Preview: Penn State at Central Florida

When: 8:30 AM ET, Saturday, August 30, 2014
Where: Croke Park, Dublin


The James Franklin era begins at Penn State while Central Florida debuts a new quarterback when the teams meet in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday. Franklin coached Vanderbilt to nine-win campaigns the last two years and takes over a Nittany Lions squad with several productive players returning on offense, led by sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Redshirt freshman Pete DiNovo replaces Blake Bortles, the third overall pick in the NFL draft, behind center for the Knights.

It will be difficult for DiNovo to match Bortles’ numbers overall, but Central Florida has three receivers back who produced at least 700 yards last season. Hackenberg lost top receiver Allen Robinson to the NFL and will have to deal with a Knights’ secondary that has combined for 97 career starts, led by safety Clayton Geathers and corner Jacoby Glenn. Central Florida looks to extend its overall winning streak to 10 after beating Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl last season.

TV: 8:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Central Florida -2

PENN STATE (2013: 7-5): Franklin has two running backs who rushed for at least 800 yards last year in Zach Zwinak (12 TDs) and Bill Belton to support Hackenberg, who threw for 2,955 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2013. The top targets for Hackenberg could be tight ends Jesse James, Kyle Carter and Mike Gesicki, but the Nittany Lions have only one returning starter on the offensive line. Physical safety Adrian Amos, defensive end Deion Barnes and linebacker Mike Hull are keys on defense for Penn State.

CENTRAL FLORIDA (2013: 12-1): The highly-touted DiNovo beat out three others in the preseason for the starting job and has a solid supporting cast around him. Rannell Hall, Breshad Perriman, J.J. Worton and UAB transfer Jackie Williams all are talented options at wide receiver and William Stanback (443 rushing yards) takes over as the No. 1 running back. Linebacker Terrance Plummer, who joined Glenn on the American Athletic Conference’s first team last year, leads an experienced defense.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The contest will be played at Croke Park, home of the Gaelic Athletic Association, with a capacity of about 69,000.

2. Worton had 101 receiving yards as visiting Central Florida edged the Nittany Lions 34-31 last September after Penn State won the first two meetings.

3. Central Florida K Shawn Moffitt is within reach of school records with 233 points and 36 field goals in his career.

PREDICTION: Penn State 24, Central Florida 21
 

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Penn State 0-0 - 0.0 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Central Florida 0-0 - 0.0 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

Last Meeting

Penn State Central Florida
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/14/13 UCF 34 PSU 31 455 193 262 507 219 288

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
PSU C. Hackenberg 75.0 262 1 0
UCF B. Bortles 74.1 288 3 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
PSU Z. Zwinak 21 128 6.1 3
UCF S. Johnson 17 117 6.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
PSU A. Robinson 9 143 15.9 1
UCF J. Worton 7 101 14.4 1
TDs Player TD
PSU Z. Zwinak 3
UCF S. Johnson 2
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
PSU N/A
UCF N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
PSU N/A
UCF N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
PSU N/A
UCF N/A
TDs Player TD
PSU N/A
UCF N/A

Quickchart Matchup

Penn State Off vs  Central Florida Def
0 yards
0 yards
0 yards/rush
0 yards/rush
Central Florida Off vs  Penn State Def
0 yards
0 yards

Live Game Odds

Lines History | All Odds
Home over/under
OPEN
-110
3
-110
47
Offshore Odds
CarbonSports
-110
-2
-110
44.5
Sportsbook
-110
-2
-110
44.5
5Dimes.eu
-105
-2
-108
44
GTBets.eu
-110
-2.5
-110
44
Top Bet
-105
-2
-110
44.5
BetOnline.ag
-110
-2.5
-110
44
BetDSI
-110
-1.5
-110
44.5
AllYouBet.ag OFF OFF
Belmont
-110
-2
-110
44.5
BookMaker.eu
-110
-1.5
-110
44.5
Vegas Odds
LVH
-110
-1
OFF
Mirage OFF OFF
Station
-110
-1
OFF
Best home line Recent line moves

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Penn State Overall Central Florida
0-0-0 W/L 0-0-0
0-0-0 ATS 0-0-0
0-0-0 O/U 0-0-0
0.0 Pts For 0.0
0.0 Pts Against 0.0
Penn State A/H Central Florida
0-0 W/L 0-0
0-0-0 ATS 0-0-0
0-0-0 O/U 0-0-0
0.0 Pts For 0.0
0.0 Pts Against 0.0