Boca Raton Bowl UCF vs No. 17 BYU

Boca Raton Bowl: UCF vs No. 17 BYU | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 21, 2020

No. 17 BYU had hoped to perhaps play in a New Year’s Six bowl this year, but the one-loss Cougars instead will have to settle for being the first ranked team to take the field in a 2020 bowl game as they face Central Florida of the American Athletic Conference in the Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday.

How to Bet UCF vs. BYU NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: BYU -4.5 (total 71.5)

Series History

The schools have split two all-time meetings. The Cougars won the first matchup in 2011, 24-17 in Provo. The Knights won the more recent matchup in 2014, 31-24 in Orlando. Neither school has played in this bowl game.

Why Bet on UCF? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

For the Knights, this year’s bowl appearance will be a program-record fifth consecutive postseason bowl appearance and is also the eighth in nine seasons.

Central Florida (6-3) hasn’t played since a Nov. 27 win over rival South Florida 58-46. Sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel went for 336 yards passing and four touchdowns through the air, while scoring another on the ground. His main scoring target was senior Jacob Harris, who caught five balls for a career high 110 yards and a career-best three touchdown receptions.

Gabriel threw a touchdown pass for the 22nd straight game, which ties Daunte Culpepper for the third longest streak in UCF history. It is the longest streak for a Knight to start his career. Gabriel finished the regular season with 30 passing touchdowns, the third most in a single-season in UCF history. He now has 59 in his career, moving past Blake Bortles for fifth all-time at UCF. Gabriel also has 7,006 career passing yards, which ranks sixth all-time at UCF.

Greg McCrae matched a career high with 25 rushes for 130 yards and a touchdown. He is now alone in fourth with 28 career rushing touchdowns and fifth all-time with 2,543 career rushing yards, passing former teammate Adrian Killins Jr., Brynn Harvey and Latavius Murray on the UCF charts. The Knights finished with over 500 yards of total offense for the sixth time in nine games during the 2020 season.

The Knights scored on the ground and through the air, their 48th straight game doing so, a streak that leads the nation. UCF scored 30 or more points for the 45th time in its last 47 games and scored 24 or more points for the 48th consecutive game, a streak that ranks second in the nation. The Knights also eclipsed 40 points for the 29th time in the last 47 games and hit 50 for the 15th time in the last 47 outings.

UCF leading receiver Marlon Williams opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Williams ranks fifth in the nation with 10 touchdown receptions, fifth with 129.9 yards per game and third with 8.9 catches per game.

Why Bet on BYU? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Cougars (10-1) will enter the game as the highest-ranked team to ever play in the Boca Raton Bowl. The closed the regular season with a 28-14 win over San Diego State on Dec. 12.

Finishing with 303 yards going 26-for-35 passing, Zach Wilson passed Taysom Hill for No. 11 in all-time passing yards. He eclipsed the 7,000 career passing yard mark to finish with a total of 7,227. His three passing touchdowns moved him into a tie at No. 10 all-time at BYU in passing TDs with Steve Sarkisian and Kevin Federick with 53. He also moved up on the all-time list of passing completions to 11th with 540, as he moved past Steve Sarkisian and Marc Wilson.

Zach Wilson is the first BYU quarterback to throw at least one touchdown in every game of a season since Max Hall in 2009. The junior had multiple TD passes in 10 of 11 games this year. Wilson is a finalist for numerous national awards. He leads a BYU offense that ranks No. 9 in scoring (43.0 ppg) and No. 10 in total offense (510.1 ypg).

BYU extended its perfect kicking season going 2-for-2 on field goals. The team is 13-for-13 on the season to tie for No. 1 nationally (100%). BYU held its opponent scoreless in three quarters, a feat it accomplished for the third time this season (Navy, Troy). BYU also scored more points against San Diego State than any other opponent the Aztecs have played all year.

Running back Tyler Allgeier could be available to play in the Cougars’ bowl game.  He missed the win over San Diego State for undisclosed reasons. Allgeier, who rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown in BYU’s December 5 loss to Coastal Carolina, has hit the 100-yard mark in each of his last three appearances.

BYU boasts one of the best defenses in the country — ranking third in scoring defense and 10th in total defense.

The Boca Raton Bowl will be BYU’s 38th bowl game dating back to the 1974 Fiesta Bowl. BYU’s 38 bowl appearances rank No. 21 among college programs — more than marquee programs such as UCLA, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Stanford. The Cougars have gone bowling in 15 of the past 16 seasons.

Game Trends

  • Knights are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Knights are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games.
  • Knights are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as an underdog.
  • Cougars are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
  • Cougars are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
  • Cougars are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 bowl games.

Expert Prediction

  • BYU 30, Central Florida 27
 
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