The Tulane Green Wave (3-2, 0-1) is on the road in an American Athletic Conference crossover matchup with the UCF Knights (3-2, 1-0) Friday night. Kickoff from Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, Florida is at 8 pm ET. National television coverage for the contest is provided by ESPNU. According to the current odds, UCF is favored by 13.5 points in this contest with the over/under set at 47.5 points.
Tulane won their second straight as they downed Massachusetts 31-24 on the road last week. UCF has two straight wins as they clipped East Carolina 47-29 on the road in their conference opener last week. This is the eighth all-time meeting between the schools in their history. UCF holds a 5-2 advantage in the series though Tulane claimed a 45-31 win last season in the most recent meeting. UCF’s last win was a 20-12 home win in 2014.
Tulane is second worst in the FBS with 103.2 passing yards per game. The Green Wave makes up for it to some extent as they are 19th in rushing with 246.6 yards per contest. Tulane averages 31 points a game and allows 22.4 per contest. Glen Cuiellette is 34 of 68 passing for 472 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions plus 125 rushing yards. Johnathan Brantley (7 of 20, 44 yards, 156 rushing yards) is the backup QB. Dontrell Hilliard leads the Green Wave with 384 rushing yards and five scores. Josh Rounds contributes 266 yards and four scores while Lazedrick Thompson has 153 yards and three touchdowns. Terren Encalade is the #1 receiver: he has 19 catches for 252 yards and four touchdowns. No other Tulane player has more than six receptions. Andrew DiRocco hit all 17 extra points and 7 of 9 field goal attempts.
UCF is a smashmouth football team much like Tulane. The Knights are 99th in passing (192.4 ypg) and 24th (232.8 ypg) in rushing offense this season. UCF scores an average of 35.2 points a game while allowing 24.8 a contest. McKenzie Milton (29 of 50, 433 yards, 3 TD, INT) and Justin Holman (28 of 68, 368 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) have seen the majority of time under center. Dontravious Wilson (279 yards, seven TD) is the leader in the ground game. Adrian Killins (254 yards, 2 TD) and Jawon Hamilton (227 yards, TD) both contribute as well. Tre’Quan Smith has a team leading 16 receptions for 221 yards and two scores. Taylor Oldham has 10 receptions totaling 124 yards. Matthew Wright hit all 19 extra points and 7 of 9 field goal attempts with a long of 46.
This one is a lot of ground and pound with there not being a ton of aerial attacks. Tulane is barely breaking the century mark in yards per game through the air. By way of comparison, Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma State threw for more yards in one week than the Green Wave has all year. UCF has a trio of talented backs as does the Green Wave. Where this one deviates a little is in the passing game. The Knights are better throwing the ball and that can’t be overlooked. This game may be moved due to the weather from Hurricane Matthew but the fact remains UCF is the better team right now. To get an idea of who else we like, check out the rest of our free college football picks!