Week 14 Predictions – 2018
Last Week: For a record breaking seventh straight time the Buckeyes defeated the team up north. The 62-39 final is the most ever scored in any game in this rivalry and the most any team has EVER scored against Michigan in a regulation game. That also makes 14 wins in the past 15 meetings with Maize and Blue. It also means that we now have three straight classes of 5th year seniors that own 5 pairs of gold pants. I guess the revenge tour ended early this year. For our staff picks, 8 people were 3-1 for yet another solid week of predictions. As we enter the final week of picks, 5 individuals are in striking distance of the title, including Brent, Steven, Rick, Jason and Gregg.
This Week’s Games: First off, doesn’t Vaughn look great with ESPN’s Maria Taylor! With that said we enter the final week of the regular season, also known as championship week. In the Pac-12, Washington and Utah will square off for the right to play in the Rose Bowl but will not be a factor in the playoff race. So our games this week will potentially shape “Who is In”. Playing once again in Indy, Ohio State will try to defined their Big Ten crown, this year against Northwestern. The Buckeyes are a big favorite but the Wildcats will not go down quietly. Can OSU win the game in a fashion that will impress the committee enough to get them a playoff spot? …. The first game Saturday will be Texas and Oklahoma in a rematch. They will be playing just a few miles away from the spot they battle it out back in October. Can Texas once again play a strong enough defense to beat the Sooners once again? …. Alabama and Georgia face off in a rematch of the 2017 Championship game. This time only the SEC title is on the line, but you can expect the intensity to be just as high. Can the Bulldogs finish the job this time around or will the Tide continue their quest for world dominance? …. The ACC championship game is not expected to be a close game as #2 ranked Clemson is up against Pitt who started out slow but has been playing much better of late. DO the Panthers have any chance of knocking the Tigers out of the playoffs? …. Finally we look at the AAC title game where Central Florida takes their nation leading 23 game winning streak against the Memphis Tigers. It was a close game the first go around, can the Knights defend their winning streak without their starting quarterback?
Buckeye Greats: As with the past, we will continue to include former Buckeye players in our prediction fun and we are thrilled to have Vaughn Broadnax back with us as a regular participant for the fourth straight year.
Here we go once again … our Week 14 Picks – Good Luck to All – Gregg
(6)Ohio State vs. (21)Northwestern
Bbaver: Pick: Ohio State – The Buckeyes have better not overlook this Wildcat team. When you look at the stats, N’Western looks like they have done it with mirrors, but Pat Fitzgerald has become an elite coach. These guys know how to win and are so disciplined. The Buckeyes will need to fall into the pass interference trap so easily again when on D. With that being said, OSU will likely bring some of that energy we saw last Saturday with them to Indianapolis and this Buckeye offense is going to be very tough to stop. I like the Buckeyes 42 to 24.
