College football bowl season kicks off this week, and there are plenty of games around the country this weekend. The Gaspirilla Bowl is one of the games to keep your eye on early next week as kickoff is scheduled for Monday night. The UCF Golden Knights will take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in this game that takes place in Tampa, Florida. UCF represents The American Conference and Marshall is the representative of Conference-USA.
UCF comes into this game with a record of 9-3 and this was actually a down year for the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights should have a ton of momentum after finishing the season by winning five of their final six games. Marshall went 8-4 during the regular season, including a 6-2 record in conference play. The Thundering Herd also won five of their final six games. UCF is a massive -17.0 point favorite in the Gaspirilla Bowl.
Golden Knights Can Score in a Hurry
The University of Central Florida has lost plenty of talent to the NFL in recent seasons, but it hasn’t affected their offense. UCF comes into this game averaging 43.0 points per game, making them a top-10 scoring offense again this season. There was a question as to who would be quarterback of this team, but Dillon Gabriel took the job and ran with it. Gabriel threw for over 3,300 yards this season and tossed 27 touchdown passes. The Golden Knights are also averaging over 216 rushing yards per game, and they can score points in a variety of ways.
The offense gets most of the headlines for the Golden Knights, but their defense has played well also. The Golden Knights are allowing less than 23 points per game this season, and they have plenty of athletes on that side of the ball. UCF gave up just seven points to rival USF in their season finale, and they should put together another great performance in this game.
Marshall Will Need to Defend
If Marshall is going to keep this game close then their defense is going to have to play their best game of the season. The Thundering Herd allowed just over 23 points per game this season, but this will be one of the best offenses they have faced. Marshall did hold an explosive Boise State team to just seven points earlier this season, and will need that kind of performance again in this game.
Marshall can also really run the football, and they will need to extend some drives with their running game. The Thundering Herd are averaging just under 200 rushing yards per game, and running back Brenden Knox has been unstoppable this season. Knox leads the way with 1,284 rushing yards, and quarterback Isaiah Green can make plays with his legs as well. Green has thrown for 2,265 yards this season, and he will need to find some holes in the UCF secondary.
Thundering Herd No Match For Golden Knights
There are some terrific matchups during the college football bowl season, but the Gasparilla Bowl is not one of them. This game looks like a complete mismatch on paper, and will likely be an even bigger mismatch on the football field. UCF is a team that can play with some of the best teams in the country, and the Thundering Herd have not been tested this season. The Golden Knights can score points in a hurry, and they will pick apart the Thundering Herd defense in this game. 17 points is a large spread, but UCF will cover it. Bet the UCF Golden Knights -17.0 over the Marshall Thundering Herd in the Gaspirilla Bowl. Take the Golden Knights at RealBookies, our favorite pay per head bookie location.
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