NC State Vs UCF St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl PredictionNoah Williams
It is time for my long good-bye to the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl. And say hello to the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, with the internet currency (made famous by the Winklevoss Twins) taking over as key sponsor for the 6-year old Bowl.
— Bitcoin St.Pete Bowl (@BitcoinBowl) December 17, 2014
This year’s matchup features two teams who had their share of ups and downs in their 2014 campaign: the 9-3 UCF Knights and 7-5 NC State Wolfpack.
St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl
NC State Wolfpack vs UCF Knights
Date: Dec. 26, 2014
Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Stadium: Tropicana Field
TV Info: CBS
Radio: NC State Vs UCF
Point Spread: Knights -3
Game Total: 49
North Carolina State Will Win the St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl l If
They reach their scoring average and pick off Justin Holman at least twice!
For North Carolina to have any chance at wining this contest, they’re going to have to score right around their season average of 28.2 points per game. Of course, doing so against a Central Florida defense that ranked third in total defense, 11th against the pass, fifth against the run (97.4 ypg) and ninth in points allowed (17.9 ppg).
The good news for the Wolf Pack is that they’ve got a solid offense that finished 62nd in scoring (29.8 ppg) and an impressive rushing attack that averaged 206.0 yards per game (38th). N.C. State also scored at least 35 points in winning their final two games over Wake Forest and North Carolina.
Last but not least, if the Wolf Pack can pick off Central Florida quarterback Justin Holman one – or even better – twice – then they very well could pull off the upset as slight dogs. Holman completed just 59.0 percent of his passes while tossing 13 interceptions. The often inaccurate sophomore tossed four picks in a stunning loss to UConn on Nov. 1 and threw two interceptions in the Knights’ 38-10 blowout loss to Mizzou in Week 3.
Central Florida Will Win the St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl If
They play defense like normal and keep Jacoby Brissett from taking over!
If Central Florida plays defense like they have all season long, then this game could be a wrap, because it’s kind of hard to win when you can’t score.
The Knights have held three of their last four opponents to seven points or less, though it doesn’t bode well that they gave up a whopping 30 points in their narrow 32-30 regular season finale against East Carolina.
Linebacker Terrance Plummer and cornerback Jacoby Glenn are likely future NFL performer that will need to make some huge plays against N.C. State’s elusive Jacoby Brissett.
North Carolina State outscored its final two opponents by a combined 77-20 and rushed for a jaw-dropping 388 yards in a 35-7 victory over North Carolina to end the regular season. Brissett tossed 22 touchdown passes against just five interceptions, so forcing him into a turnover or two wouldn’t hurt either.
Who Will Win the St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl?
North Carolina State and UCF have met twice before, with Knights winning the 2007 meeting 25-23 and the Wolf Pack taking the 2010 clash 28-21. Still, neither of those outcomes will have any direct impact on this contest, but at least you know the history.
Having said all of this, I am going to back the North Carolina State Wolf Pack to pull off the ‘upset’ here seeing as how Central Florida looked mostly mediocre the last time out while N.C. State has caught fire at just the right time.
Besides, the Wolf Pack will have the best player on the field in quarterback Jacoby Brissett and I believe his athleticism and ability to make plays both through the air and on the ground will give Central Florida fits.
I like Brissett, who reminds me of a young Randall Cunningham, to lead N.C. State to victory. While Central Florida has posted a blistering 8-2 ATS mark in their L/10 non-conference games, North Carolina State has gone 4-1-1 in their last six bowl games.