Cory: When looking at this game, some people are going to see that Northwestern started the season 1-3. They see the Wildcats with losses to Duke and Akron. They see a team that struggled to beat Illinois and Rutgers. Make no mistake about it, this Northwestern team is a good football team. If the Buckeyes don’t put their entire focus on Northwestern this week they we’ll see a repeat of the Purdue game. Nothing stands out about Northwestern from a distance, but if you have seen the Wildcats play you know this is a team that grinds their way to every win. Individually, the Wildcats feature a terrific quarterback in Clayton Thorson. Thorson is an NFL prospect, but is a bit turnover prone as he’s got 12 interceptions this season. On the other side of the ball Northwestern has some standout linebackers, in Blake Gallagher and Paddy Fisher. Looking at the opponent, Ohio State, we see a newly motivated Buckeye squad. To hang 62 points on any team is impressive, but to put up that many points against the nation’s best defense in Michigan speaks volumes about the team heading into the Big Ten Championship game this week. Though I expect Ohio State to come out as the winners of this game, Northwestern is going to put up a fight. Ohio State 31, Northwestern 28
Gregg: Since the Purdue loss I have been saying, our best season will be to win out, go to the Rose Bowl and get another bowl. Now after a convincing win over Michigan, Buckeye fans nationwide want a chance to win the Big Ten and qualify for the playoffs. I am still convinced that we are not a playoff caliber team so you decide. Do you want to make the playoffs and have a shot to knock off the champ, or do you want the chance to go out a winner? I think Haskins has another great game in this, Dobbins will go for over 100 yards rushing and the defense comes to play. I will be surprised if Northwestern gets more than 2 touchdowns. See you in Pasadena! Ohio State 42 Northwestern 13
Jason: The Big Ten Championship kicks off in Indianapolis on Saturday night and for the first time it won’t have at least one of either Wisconsin or Michigan State. Of course, Ohio State is not new to this party, having competed in 3 of the first 7 such games. The Buckeyes have been underwhelming for much of the season, but the team that most people anticipated all year showed up at an opportune time last week in the 62-39 demolishing of Michigan. The Buckeyes are now firmly in the College Football Playoff conversation but would likely need a little help to reach the top four. With the title on the line, look for the Buckeyes to come into this one prepared and motivated. Sophomore QB Dwayne Haskins shredded the number one defense in America last week to the tune of 396 yards and six touchdowns and should have little trouble against Northwestern. The Wildcats have a solid defense but it’s nowhere near the athletes that Michigan had. The Cats haven’t faced a running game with backs as talented as J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber either so Ohio State should be able to do what it wants offensively. The weakness all year for Ohio State has been their defense, having allowed at least 31 points in four of their last five games. The Wildcats don’t have an explosive offense, but do boast a solid and capable QB in Clayton Thorson, but when their running back Jeremy Larkin went down to a career ending injury, Northwestern’s offense has become entirely one dimensional which should play into the hands of the talented defensive front of Ohio State. Northwestern will slow down the tempo, play zone defense to prevent the big play, but Ohio State will run effectively and go underneath to move the ball down the field. The key for Ohio State is scoring in the red zone. If they can punch it in and not settle for field goals, it will get ugly early for the Wildcats. Look for Northwestern to attempt to control the clock and limit Ohio State’s offensive opportunities, but I expect a couple of turnovers caused by pressure from the defensive front and the Buckeyes to pull away pretty early in this one and pour it on, cruising to their back to back Big Ten crowns. Ohio State 45 Northwestern 17
John: I firmly believe that Northwestern can’t beat Ohio State, but Ohio State can beat themselves. So long as OSU doesn’t turn it over and commit a bunch of drive killing/drive extending penalties they win this one easily. Of course, this assumes that the Michigan game defense shows up in Indy, not the defense we’ve seen the rest of the year. Whether or not it will be enough to appease the committee, who knows. Bucks roll. Ohio State 49 Northwestern 20
Josh: Where has this team been all year? Ohio State throttled Michigan at home, and with the exception of a few bad penalties from the refs, and a muffled kickoff return, Ohio State could have beat them by more. It was the performance the fans have been waiting for all season, and they finally delivered the last game of the regular season. Is that going to be enough for the committee though to consider Ohio State over Oklahoma? Right now though, the focus needs to be on Northwestern who is 15-1 in their last 16 games against conference opponents. Pat Fitzgerald had the benefit of knowing his team was already in the Big Ten Championship game earlier in the month, and had that time to watch film on both teams. He was able to name off several positions on the Ohio State roster. Ohio State cannot take this team lightly. They will need a near flawless game though to not only beat a disciplined Northwestern team, but to give another data point for the committee to consider. If Oklahoma were to lose though, and Alabama wins against Georgia, then all Ohio State needs to do is win and then they are in. Ohio State knows what is at stake, and the leadership on this team will be in full effect. Ohio State wins big, and will await their fate on Sunday. Ohio State 48 – Northwestern 17
Pia Pete: Bucks over the Cats but OSU doesn’t make the CPF playoffs
Coach Rick: Ohio State needs to prove they are on top of their game right now. To make the playoffs, they need to win by at least 24 points. I have OSU winning 49 to 17.
