Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Line: Nevada-Reno -2.5
Doug: Central Florida +2.5
Interesting game between two up and coming programs in growing states.
Two things about Nevada-Reno:
1. They are scheduled to play Notre Dame in 2009 (home opener). Early scouting opportunity for you ND fans out there?
2. The receiver who caught the winning pass against Fresno State is named Nicheren Flowers. A first ballot Hall of Famer to the All-Names Wing.
Two things about UCF:
1. Seems like there's a buzz out there that they are on the verge of doing some big time things in college football in the next few years. They are building a lot of new facilities and a brand new stadium, and starting to make some noise in recruiting down in Florida. Could be a program on the rise.
2. By George, it's O'Leary!
No real opinion on this game (other than I'd love to be there for it - game time temperature in Honolulu: 77 degrees and sunny), but I think O'Leary adds another bowl win to his resume (hardy har) and gets the win.
Central Florida 30 Nevada-Reno 24
Matt: Central Florida +2.5
These two teams appear to be pretty evenly matched, so let's take a look at a couple of things...
Nevada - 38-35 over Fresno State
UCF - 38-17 over Memphis
Edge - Even. Remember, Fresno State packed it in after that USC game
Nevada - Take your pick. They were outscored 142-56 when they stepped up the competition against Washington State, Colorado St. and Boise St.
UCF - Yikes, gave up 52 points at Southen Miss to lose by 3 td's
Edge - UCF. Were competitive against South Carolina and USF and was never fully destroyed all year
Nevada - RB's BJ Mitchell and Robert Hubbard combined for almost 1800 yards and 18 td's
UCF - Receivers Brandon Marshall and Mike Walker combined for over 120 receptions, almost 1900 yards and 17 td's
Edge - UCF. Well, well, well. What do we have here. Nevada's already awful pass defense (104th) has lost co-captain cornerback Kevin Stanley to suspension for the game.
That is all I need to see. UCF wins a high scoring ball game, and somewhere, Urban Meyer is already beginning to sweat about that showdown in the swamp next year against UCF.
Prediction - UCF 38 Nevada 27