Maryland vs. UCF prediction and game preview. We take a look at who will come out on top when the Terrapins face the Knights on Saturday night in Orlando.
Maryland vs. UCF Game Preview
When: Saturday, September 17 – 7 p.m. ET
Where: Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
TV Broadcast: CBS Sports Network
Maryland has started the DJ Durkin era by outscoring the opposition 93-27 in a pair of blowout wins. Handling Howard might’ve been expected, but few thought the Terrapins would rout FIU in a dominating 41-14 victory. Durkin is known for his defensive genius, but it’s been the offense that has stepped up nicely. Perry Hills has completed 73 percent of his passes, hitting D.J. Moore with 10 including two scoring strikes. Trey Edmunds and Lorenzo Harrison have made a nice combo in the backfield as the Terps have gone without a turnover.
What To Know About Maryland
Hills and Moore likely will be counted on heavily against UCF. Michigan ran the ball 41 times last week and averaged only 2.9 yards per carry against the Knights’ strong front. That defense also only gave up 85 yards rushing in a win over South Carolina State to start the season. Offensive coordinator Walt Bell might try to go to the run early to feel out the Knights, but there’s a good chance the Hills-Moore combo becomes more important as the game wears on.
What to Know About UCF
Frost used a high-powered attack through the air and on the ground while he was the offensive coordinator at Oregon. Now he’s trying to turn around a UCF team that went winless last season, but he doesn’t have the weapons he did with the Ducks. Knights quarterbacks have completed just 44.8 percent of their passes, and one of those completions was by wide receiver Tristan Payton. Justin Holman and Nick Patti have been subpar, both going 3 for 11 against the Wolverines. If the Knights can’t get the ball moving through the air, they’ll be in for a long night.
Offense: Maryland – Hills and Moore are on the same page.
Defense: Maryland – Durkin’s unit has allowed 27 total points so far.
Special Teams: Maryland – William Likely is a dangerous punt returner.
Coaching: Even – Both Durkin and Frost are in their first head coaching jobs and in charge of turning around their respective programs.
Intangibles: Maryland – The Terps are facing back-to-back mid-majors in the warm Florida weather.
Matchup To Watch
UCF’s ground game vs. Maryland’s run defense
The Knights don’t have a 100-yard rusher yet, but three have gained more than 90. With the quarterbacks playing so poorly, the Terps know the run is coming. It’s just a matter if they can stop it well enough to come out on top.
Maryland vs. UCF Betting Odds
Spread: Maryland -8 1/2
Maryland vs. UCF Prediction
Hills and Moore hook up for three touchdowns, the Terps intercept two passes and keep the Knights’ running game at bay while winning their second consecutive game in Florida.
Maryland vs. UCF Score Prediction: Maryland 27, UCF 10