Steven: OSU 48-21
Trout: I hope that the team that played against Michigan is the same team that I we will get this Saturday. When both sides are firing on all cylinders, the Buckeyes are nearly unstoppable. It would be easy for me to get caught up in the hype and believe that they will crush Northwestern, but I don’t think that will be the case. I still think they will win, and I think it will be by a couple scores, but I don’t see the Buckeyes playing with the same passion they had against their rivals. Having said that, I still think Haskins and the offense should have another stellar performance. My biggest fear is that the defense will go back to what they’ve been do all year. Holding a team to minimal yardage on first and second down, but letting up a huge play on third down. The good news for the Buckeyes is, that Northwestern is not a good team. They average a little under twenty-four points game. I don’t think they have the skills to match Ohio State for a whole game. In the end, I think it will be a decisive victory for the Buckeyes, but I don’t believe it will be a repeat of last week. (Ohio State, 42-27)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): Ohio State has been known to have an occasional letdown now and then. Fortunately, this game still has major implications. I am only worried that Urban won’t want to pummel his “dear friend” Pat Fitzgerald. Forget that and do your job Urban! He does and the Buckeyes beat the Wildcats 48-14.
Final Score: Ohio State 45 Northwestern 24
(14)Texas vs. (5)Oklahoma
Bbaver: Pick: Oklahoma – Tom Herman is so good as the underdog, but tough for me to see Lincoln Riley lose again twice to these guys this year. Hook ’em ‘Horns, but my head tells me OU.
Cory: If there’s one other game this weekend that Buckeye fans need to pay attention to this weekend it’s the Big 12 Championship game between Texas and Oklahoma. Ohio State needs Texas to upset Oklahoma for a second time this season. Thus far the Sooners’ only loss was to the Longhorns in the middle of the season. As nice as it would be to see Oklahoma lose this weekend, it’s hard to imagine the Sooners will lose twice to this Texas team. Though the Longhorns are improved this season, they are still inconsistent. Is this the same Longhorns team that upset Oklahoma, or the same on that lost to Maryland and struggled in close wins over Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor? The Sooners are not great defensively but they’ll be able to outpace the Longhorns this week. Oklahoma 45, Texas 35
Gregg: Tom Herman knows how to win as an underdog and he has proven he can slow down Kyler Murray. It is tough to beat a team twice but I think the Longhorns are going to pull it off and help OSU. And we all know how Herman will celebrate the victory. Texas 38 Oklahoma 35
Jason: The Big 12 championship is the first game of the day and will go a long way into determining the rest of the day in terms of playoff implications. If Texas can get the win, it opens the door for Ohio State or potentially Georgia if they keep it close in the SEC title game. A win for Oklahoma clinches at minimum the Sugar Bowl and potentially a playoff berth. The Longhorns pulled off the upset earlier this year in the Red River Rivalry game and dominated the game for nearly three quarters. Behind QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas went off of 314 passing yards against a less than mediocre Sooner secondary and the UT defense took the ball away from the Sooners 3 times. They will need to duplicate that kind of effort to get the win in the rematch. Oklahoma’s offense has been the big story of this season, leading the country averaging more than 50 points and over 580 yards per game. The defense has been a sieve, but so far nobody has been able to stop Sooner QB Kyler Murray. There is a chance, with a big game on Saturday, he hoists the Heisman Trophy in a couple weeks. Murray’s numbers are astounding. In his final year of