Free College Football Pick Against the Spread | Penn State vs. UCF

Some of our Documented Handicappers have strong opinions when it comes to Penn State vs. Central Florida on Saturday at 8:30am.  You read that right, the game is scheduled for 8:30am since it will be played in Ireland.  However, this game may not even kick off due to the possibility of a volcano posing a threat of eruption.  This is the first time to our knowledge we have heard of this reason for canceling a game so stay tuned to see if this game will kick off on time.  Just in case, we have a FREE pick against the spread below.

Penn State vs. Central Florida (-2)

Some of us are sold on the positive vibes coming out of Happy Valley with hiring of head coach James Franklin.  Franklin made waves at Vanderbilt and built up a team that played in the brutal SEC.  Franklin was considered a coach on the rise and many top programs would have loved to get the chance to hire James Franklin.

Penn State starts the 2014 season with their 2nd head coach in three years.  Joe Paterno was the head coach for 46 years making him the longest serving head coach in the history of college football.  So let’s just say Penn State is not used to this type of turnover.

Bill O’Brien took over for Paterno and did a fine job recruiting and restoring the faith of Penn State alumni and fans.  It was well known that O’Brien was just waiting for an opportunity to jump back to the NFL which is what he did when he was hired by the Houston Texans.

James Franklin takes over a team that is coming off a (7-5, 4-4 Big 10) season.  Last season they lost to UFC 34-31 and they also lost games to Illinois and Nebraska in overtime.  A 7 win season could have very easily been a 9 win season.

UCF was (12-1, 8-0 ACC) and had a tremendous year lead by QB Blake Bortles who was taken #3 overall in the NFL Draft by Jacksonville.  The Knights capped off their magical season by beating Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl.  UCF returns the bulk of their roster from 2013 including a led by Ranell Hall, J.J. Worton and Breshad Perriman. The trio combined for 143 catches, over 2,400 yards and 16 touchdowns.  Redshirt freshman Pete DiNovo will take over the reigns at quarterback and will have to fill some big shoes.

Penn State returns only 1 starter from the offensive line which could take some time to gel.  Sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg looks to build upon an impressive freshman year throwing for 2,995 yards and 20 TDs.  The Nittany Lions have a talented group of running backs and tight ends but they did lose WR Allen Robinson.  Penn States defense will be improved from last season with more experience as they return some key starters such as LB Mike Hull, CB Adrian Amos and Jordan Lucas not to mention some talented defensive front.

Christian Hackenberg will throw his hat into the ring this season as one of college football’s best young quarterbacks.  He was a top recruit out of high school and decided to commit to Penn State even after the bowl sanctions prohibiting Penn State from bowl inclusion until after 2015.  This kid has the poise and arm to lead this Nittany Lion team to a winning season.


Our prediction for this game is to take Penn State (+2).  While UCF returns a slew of starters from 2013, it was Blake Bortles that made the offense click.  He will be missed and it may be too much for the redshirt freshman to handle with the 1st game of the season.

By RC Blevins

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