Georgia Tech will be hoping to pull off a second consecutive upset when it faces No. 14 UCF on Saturday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a win against Florida State, whereas the Knights are kicking off their season in this game.
*Injury update on Friday at 2pmET*
Knights seeking strong start to 2020 campaignNo. 14 UCF was only favored by less than eight points twice during the entire 2019 season. This season the Knights are opening the year as a 7.5-point favorite. They got off to a hot start last season and were ranked as high as No. 15 in the country, but losses to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati derailed the season. UCF finished with three losses and was unable to win a third consecutive conference championship. However, the three losses came by a combined seven points. The Knights went 6-2 in the American Athletic Conference, which earned them a berth to the Gasparilla Bowl. They picked up a 48-25 win in that bowl game against Marshall to finish the season with a 10-3 record.
We've averaged 5.4 YPC since 2017 🚜💨💨💨— UCF Football 😷 (@UCF_Football) September 15, 2020
Look who's back 👀 pic.twitter.com/pA0dj9Vb8a
Standout quarterback Dillon Gabriel is back to lead an offense that was the second-best in the country in yards per game last year with 541. He will have several of his best wide receivers back in the mix with Tre Nixon and Marlon Williams. The running back room is overflowing with productivity, as Otis Anderson, Bentavious Thompson and Greg McRae are all returning. They combined for 1,859 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019. UCF has had at least 10 players opt out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns, including cornerback Tay Gowan and defensive tackle Kalia Davis. Backup quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. also chose to sit out this season. The Knights return 67 percent of their offensive production and 75 percent of their defensive production.
Georgia Tech coming off upset winGeorgia Tech returned 84 percent of its overall production this season, which was second-most in college football. The experience showed in week one, where the Yellow Jackets picked up a surprising 16-13 win against Florida State on the road. They were able to tally more than 400 yards of total offense against the Seminoles, including 277 through the air. Third down conversions were a key component of the win, as they went 8 of 16 in those plays. Florida State jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after a lengthy weather delay, but Georgia Tech scored a touchdown in the third quarter and added nine more points in the fourth quarter to grab the win.
Starting quarterback Jeff Sims completed 24 of 35 passes for one touchdown and two interceptions. The mobile signal-caller added 13 carries for 64 yards on the ground. He will be looking for a more efficient outing against a team that will make you pay for turning the ball over. Running back Jordan Mason added 14 rushes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Malachi Carter was the leading receiver, hauling in six receptions for 66 yards and a score. Jalen Camp added five catches for 57 yards and Marquez Ezzard had one grab for 45 yards. Linebacker Quez Jackson led the defense with seven total tackles and an interception.
In terms of injuries, Georgia Tech is expected to be without starting cornerback Tre Swilling and defensive end Antonneus Clayton, who missed the opener. Swilling suffered a foot injury before the season. He was an honorable All-ACC selection as a sophomore last season. Clayton was an expected starter at defensive end as a senior. The Yellow Jackets will also be playing without starting defensive tackle T.K. Chimedza (undisclosed), who is out for the season.
- 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games
- 1-5 ATS in its last six games played on Saturday
Georgia Tech is:
- 6-2 ATS last 8 after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game