college football picks U-C-F at Buffalo 9-18-10

September 18, 2010


DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 18th, 7:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: UB Stadium (29,013) — Buffalo, New York. Television: ESPNGamePlan. Home Record: UCF 1-1, Buffalo 0-0. Away Record: UCF 0-0, Buffalo 0-0. Neutral Record: UCF 0-0, Buffalo 0-0. Conference Record: UCF 0-0, Buffalo 0-0. Series Record: UCF leads, 6-1.

GAME NOTES: UCF will hit the road for the first time in 2010 when the Knights travel to Buffalo to take on the Bulls at UB Stadium.

The Knights opened their new season with a convincing, 38-7 victory over South Dakota. However, the team’s celebration was short-lived, as NC State came to Orlando and hit the Knights with their first setback on the year, a 28-21 decision.

Buffalo’s season also begin with a relatively easy matchup, as coach Jeff Quinn’s squad pounded Rhode Island, 31-0. The Bulls hit the road this past weekend and the team was unable to continue its strong play, as the Bulls were dismantled by Baylor, 34-6. After this matchup, the Bulls will have a tough task ahead of them, a three-game road trip that begins at Connecticut.

The Knights have won six of the seven matchups against Buffalo, and that including a thrilling, 23-17 decision this past season.

The biggest story for this offense after the first two games, has been the play of freshman quarterback Jeff Godfrey. Godfrey, who threw a touchdown in the opener against South Dakota, was the lone bright spot for coach George O’Leary in the matchup against NC State.

The young signal caller completed 7-of-10 passes for 107 yards, but more importantly Godfrey caused problems with his legs, rushing for a team-best 53 yards, to go along with two touchdowns.

The success of Godfrey has Rob Calabrese looking over his shoulder and rightfully so, as he finished with 106 yards through the air, but also tossed two interceptions.

As a whole the Knights committed five costly turnovers, and totaled just 308 yards in the contest. The ground game was held to 95 yards on 2.8 yards per attempt, and that comes a week after UCF pounded South Dakota for 231 rushing yards.

Even though the Knights were defeated by the Wolfpack, the defense for coach O’Leary put forth a tremendous effort, but the mistakes by the offense were too much for this team to overcome.

It was the second straight matchup that this defense held the opposition to well under 200 passing yards, and even though the Knights did not force a turnovers, the defense did grab three sacks and held NC State to just 105 yards through the air.

Not to be overlooked was the Knights performance against the run. Sure, the defense allowed 134 yards, but at the same time limited NC State to just 3.3 yards per carry. With the stingy defense play the Knights held the Pack to just 5-of-16 on third down attempts.

After scoring 31 points in their season-opening victory over Rhode Island the Bulls went knocked back down to earth by Baylor, as coach Quinn’s team could only muster two field goals in the setback to the Bears.

Jerry Davis threw four touchdowns against Rhode Island, but clearly against a better defense, the young signal caller had plenty of problems. Baylor simply made Davis feel uncomfortable and it showed, as the quarterback for Buffalo finished with just 163 yards on 18-of-46 passing. Davis, who added 22 yards on the ground, as threw an interception.

Not all was bad in the loss, as the ground game for Buffalo showed determination throughout the contest. Buffalo churned out 162 yards on 4.6 ypc, and was paced by Branden Oliver, who rushed for 71 yards. Sophomore sensation Jeffvon Gill only had three carries, but did plenty of damage in a short time, rumbling for 57 yards.

Facing Rhode Island in the opener was a nice warm up for Buffalo, and the defense played well, but against a much tougher team in Baylor the defensive unit for coach Quinn should plenty of holes.

Nothing went right for the Bulls against Baylor, as the Bears embarrassed the Bulls through the air, as well as on the ground. Buffalo, which surrendered just 207 total yards against Rhode Island, was torched for 320 yards through the air alone.

As if that was not bad enough, the front line for Buffalo was dominated as well, as the Bears abused coach Quinn’s crew for 173 yards and two scores on 4.6 yards per carry.

The Knights are coming off a loss to NC State, but in that setback the defense for UCF proved to be a strong force. The tough play by this unit should continue this weekend in Buffalo, and it is likely Davis and company could have a tough time finding points once again.

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