Wannstedt Heads Back To Florida With Talented Team
October 12, 2006 (Orlando, FL) - Dave Wannstedt enjoyed some reasonable success in the NFL as head coach of the Dolphins and the Bears and now he looks like he has something special going on at the University of Pittsburgh. This Friday night he returns to Florida and brings with him 20 players from his team who hail from the Sunshine State.
The Panthers will take on the University of Central Florida and the line presently sits at -10 at the world's largest online sportsbook and casino Sportsbook for the visitors, with some money showing up on the home side dog in the early wagering.
UCF is coming off an emotional win on the road at Marshall and was expected to be a powerhouse in Conference USA this year. They have suffered losses at home to Southern Miss and South Florida and will have their hands full in this one. Pittsburgh features an explosive back in Larod Stephens-Howling who is averaging over 5-yards per carry, including 221 yards last week at Syracuse.
The problem for the Golden Knights is that is they try and load up the line to stop the run, Pittsburgh's senior quarterback Tyler Palko will make them pay. Palko is on fire, the senior quarterback going an amazing 47-for-56 for 667 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions the last three weeks and had 15 touchdown passes against just 3 interceptions this season.
The Golden Knights finally got going on offense last week at Marshall, with both tailbacks, Kevin Smith and Jason Peters, rushing for more than 100 yards; both quarterbacks, Steven Moffett and Kyle Israel, providing some positive plays; and both go-to receivers, Mike Walker and Javid James, making some big catches and runs. The offensive line also did a better job controlling the line of scrimmage -- until the Golden Knights reached the red zone. Despite gaining 488 yards in all, UCF scored on only four of six trips into the red zone and had to settle for four field-goal attempts.
Offensively, the Golden Knights are struggling in the red zone. The offense is producing 325 yards per game but ranks 11th in Conference USA in scoring, with 17.8 points per game, mainly because UCF has scored only eight touchdowns and four field goals on 20 trips inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
Defensively, the Golden Knights are allowing only 140 rushing yards per game, but they're also allowing 24.6 points and 265 passing yards per game. After forcing 32 turnovers last season, it doesn't help that UCF has forced only seven so far this season.
In Kevin Smith and Jason Peters, the Golden Knights have a stud running game, although Smith is dealing with some very sore ribs.
The over/under total opened at 48.5 but has taken a steady diet of under money and presently sits at 46.5.
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About the Author: Bob Acton is an experienced sports writer and handicapper, who has written for the sports industry for over 10 years. His years of writing for Sports Scene, sports consulting on 33 Made for Television and Major Motion Pictures and his work as an instructo