This Saturday’s St. Pete Bowl game will put two very similar teams against each other.
Both team led their respective leagues in total defense and were both near the bottom of the league in total offense.
There are some differences though as UCF’s defense specialized against the run with its tough defensive line, highlighted by Torrell Troup and Bruce Miller, but Rutgers Defense is especially good against the passing game as they only give up 203.3 passing yards a game.
Look for this weekend’s game to be a faster paced game as it is indoors and on turf which usually results in high scores. These two struggling offenses will still find it hard to breakthrough against the opposing defense but look forward to some big plays.
UCF Rush Defense- The Knights defensive line has produced in every game this year. They rank 4th in the NCAA in Rush Defense and will again dominate the line of scrimmage on the defensive side this weekend.
Rutgers Overall Defense- The Rutgers defense is solid against the pass and the rush and will be tough on the Knights offense that found its groove at the end of the year but still has its weaknesses.
UCF Pass Defense- The Knights main weakness all year has been giving up the big pass play and hopefully against a poor Rutgers passing game they can minimize those big plays.
Rutgers Pass Offense- The Rutgers passing game is 95th out of 120 FBS NCAA teams with only 183.4 passing yards per game. They only have one weapon in Tim Brown. If you stop Brown you stop the Rutgers passing game.
Keys to the Game for UCF:
UCF must improve its pass coverage and keep the Rutgers passing game in its usual poor form as well as establishing a good run attack early with both Brynn Harvey and Jonathan Davis. The turf will be fast on Saturday, so as long as were making the big plays and not giving them up we will be fine this weekend.
Players to Watch:
UCF Bruce Miller DE- The C-USA Defensive Player of the Year will look to add another stellar game to his resume. Miller is 3rd on the list of sacks in the NCAA with 12.0 and 2nd on the list of yards lost with -114.
Rutgers Tim Brown WR- Although Brown is still uncertain to play in Saturday’s St. Pete Bowl Game, he is ranked 18th on total receiving yards in the country. Brown has played in two bowl games totaling 168 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Storyline: UCF has NEVER beaten a Big East team, going 0-13 and being outscored 518 – 134.
My Prediction: Knights 27- Rutgers 17
The Knights will establish the run and Rutgers will struggle to move the ball on offense. The Knights may give up one or two big plays but they will adjust and establish their dominating defense.
By the Numbers:
UCF Defense gave up 348.1 total yards per game
Rutgers Defense gave up 312.2 total yards per game
UCF Defense gave up 82.5 rushing yards per game
Rutgers Defense gave up 108.9 rushing yards per game
UCF Defense gave up 265.6 passing yards per game
Rutgers Defense gave up 203.3 passing yards per game
UCF Offense gained 348.0 total yards per game
Rutgers Offense gained 321.8 total yards per game
UCF Offense gained 138.5 rushing yards per game
Rutgers Offense gained 138.4 rushing yards per game
UCF Offense gained 209.5 passing yards per game
Rutgers Offense gained 183.4 passing yards per game