organized football, he is going out with a bang, throwing for over 3,600 yards with 37 TD’s to only 7 picks. Oh yea, he can run too, rushing for over 850 yards and 11 TD’s. The Oakland A’s are getting one heck of an athlete when he reports to Spring Training in February. There is pressure for Oklahoma to look good on defense though with Ohio State giving the committee the final impression on Sat night. If Texas gouges Oklahoma’s defense, and Ohio State is dominant vs Northwestern later in the night, the committee may choose to bump Ohio State up. Texas is playing with nothing to lose and Oklahoma has everything on the line. Look for Texas to take some chances to attempt to pressure Murray. If Texas can force a couple turnovers and control the tempo on offense to keep the ball out of Murray’s hands, the ‘Horns can pull the upset. That’s easier said than done though. Texas probably has the best defense in the Big 12, but that’s not saying much. Ultimately, it’s very difficult to beat a team twice and though Texas will put up a tremendous fight, Oklahoma scores a pair of scores late and behind another electric performance from Murray, the Sooners get it done. Oklahoma 51 Texas 45
John: Ohio State needs a Texas upset. Good thing for the Bucks is this game is early on Saturday so they will know by kickoff if a 2014 Wisconsin-esque performance is needed or just a win. Look for a lot of points to be scored in this one, which if OU wins and OSU can play stout D will help the Buckeyes. The fan in me wants to pick Texas, and I’ll be rooting for the ‘Horns, but the picker in me thinks OU gets their revenge. Oklahoma 48 Texas 35
Josh: Texas is the only team to have handed Oklahoma a loss this season. It is hard to beat a team twice, and as much as my opinion of Tom Herman has declined this year, we need him to win this one. Texas has shown signs of a defense which is really all that is needed to stop Oklahoma. There gets to a point where you can’t give up 40 points a game and still win, and I think Texas doesn’t need to put up 56 points to win, just have their defense slow down Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma offense. Texas is also going into this game as an underdog, which like Urban Meyer, Tom Herman has succeeded in winning those games. Ok, cool. Hook ‘Em! Texas 38 – Oklahoma 35
Pia Pete: Oklahoma over Texas
Coach Rick: I personal would to see Texas win, but I do not see that happening. I see the Sooners winning by 10.
Steven: OU 39-38
Trout: This is going to be a shoot-out. As bad as Oho State’s defense has been this year, Oklahoma’s has somehow been worse. In their last four games, they have given up at least 40 points, including the joke of a program, Kansas. Three of these games were decided with a touchdown or less.Texas has had their ups and downs, but have shown that they can score points. Not to mention, they beat the Sooners earlier in the year. Much like many of Oklahoma’s games recently, I think it will be close one. I see both teams scoring on almost every driving, with the point total eclipsing a hundred points. I will give the edge to the Sooners in this one. One reason, its really hard to beat a team twice in a year. Secondly, the offense is the exact opposite of the defense.They are unbelievably good, and Kyler Murray is a legitimate Heisman hopeful. It will be a long fought game, that goes back and fourth, but Oklahoma’s offense will push them over the edge and get revenge for their lose in the Red River Rivalry. (Oklahoma, 58-55)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): Although I would love to see Texas beat Oklahoma once again, I just don’t believe Texas can contain or match Oklahoma’s potent offense. Oklahoma beats Texas 48-35.
Final Score: Oklahoma 39 Texas 27
(1)Alabama vs. (4)Georgia
Bbaver: Pick: Alabama – I think this could be a tight game, but still not going against Bama, and it will make me sick to my stomach to see Bama and Georgia both get in the playoff again.
