here Comes the Boom): 1