LSU -7.5 (o/u 55.5) vs Central Florida
#11 LSU had the misfortune of playing all five of the other top 20 teams in the SEC. They didn’t fare well with losses to #1 Alabama, #10 Florida and #19 Texas A&M in a bizarre 7-OT affair that ended in a score of 74-72. They did beat #5 Georgia at home in a 36-16 blowout. The offense, which ranked 147th in the NCAA, was uninspiring with Senior RB Nick Brossette leading the way with 922 yards rushing and 14 TDs. The defense did a good job in a tough conference, giving up only 20.9 PPG (22nd in the country) and 346.1 YPG of total offense to finish 29th best in the nation.
For the second season in a row, Central Florida managed to get through its entire schedule without a loss. That’s an amazing 25-game winning streak including last year’s bowl game victory over Auburn. They even showed the ability to overcome adversity when they won its last three games after starting star QB McKenzie Milton went down with an injury in game 10. Prior to his injury, Milton led the nation’s 5th best offense 2,663 passing yards and 25 TDs with only 6 INTs. He also rushed for 307 yards and 9 TDs. His backup Darriel Mack Jr. did a fine job stepping up, throwing for 522 yards and 2 TDs while also running for 340 yards and 6 TDs. RB Greg McCrae gave great support with 1,101 yards rushing and 10 total TDs. The defense didn’t spend much time on the field, which resulted in them only allowing 21.3 PPG.
Prediction: It’s unfortunate, but Milton will be unavailable for this game. QB Mack is not near the throwing threat Milton provided, which makes handicapping this game a real puzzle. If it’s the UCF offensive system, Central Florida will stay in this game. If not, everything figures to be out of whack, favoring LSU. The injury dictate’s passing this game but maybe defenses will rule. Play under 55.5