Cory: An odd situation that may present itself is that we could see the loser of the SEC Championship game find itself in the playoff over Ohio State, and that could happen to both Alabama and Georgia. Despite the fact that the SEC has been very mediocre this season the committee still thinks very highly of the conference. Realistically, an Alabama blowout is probably the best scenario for the Buckeyes. The possibility of that happening is not great. Though the Bulldogs haven’t beat Alabama since 2007, six of the last seven games between the two teams have been by 11 points or less. Last season these two teams met in the national championship game, where Alabama edged by with a 26-23 overtime win. I think the Alabama offense is near unstoppable with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is the likely Heisman winner this season. Though we can expect an entertaining game, it’s hard to see any scenario where Georgia pulls off the upset. Alabama 30 Georgia 24
Gregg: Last year Alabama ‘threw’ the game against Auburn so they could get three extra weeks to prepare for Clemson on their way to a national title. Unless they take a dive this year just to get two SEC teams in the playoffs again, there is minimal hope for the Bulldogs to win. This might be interesting for a quarter, but the Tide win this big and get ready to take on the Ohio State/Oklahoma sweepstakes winner. Alabama 44 Georgia 13
Jason: The SEC championship takes place in Atlanta with major playoff implications. The winner for sure is in, and the loser may also get in depending on the game and what happens in the others. The Crimson Tide became the first team since 1888 to win its first 12 games by 20 or more points, but that could be merely a product of their schedule. The Tide haven’t faced a team like Georgia all season and really since they faced Georgia in the national championship in January. The Bulldogs have Georgia averaged over 200 yards on the ground this season led by RB’s Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift. Swift is averaging 124 yards per game in November, while Holyfield is averaging 84. Since their loss to LSU, Georgia has been on a mission, winning five straight and elevating to 4th in the college football playoff poll. Alabama has been nothing short of unstoppable led by dynamic QB Tua Tagovailoa, who is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but he will face his stiffest challenge to date, the same team he led a comeback victory against in the second half of the title game in January so he will have confidence. Bama will score but the key will be how the Tide does defensively against the running game of the Dawgs and talented QB Jake Fromm. If Fromm gets time, Georgia can score with Bama but if the Tide can control the line of scrimmage, it could be a long day for Fromm and company. Look for both teams to come out strong with a score each way. But as the game wears on, Bama’s front will impose its will and ultimately pull out a 4th quarter victory winning the SEC and locking up a berth as the top seed in the playoff. Alabama 31 Georgia 20
John: If ‘Bama shoes up and plays everyone, they win this one easy. If Georgia wins. Look for playoff Armageddon, as that will give the committee an excuse to exclude both Ohio State and Oklahoma. Alabama 24 Georgia 10
Josh: Alabama has been almost unstoppable this season, which is a credit to the jon Nick Saban has done, but also a credit to the down and easy schedule. I am not trying to take away the winning, because as Buckeye fans have experienced, it is hard to win every game, and Saban has his program where most programs wish they were at. Georgia will be his toughest challenge, and if it wasn’t for switching in Tua at halftime in last years SEC national championship game, Georgia would be the defending national champions. Georgia has looked stronger since their loss to LSU and the bye week, and locked up the SEC East the first week in November. As a Buckeye fan, we need Alabama to win. Saban knows though that he can lose this game, and still potentially get into the playoff, which is unfair, and why the playoff needs to be reevaluated, especially if you have 1 loss teams behind them as conference champions. I think he will want to win this game and not risk it. Alabama 35 – Georgia 24
Pia Pete: Alabama over Georgia
Coach Rick: This game helps OSU when Alabama wins. I do not think that it will be to close and have ‘Bama winning by 17 points.
Steven: As long as Alabama doesn’t sit their starters, they can name the.score. ‘Bama 45-21
Trout: Until someone actually puts up a challenge to the Crimson Tide, its hard for me to pick against them. Besides Alabama and Maybe Georgia, the SEC has been average at best. I don’t even know how good Georgia is. They’ve played well in their games, besides the LSU loss. But they haven’t truly dominate performance against and an “elite” SEC team. While that can also be said about Alabama, they have at least crushed every opponent they have come up against. Tua barely plays in the second half of games because they have been so dominant. I see the game being relatively close for a while. Georgia should be able to get a few scores in on the Crimson Tide Defense, and keep it relatively even for a good portion of the game. But Alabama’s superior skill will push them past the Bulldog, and They will end up with a comfortable lead. Alabama wins and solidifies their playoff spot. (Alabama, 35-21)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): Alabama beats Georgia 45-24.
