UCF vs. Navy NCAAF Preview, Odds, and Free Point Spread Prediction

The 20th-ranked UCF Knights will travel to Annapolis, Maryland this Saturday to take on the Navy Midshipmen. The clash between these two AAC opponents will start at 3:30 EST from the Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game can be seen on the CBS Sports Network.

UCF Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen AAC Preview and Vegas Odds

The Knights are riding an incredible wave offensively, as coach Scott Frost is way ahead of schedule with the program.

They have a stud of a QB in McKenzie Milton, who is an extremely efficient passer (70.3%, 15 TDs-2 INTs), and has vision in the run-game (6.8 YPC) too. He’s accompanied by a reliable back in Adrian Killins Jr. (8.6 YPC) and a talented receiver corp., led by Tre’Quan Smith (21.5 YPR, 7 TDs).

Navy has the option working well with Zach Abbey, despite a down week in a loss to Memphis. They have plenty of options running the ball, and can rely heavily on Malcolm Perry as well. Their up-and-down defense is where they’ll be suspect.

The Knights come in as 6 ½-point favorites.

CFB Free Spread Prediction: UCF -6.5

We’ve been riding the wave of ATS wins the Knights have given us. Though a streak that’s seen them cover every one of their games this season will surely end at some point, it won’t be at Navy.

The two challenges the Knights will face is one, having to face a completely different offense to what they’re used to, and two, doing so in the toughest road environment thus far. But they’ve continued to cross off such tasks in the past. Whether it was playing a tough game on the road, coming out on fire after a long layoff, or beating a high-powered offense, they’ve passed each test. Nothing has fazed this team yet, and Frost has kept them motivated even against the weakest of opponents.

Navy’s option offense will minimize the gap in talent, as UCF has clearly had more than any team they’ve played. The Knights defense will get a test in physicality from this Midshipmen line. But they do have the 14th-best scoring defense in the country, even if Memphis and Maryland were the only offensively-sound teams they’ve played. They gave up a combined 23 points against those two.

Navy’s Abbey is clearly talented to already be in the 1,000-yard club this year. He and Perry can really find the lanes. It’s also concerning that UCF gave up 5.0 YPC and over 150 yards rushing for the first time last week, against ECU no less. But they certainly haven’t been exposed on the line, and they still made the Pirates a one-dimensional team the entire game. And there’s no need to worry about a passing onslaught against Navy.

The Midshipmen will get their 55-65 carries on the ground, take the majority of the possession time, and potentially have 300 yards-plus. But that doesn’t mean they’d even come close to stopping UCF’s offense.

Navy has allowed 30 points or more to Memphis (who UCF beat 40-13), Air Force (45 points), and Cincinnati. They struggled stopping the run the last three weeks, and when it’s not the run, they’re leaking in the secondary.

UCF has established one of the better balances on offense, and that will carry them past an overmatched Navy defense. The Midshipmen have some physicality as they always do, but UCF has attitude and next-level skill on offense. Milton makes very few mistakes with the ball, and Killins Jr. is an underused but brilliant gamebreaker. Also, if someone like Memphis WR Anthony Miller can torch their defense, Smith has that same potential.

It’s also hard to believe UCF has been more disciplined out of these two teams. On top of that, Navy has more games played than takeovers. And on offense, Abbey committed five turnovers last weekend against a suspect defense. Imagine what could be against a UCF D that has multiple turnovers each game.

Don’t expect the Knights to cruise like they have so far in every contest. But they’ve risen to every challenge, and that won’t change Saturday.

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