It’s rematch time. The UCF Knights and Tulane Green Wave meet in the 2022 AAC Championship Game after a thrilling 38-31 win by the Knights earlier this season. Tulane has revenge on their mind, while UCF looks to prove that the first win wasn’t a fluke.
UCF vs. Tulane Odds
- Spread: Tulane -4
- Moneyline: Tulane -178, UCF +150
- Over/Under: 57
Tulane took control of its destiny after the UCF loss. A 59-24 win over SMU was followed by a 27-24 win over Cincinnati to secure a birth in the 2022 AAC Championship Game. The Green Wave continue what’s been a memorable season, and they’re hoping to add some hardware to their trophy case.
UCF’s been here before. They make their third appearance in the AAC Championship Game, but this is their first trip back since 2018. Gus Malzahn’s squad kept things interesting after beating Tulane. A loss to Navy sounded the alarms, but the Knights got a Cincinnati loss to reclaim the crown.
Prediction for UCF vs. Tulane in the AAC Championship Game
Tulane must stop John Rhys Plumlee. He torched the Green Wave defense early and often a few weeks ago, and that can’t happen again. The Knights quarterback rushed for 176 yards (9.8 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. If fully healthy, he makes UCF’s offense more dangerous.
Dorian Williams and Nick Anderson will play huge roles in slowing down UCF’s rushing attack, but their own offense must get the ball rolling early as well. In the last meeting, the Knights jumped out to a 24-7 lead in the first half, and Tulane didn’t have the firepower to keep up.
Tulane’s Mental Mistakes
One thing Tulane must do starts with their quarterback. Michael Pratt’s having a great year, and he’s their biggest X-factor. However, in the first meeting, he didn’t break 100 yards until the third quarter was nearly over.
Tyjae Spears can’t do everything, and UCF’s going to put pressure on Pratt to beat their defense with his arm. If they want to win the 2022 AAC Championship Game, he must be a factor.
Still, it’s not all on Pratt. In that game — and many others — Pratt’s thrown some beautiful passes. However, his receivers sometimes let him down. Drops plagued the Green Wave pass catchers all year, and that must stop with a New Year’s Six bowl game on the line.
Duece Watts can put any defensive back on a highlight reel with his acrobatic catches, but those aren’t common occurrences. Tulane’s ability to create separation and not get inside their own heads will help them put points on the board early.
It’s tough to stop UCF’s future NFL talent, but the Green Wave have some talent of their own too. Which side’s group steps up more should determine the outcome.
UCF vs. Tulane Prediction: UCF 33, Tulane 30