Final Score: Alabama 35 Georgia 28
(2)Clemson vs. Pittsburgh
Bbaver: Pick: Clemson – beatdown here
Cory: There’s not much of a reason to tune into the ACC Championship game between Clemson and Pitt this weekend, even if you’re fan of one of the teams. Clemson is far superior, and will have little challenge in getting past Pitt this week. The Panthers have a solid defense and a terrific running game, but won’t be able to keep up with Clemson. Pitt enters the game with five losses, and the only quality win on their schedule came over Syracuse. Short of a freak injury to Trevor Lawrence, Clemson will cruise to an easy win and solidify another trip to the playoff. Clemson 35, Pitt 21
Gregg: Clemson wins this one big, they are on a mission to avenge their loss to Alabama last year. The way things are going the Tide/Tiger game may become an annual event. Clemson 55 Pittsburgh 13
Jason: The ACC Championship on paper is the biggest mismatch of any conference championship game this year. Each team benefited from a weak ACC this season, but Pittsburgh is the team that doesn’t quite fit on this stage. Clemson, on the other hand, is a national title contender and is playing in the ACC title game for the fourth straight year. Clemson is significantly better than Pittsburgh in almost every area on paper but the Panthers have had success on the ground this season. Pitt’s average of 5.8 yards per carry is ninth in the country, and has the ability to spring a big play on the ground, rushing for 20 yards or more 29 times this season. If the Panthers can find a way to get first downs and control the clock on the ground, they can make it a four quarter game. Doing that against the Clemson defense won’t be easy. The Clemson front is as good as any in college football, holding the opposition to just 2.23 yards per carry to lead the nation. Pitt is coming off a resounding defeat at the hands of Miami who slowed the rushing attack to the tune of just 1.8 yards per carry and it will be a much stiffer challenge against Clemson. Clemson also has a very good offense, led by freshman Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne who is seventh in the nation in yards per carry. The challenge is stiff for Pitt, and playing on this stage is nothing new for Clemson so the bright lights won’t affect the Tigers one bit. I expect Clemson to control the game in the trenches from the opening kick and overwhelm the Panthers on both sides of the ball as this game has the potential to get ugly early. Clemson rolls into the playoffs unbeaten and holding the number 2 seed and a date in the Orange Bowl for the semifinals. Clemson 49 Pitt 10
John: Probably the worst game of the slate. Tigers can basically name their score. Clemson 42 Pittsburgh 17
Josh: I would have thought Pittsburgh was going to give Clemson a fight, but they lost to Miami. Maybe they were looking ahead, but boy would that be an upset if Pittsburgh can find a way to win this game. I still don’t think Clemson is that good, and the ACC, as we have seen, is just garbage. Clemson will win this one, and the debate will be if they are the home or away jerseys worn against Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. Clemson 38 – Pittsburgh 10
Pia Pete: Clemson over Pitt
Coach Rick: Clemson has a strong 2 ranking and think they maintain it after this game. Pitt really has surprised me this season, but do not have enough to win this one. I have Clemson winning by 10 points.
Steven: Clemson 33-31
Trout: Clemson will crush Pitt. I don’t see this game being relatively close. Trevor Lawrence has been a difference maker for the Tiger offense and has help maintain their dominance of the ACC. I can see the Panthers getting a couple scores early. There’s a good chance that Clemson is not motivated to play a 7-5 team. So Pitt can take advantage of the lackadaisical attitude and jump to an early lead. But once the Tiger offense starts going, I don’t think the Panthers have the talent to keep up. Clemson wins this game in a blowout. (Clemson 49-14)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): Clemson just has too many facets to their game to lose to Pittsburgh. Clemson wins 35-14.
Final Score: Clemson 42 Pittsburgh 10
Memphis vs. (8)Central Florida
Bbaver: Pick: UCF – Gonna be tougher for UCF without Milton, but I think they will pull together and get the W.
