UCF vs. FIU Prediction, Game Preview

    UCF vs. FIU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Knights and Golden Panthers in Miami, Florida on Saturday.

    September 19, 2016

    UCF vs. FIU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Knights and Golden Panthers.


    UCF vs. FIU Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Sept. 24 – 7:00 p.m. ET

    Where:
    FIU Stadium, Miami, FL

    TV Broadcast:
    N/A

    The Knights will be playing their last non-conference game of the season before opening up AAC play on October 1 at East Carolina. Meanwhile, the Golden Panthers are just looking to get in the win column. Ron Turner is just 10-29 in his fourth season at the school.

    FIU held on to beat UCF, 15-14, last season when Imarjaye Albury blocked a 47-yard field goal attempt by Matthew Wright in the closing seconds. The loss ended a 10-game home win streak for the Knights, which was the second-longest in school history. In the previous meeting between the teams, UCF enjoyed a 38-0 shutout win in 2013.

    What To Know About UCF

    The Knights began their season with a 38-0 win over South Carolina State before suffering back-to-back setbacks at the hands of Big Ten foes Michigan and Maryland, the latter of which came in double overtime. So first-year head coach Scott Frost had his team on the brink of a solid win over a Power Five squad. The big story was UCF surprisingly starting freshman quarterback McKenzie Milton, who had his struggles in the loss.

    What to Know About FIU

    In last year’s win over the Knights, Panthers quarterback Alex McGough completed 29 of 38 passes for 260 yards and a touchdown, while Alex Gardner rushed for 75 yards and a score. The Golden Panthers have dropped their first three games of the new season, the latter of which was an eight-point loss at UMass. About the only consistent aspect of this FIU offense has been Gardner, who had 23 carries for 130 yards in the loss to the Minutemen.

    Advantages

    Offense: Even. UCF has a green quarterback, while FIU’s McGough is looking for his first touchdown pass of the season.

    Defense: FIU. The Golden Panthers’ red-zone defense has been very strong through three games despite the winless start.

    Special Teams: UCF. Wright has a fairly strong leg, so he is usually a valuable asset in close games.

    Coaching: FIU. Turner is an experienced head coach, but FIU should compete for a minor bowl game in Year 4, especially after some games slipped away last year.

    Intangibles: Even. UCF wants to make up for last year’s loss, but FIU is desperate for a win.

    Matchup To Watch

    Milton vs. His Nerves

    While Milton had some nice moments against the Terrapins, he put UCF in unenviable spots a couple of times in the first half of last week’s game because of turnovers. He gave the football away three times in the first two quarters, and two happened because of a bad exchange with the center. When he committed his fourth turnover, it helped the Terps win in the second overtime. While Maryland is a better team than FIU, the Golden Panthers certainly will see on tape that Milton could be rattled. It is imperative that he take better care of the football.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: UCF -6.5

    Over/Under:
     N/A

    UCF vs. FIU Prediction

    UCF is looking for revenge after last year’s close loss, although this is a new Knights regime under Frost. FIU lost to Maryland by 27 points this year, while UCF fell by 6 in double overtime. Employing the transitive property, one would assume this would be a Knights winner. But I learned long ago that the transitive property should stay in the classroom. Turner gets a much-needed win in a sloppy contest.

    UCF vs. FIU Score Prediction: FIU 23, UCF 20

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 4

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