Update 7:05 p.m. Looks like it will be closer to 7:50 before we get a kickoff.
Update on UCF-Boise. They are about to allow fans back in the stadium. It will be at least 45 minutes before they kick.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 2, 2021
Update 6:27 p.m. There is lightning in the area and the stadium has been cleared. We’ll update here when we have a new game time.
Both Boise State and Central Florida often finish the season in the AP Top 25, but as they meet in Week 1 the two most successful G5 programs of the last several years are receiving votes, though not a ranking.
The Broncos begin their transition from Bryan Harsin to Andy Avalos, and the Knights go from Josh Heupel to Gus Malzahn, who Harsin is replacing at Auburn. But that’s life when you don’t have a large conference TV contract, and why programs will often ebb and flow at the lower levels. Keeping up with past success is the challenge here, and this will be a key matchup for both teams come the end of the season.
Updated SP+ per team
Boise State: 39 (45 Offense, 52 Defense)
Central Florida: 34 (12 Offense, 79 Defense)
Injury update for both teams
QB Jack Sears is questionable (lower body)
RB R.J. Harvey is out for the season (torn ACL)
C. Florida -5.5 (% of handle, % of bets)
Total 68 (Over -105), (% of handle, % of bets)
Bet Splits from DraftKings Sportsbook
Boise State: % of handle, % of bets
Central Florida: % of handle, % of bets
Returning talent/recruiting talent (of 130 FBS teams)
Offense 51, Defense 61, Team 57
Offense 53, Defense 67, Team 62
The pick: UCF -5.5
The UCF Knights appear to have upgraded at the head coaching position after Josh Heupel left for the Tennessee Volunteers. They landed former Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn, who will start a season off the hot seat for the first time in what feels like forever. We’re betting he gets off to a good start in a matchup between a pair of Group of 5 power houses.
Dillon Gabriel established himself as a top-level college football quarterback in his third season as the starter for UCF. Boise State will enter their third consecutive season with a new offensive coordinator, and we’ll bet against them having the offense to keep up with UCF and fade Andy Avalos in his first game as a head coach.