Cory: Any hopes UCF had of a spot in the playoff likely ended last week with the injury to quarterback McKenzie Milton. Milton was enjoying a fantastic season with 2,663 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions, as well as 307 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. His season came to an end with a devastating knee and leg injury that was so bad he didn’t regain blood flow back to the leg until Tuesday. His replacement is Darriel Mack Jr., who at this point has more rushing yards than passing yards. Normally this would indicate that Memphis is primed to pull off the upset but the Tigers have played a pretty soft schedule, and still have four losses. Their best win this season came over Houston. UCF will squeak by to hang on to an undefeated record going into bowl season. UCF 28, Memphis 24
Gregg: Memphis almost beat the Knights when they had a healthy Milton, but that game was in Tennessee. UCF is playing with a mission right now to show they deserve to be in the playoff picture but I don’t think they are the same team without their quarterback and I doubt the have a Cardale Jones in their locker room. Memphis gets them this time. Memphis 27 UCF 24
Jason: UCF is coming into the AAC championship attempting to keep their two year unbeaten streak alive but they will be doing it without star QB McKenzie Milton who suffered a gruesome leg injury in the win over South Florida last week. They will now move forward with true freshman Darriel Mack Jr. against a Memphis team that is coming off four consecutive wins. A year ago, Memphis lost a heartbreaker to UCF in the title game that took double overtime to decide and the Tigers will be looking to avenge that defeat. In that game Milton threw for 500 yards and five TD’s but he won’t be there this time around. The Tigers are led by their talented running back Darrell Henderson who ran for 178 yards and two TD’s in the win over Houston last week. QB Brady White has a penchant for turning the ball over from time to time and will have to be clean to pull the upset this week. UCF’s Mack is a dual threat QB, who will run it more than throw it and now the true freshman has to put the team on his back on the biggest of stages. The Knights defense has struggled against the run, allowing over 200 yards per game but the defense has seemingly been bend but don’t break all season, locking teams down in the red zone, allowing just 19.5 points per contest. I expect the Tigers to be able to move the football, but a couple of turnovers and the Knights will capitalize utilizing the rushing attack and ball control to squeak by Memphis and another conference title and a berth in a New Year’s Six Game, likely the Peach Bowl. UCF 24 Memphis 20
John: For UCF, the injury to their quarterback will be too much to overcome. Look for the Tigers to win a low scoring one here. Memphis 17 UCF 10
Josh: With Mckenzie Milton being out, this opens up the door for Memphis to get the win. UCF beat South Florida last week without him, but Memphis had the lead in their game earlier in the season, before UCF made a 16 point comeback to win 31-30. I think Memphis is up to the challenge this time around and will beat the Golden Knights, ending the longest winning streak in the country. Memphis 38 – UCF 24.
Pia Pete: UCF over Memphis. Undefeated UCF misses out on the CPF playoffs. We need an eight team playoff soon.
Coach Rick: This game is a coin flip with the loss of UCF’s star player. I think Memphis is now the better overall team and wins by a touchdown.
Steven: UCF 28-27
Trout: The Loss of Milton at quarterback is huge for the Knights, and I think the game will be close because of that. But I still think UCF wins this game. The UCF Knights are a great team. They should arguably be playing in one of the Power Five conferences at this point. I do see their offensive production decreasing due to the losing Milton.I still think they are much more talented than Memphis. I can see them doing just enough to get by add to their current win streak of 24. It won’t be easy, but I see Knights overcoming the loss of their quarterback, and winning the AAC. (UCF, 21-17)
Vaughn Broadnax (1980-83): Memphis has played very well of late. UCF comes in the game sans their starting quarterback after a gruesome injury. One of two things can happen. The team bands together and wins one for the Gipper, or they surrender after losing their leader. I choose the latter. Memphis beats UCF 34-31.