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UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel (11) hands the ball off to running back Adrian Killins Jr. (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)
UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel (11) hands the ball off to running back Adrian Killins Jr. (9) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)|Associiated Press
NCAAF

AAC college football: Geier picks Stanford at Central Florida, Maryland at Temple and East Carolina at Navy

Games start noon EDT Saturday.

Ben Geier

Ben Geier

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Stanford @ 17 UCF (-8.5), 3:30 pm EDT on ESPN

The UCF Knights have always been under scrutiny from the committee about the strength of their schedule. But, with the Stanford Cardinal coming to Orlando the Knights have a golden opportunity to build upon their resume.

Coach Josh Heupel has shown that even without senior starting quarterback McKenzie Milton they haven't missed a beat on offense. Heupel has a three-headed monster at both the quarterback and running back positions. The Knights rank in the top ten on both offense (55 PPG) and defense (7 PPG).

Will the Knight's start off 3-0 again? I believe so especially with the status of senior starting quarterback K.J. Costello uncertain and the struggles the offense has already faced. However, the Knights defense should look out for senior running back Cameron Scarlett as he'll be the focal point for the Cardinal.

Spectrum Stadium is one of the toughest stadiums in the country to play in.

Pick: UCF (-8.5)

21 Maryland @ Temple (+7), 12 pm EDT on CBSSN

The Maryland Terapins are one of the most underrated teams in college football. In their first two games, they've averaged 71 PPG on offense and dominated over a ranked Syracuse team that could've played spoiler to top-ranked Clemson. Coach Mike Locksley making his return to the Terps has done wonders as they already received their first ranking since 2013.

Last season, at Maryland, the Owls held the Terps to only eleven first downs. Junior Anthony Russo (QB) is coming off a 400-yard performance against Bucknell and made his starting debut against the Terps last year.

Will Temple pull another upset? No, I think the Terps will get over the hump as junior Josh Jackson seems to be the answer at quarterback. However, it should still be a high scoring affair as both defenses have plenty of holes.

Pick: Maryland (-7)

ECU @ Navy (-7.5), 3:30 pm EDT on CBSSN

The East Carolina offense finally clicked after producing a 48-point showing against Gardner Webb. Expect, the Pirates to keep their foot on the gas pedal as they'll play an untested Navy defense. In 2018, the Midshipmen surrendered 33.5 PPG on defense which could spell good news for sophomore dual-threat quarterback Holton Ahlers. However, in their debut, the Midshipmen showed improvement on both sides of the ball and managed the clock against the Holy Cross Crusaders (45-7 win). If you want to bet for this one, avoid the spread and take the under. Navy’s triple-option will eat up the clock limiting the ECU offense.

Pick: Under: 53.5