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College Football
Preview
North Carolina State vs Central Florida
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, December 26, 2014
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

BITCOIN ST. PETERSBURG BOWL STORYLINES

1. When we last saw UCF, the Knights were storming the field following a Hail Mary catch by Breshad Perriman to defeat East Carolina and claim a share of the American Athletic Conference title. The dramatic win helped UCF earn a berth in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl against North Carolina State, which won three of its last four games. The teams have split their two previous meetings, with North Carolina State recording a 28-21 victory in 2010.

2. While UCF is seeking its fourth consecutive bowl victory, North Carolina State is returning to the postseason after going 3-9 in 2013. The Knights boast one of the nation’s top defenses, led by linebacker Terrance Plummer and cornerback Jacoby Glenn, who is tied for third in the country with seven interceptions. Plummer has a team-high 92 tackles for UCF, which allows 17.9 points per game - ninth in the nation.

3. UCF’s stout defense should be tested by a North Carolina State offense that outscored its final two opponents – Wake Forest and North Carolina – by a combined 77-20. The Knights boast the nation’s fifth-best rushing defense, but the Wolfpack rushed for 388 yards in a 35-7 victory over North Carolina to end the regular season. Shadrach Thornton led the way with 28 carries for 161 yards.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: UCF -2

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (7-5, 3-5 ACC): After jumping to a 24-7 first-quarter lead over Florida State on Sept. 27, the Wolfpack ended up falling 56-41 and losing their next three games. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett owns a 22-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has run for 498 yards and three scores. Mike Rose has 14 tackles-for-loss to lead the defense, which allowed an average of 15.9 points in its seven victories.

ABOUT UCF (9-3, 7-1 AAC): The Knights opened with losses to Penn State and Missouri before winning five in a row, including a 31-24 overtime victory over BYU. While the defense has been a strength all season, the offense struggled early before averaging 33 points during a four-game winning streak to close the regular season. Quarterback Justin Holman has thrown 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while Perriman has caught a TD pass in seven straight games.

PREDICTION: UCF 21, North Carolina State 17
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
North Carolina State 7-5 W2 29.8 27.0 4-3 3-2 6-4 0-0 3-5
Central Florida 9-3 W4 28.2 17.9 6-1 3-2 8-2 1-0 7-1
Last Meeting
North Carolina State Central Florida
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/11/10 NCST 28 UCF 21 244 139 105 308 95 213
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
North Carolina State R. Wilson 33.3 105 1 0
Central Florida J. Godfrey 70.0 107 0 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
North Carolina State M. Greene 14 55 3.9 1
Central Florida J. Godfrey 10 53 5.3 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
North Carolina State D. Davis 2 38 19.0 1
Central Florida B. Watters 6 88 14.7 0
Touchdowns Player TD
North Carolina State D. Davis 1
Central Florida J. Godfrey 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
North Carolina State J. Brissett 59.9 2344 22 5
Central Florida J. Holman 59.0 2661 20 13
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
North Carolina State S. Thornton 147 811 5.5 9
Central Florida W. Stanback 178 660 3.7 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
North Carolina State B. Hines 42 537 12.8 1
Central Florida B. Perriman 41 906 22.1 9
Touchdowns Player TD
North Carolina State M. Dayes 11
Central Florida W. Stanback 12
Quickchart Matchup
North Carolina State Off vs  Central Florida Def
402 yards
282.8 yards
5.4 yards/rush
3.1 yards/rush
6.7 yards/attempt
5.4 yards/attempt
Central Florida Off vs  North Carolina State Def
362.8 yards
373.1 yards
3.2 yards/rush
4.3 yards/rush
7.6 yards/attempt
6.7 yards/attempt