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UCF Eyes Huge Upset at Home vs Gamecocks


ucfpennst-wrThe UCF Knights will be trying to pull off their second big upset of the season this week as they host the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Knights surprised the Penn State Nittany Lions in their last game 34-31 in Happy Valley. A win over the Gamecocks would set up a huge showdown in two weeks with the Louisville Cardinals.

The Cardinals are one team happy to see the Knights beating some of the “big boys” in college football. They need all the big wins the new AAC can muster. Had the Connecticut Huskies been able to hold off the Michigan Wolverines last week it certainly would have helped. The Huskies led Michigan 21-7 in the third quarter before losing 24-21.

Not many people give UCF a chance against the powerful SEC contender. UCF has never beaten South Carolina, going 0-3 in their previous meetings. This will be the first meeting in Orlando. The Knights will travel to Columbia to meet the Gamecocks in 2015.

Betonline has South Carolina -7.5 -105 ATS and the Knights +7.5 -115 ATS. Moneyline is South Carolina -300 ad UCF +250 O/U is 53 with both -110.

7.5 is only 2.5 points more than Penn State was favored over UCF by two weeks ago. Behind quarterback Blake Bortles fine day and a good day running the football from Storm Johnson, the Knights jumped out a a lead that got as high as 18 points. So the Knights are capable of pulling the upset.

South Carolina is 2-1 with wins over the North Carolina Tar Heels 27-10 and the Vanderbilt Commodores 35-25. They lost on the road against the Georgia Bulldogs 41-30. They come into the game ranked #12 in the AP Poll and #13 in the USA Today Poll. UCF is #29 in the AP and #27 in USA Today. A win over USC would surely propel them into the Top 25.

The Cardinals need some help from some of the other AAC teams if they wish to compete for the national championship. Right now they are the only team in the AAC ranked in the top 25 in either of the polls. Other than the Knighs win over Penn State, the biggest non-conference win for the AAC is probably either the Rutgers Scarlet Knights win over the Arkansas Razorbacks or the Cincinnati Bearcats win over the Purdue Boilermakers or the Cardinals win over the Kentucky Wildcats. In other words, there is not much to get excited over. They will have a couple of opportunities this week with the UCF-USC game and the USF Bulls vs the Miami Hurricanes.

Should UCF get this upset win, hey can start to dream about a BCS berth themselves. The AAC Champion gets an automatic bid to a BCS game and the UCF Louisville game will likely decide that. But if UCF also brings wins over the Nittany Lons and Gamecocks into the bowl season and are the only unbeaten tem, they could very well wind up being strongly considered for the National Championship game.

But, those are two very big “ifs” that the Knights will have to answer. If they can finish 10-2, which is not at all out of the question, they should be in line for a nice bowl game. So a loss to South Carolina and Louisville would not be the end of the world. But a win in one or both of those games and the Knights could be this year’s “Boise State Broncos.”


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