Fearless Picks - Central Florida

Do any of our prognosticators fear the trip to the humid environs of Central Florida?

Bill Gleason Last Week: W Season 1-0 Pick: WVU 45-17
For the second straight week WVU faces a relative unknown. This time, it's a completely revamped Central Florida program taken over by George O'Leary this season after his two-year absence from college football. O'Leary is a football mastermind and a motivational genius. The completely out of control and undisciplined Golden Knight squad of 2003 will not be what O'Leary puts on the field in Orlando. If it is, he'll throw ‘em all out on their ears. The discipline that O'Leary brings was sorely lacking on a team full of talent last season, and it showed. UCF came to Morgantown in the midst of a serious losing streak and proceeded to set the record for most trash talk, most personal foul penalties and biggest lack of class of any football team ever to visit Mountaineer Field. And that includes Virginia Tech.

UCF managed only 53 yards rushing against Wisconsin last week, and Stephen Moffet, while an excellent athlete, doesn't look ready to carry the team with his arm. Three times last week, Kay Jay Harris ran for more yards on one carry than UCF gained in their entire contest. The WVU offensive line proved to be the real deal, and the Mountaineers look to have a couple of weapons for Rasheed to throw to opposite Chris Henry. WVU didn't use them last week, playing close to the vest in a blowout win. WVU wins this one easily, but expect a tougher battle, at least through the first half. Get ‘em now, because O'Leary will have this turned around sooner than people think.

 
Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season 1-0 Pick: WVU 42-14
George O'Leary is an excellent coach, and if not for a piece of trivial stupidity, he would be working in the world of Rockne, Montana, and Hornung, not Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. Eventually O'Leary will bring respectability back to UCF, but the Knights are so young, it likely will take a couple years. Central Florida has enough talented skill players to worry you, but its offensive and defensive lines are so young, WVU should easily dominate the trenches. Even
 
Cam Huffman Last Week: W Season 1-0 Pick: WVU 38-20
West Virginia will run all over the Terps and deal them a major blow. What? It is UCF this week not Maryland? I am sorry about that. I just got off the message boards and I was sure that UM was the next game on the schedule. But if you insist, we will focus on the University of Central Florida.

I have to admit, this one had me worried throughout the preseason. All of the elements were there for an upset.

UCF has some talented skill players, an experienced and knowledgeable coach -- even if he can't be trusted any more than O.J. Simpson -- it is going to be a long trip for the Mountaineers, and many have already begun to focus on the Maryland game. I just could see trouble brewing.

But after watching the Golden Knights take on Wisconsin last weekend, I am now as calm as an athlete in a court room. There is just no way that UCF can pull a miracle.

Both their offensive and defensive line have more holes than my lucky pair of boxers and even though their quarterback looked like Randall Cunningham running around on The Herd last year, he has shown very little against any team that can get past Troy State.

UCF's skill guys will make some plays – especially their tight end, which has linebacker size but receiver hands and speed – but it will not be nearly enough. Kay-Jay will not top 300 or even 200, but somewhere between 120 and 150 rushing yards should be expected from No. 1. West Virginia wins after an early scare, and the countdown to the Terps can officially begin.

 
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season 1-0 Pick: WVU 34-13
The Golden Knights will give the Mountaineers a tougher test than East Carolina but UCF does not have the talent to match-up with WVU this season. The inexperience in the UCF offensive line with cause problems for Steven Moffett all day.

Kay Jay Harris will gain 150 yards on the ground and the Mountaineers will leave the land of the mouse with its second victory of the season.

 
Matt Keller Last Week: W Season 1-0 Pick: WVU 30-13
Central Florida tailback Alex Haynes, needing just 12 yards against West Virginia, will move to second place Saturday on the UCF all-time rushing list. The durable, speedy north-south runner should go over 100 yards. And the senior will allow the Knights to eat clock and stay in the game. But with just 13 seniors and revamped schemes and coaching staff the Knights simply don't have the know-how to play above-average football.

This game should look nothing like last year's, as George O'Leary focuses on running and defense. And a soaked field and additional showers might force both squads to run more. That plays to West Virginia's line strength versus UCF's weakness.

UCF isn't dodging foes, facing Wisconsin, West Virginia and Penn Stat to open the year. They will be seasoned at the end, but they will also be 0-3. No experienced plus poor line play equals losses. The Knights break a four-game home-opening win streak and drop to 0-15 all-time versus AP Top 25 teams.

 
Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season 1-0 Pick: WVU 45-10
The Mountaineer running game will again have success with Kay Jay finishing the game with over 500 rushing yards on the season. Rain from whatever storm hits Florida next will limit the Mountaineers ability to throw the ball a lot, but Rasheed Marshall will find Chris Henry and John Pennington for a pair of passing touchdowns. Harris will have two scores of his own, and backup Jason Colson will punch in his third of the season. The Mountaineer defense could also score a touchdown in this one, if the ball is ever thrown to Pacman's side of the field. Alex Haynes will have nowhere to run, and Steven Moffet will continue to have growing pains for the Golden Knights. George O'Leary's debut for UCF will be wet and forgettable as the number 10 team in America wins this one easily.

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