1. A Firs- Half Letdown - The Scarlet Knights felt their 8-4 record would earn them a better location than the second-year St. Petersburg Bowl, but for a fifth straight season, the Scarlet Knights are headed to a third-tier bowl. After a heart-breaking 24-21 loss to West Virginia to close out the season, head coach Greg Schiano may have a hard time getting his team amped for Central Florida.
2. Ground To a Halt - Central Florida has the fourth best defense against the run in the nation, giving up just 82.5 yards on the ground per game. Rutgers is a team that wins when they run the ball, and the Scarlet Knights will need a big push from their disappointing offensive line to get the ground game rolling in the bowl. Without an effective ground game, Rutgers will be forced to rely on an inconsistent passing attack.
3. The Savage Effect - As a true freshman, former U.S. Army All-American Tom Savage was solid enough, but struggled at times this season. His inconsistent performances often came in games when he was put under heavy pressure, forcing him into poor decisions. If Savage can manage the game effectively, Rutgers can win a fourth straight bowl game; if not, UCF has the talent on defense to shut down the run. Rutgers needs to use the pass to set up the run, especially in what will be a hostile environment.
Prediction: Rutgers 17 UCF 10
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