UCF vs Tulane (11/12/2022 – 3:00 pm EDT)
Line: Tulane -1.5
One of the most exciting playoff races in college football is happening in the American Athletic Conference where the University Central Florida Knights meet the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans Saturday afternoon for AAC supremacy. The Knights are coming off a 35-28 victory over the Memphis Tigers on the road while the Green Wave took out Tulsa 27-13 away from home as well.
UCF comes into the matchup at 7-2 overall and playing excellent football as of late as they’ve won six out of their last seven games. They’re 4-1 in the AAC where they’re in second place and sitting behind Tulane with their lone loss in the conference play coming to East Carolina. The Knights have gone 6-3 against the spread so far but have only managed a 3-6 record versus the over/under.
Playing 17th-ranked Tulane this weekend will be only the second game against a ranked opponent for the Knights with the first game coming on October 29th against Cincinnati in which they won 25-21. Last week’s victory over Memphis came without their starting quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, who is listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest although all signs point to him playing. They’ll need him against a tough Tulane team as he’s tossed 1,883 yards on 64.4% completion percentage and 11 TDs.
Like many past UCF teams, this one can put up yards aplenty as they’re seventh in the nation with 500.7 yards of offense per game. They can also score, hanging 35.7 points a contest on opponents, which is good for 26th in the country. Their biggest strength on offense is a fantastic rushing attack that chews up 239.3 yards a contest, eighth-best in college football. Their defense isn’t too shabby either, allowing only 18.8 points per match, good for 16th overall.
Tulane comes into Saturday’s game with an impressive 8-1 record that includes an undefeated 5-0 record in the conference, making them first in the AAC. Their only loss on the season came in a close 27-24 defeat to Southern Mississippi but they have won five straight since that loss. Against the spread, the Green Wave have been outstanding, going 8-1, however, they haven’t been as successful versus the over/under at 3-6.
What makes Tulane so good this season? Every win has been by double-digits with the exception of a 27-24 win over Houston in Week 5. Aside from that, one could argue that the victories come from an easy schedule featuring no ranked opponents thus far but that would be wrong. The Green Wave have a strong defense that has fueled their success this year as they’re holding teams to 16.9 points, 11th in the country.
Quarterback Michael Pratt leads the Tulane offense with 1,843 yards passing to go along with 14 TD passes against only four interceptions. Behind him is running back Tyjae Spears who has 430 yards rushing over his last three games, good for 143.3 yards a contest. The Green Wave has a productive offense that puts up 32.9 points a game, which ranks 38nd overall while their 418.7 yards a contest is 48th in the country.
Free Pick – Tulane -1.5
UCF has played great lately and has a win against a ranked opponent that Tulane doesn’t have yet on their resume. With Plumlee most likely playing on Saturday, that makes the Knights even more dangerous with them looking to take over first place in the AAC. Tulane doesn’t have UCF’s offense but they have a far better defense and they’re going to show up on Saturday and make things hard on the Knights. UCF has won the last four in this series but this is a different Tulane team in 2022, one with a great defense and running attack that will be ready on Saturday after. We like Tulane -1.5.