It was a great week for UCF opponents as they went 8-1 in the games played, highlighted by P5 wins by USF and (surprisingly) Temple over Illinois and Maryland, respectively. But the biggest game of the week was undoubtedly Boise State's loss to Oklahoma State, which dropped them behind UCF in the polls. UCF now controls it's own destiny to the NY6 bid and more as long as they stay focused and don't look too far ahead.
USF, Cincy, Memphis, and even Navy could all be ranked at some point this year, and could all be tough matches for the Knights. Temple has also shown life now and has always been a tough win so shouldn't be taken lightly no matter what their record as Maryland just found out.
AP Pollsters showed surprising respect for UCF, moving them up two spots to #16 despite having their game vs UNC called because of Hurricane Florence. Not getting the chance to play UNC was probably somewhat offset by ECU's game being canceled as well and avoiding a sure loss vss Virginia Tech.
Overall UCF is in a great place and has a clear path to its season goals as long as it takes it one game at a time. Their first real challenge will come this Friday vs Lane Kiffin's FAU Owls in what most likely will be their Super Bowl. All eyes will be on UCF to see if they handle FAU as easily as Oklahoma did, beating FAU 63-7. It may be unfair, but that's the reality of college football until there is a true and equitable playoff.
Here's a look at the UCF Knights opponents and how they fared this week:
FAU 49, Bethune-Cookman (FCS) 28
After showcasing their passing game last week (471 yds/3 TD), FAU made a concerted effort to get the ground game untracked and succeeded with 376 yds and 6 TD. Star RB Devin Singletary had team-record 4 TD in the 1st Q as the Owls jumped to a 29-0 lead and coasted the rest of the way over Bethune-Cookman, likely resting up for this Friday's season-defining battle with UCF.
Next Game: at #16 UCF (3-0)
UConn 56, Rhode Island (FCS) 49
After getting smacked around by UCF and then Boise St, the Huskies were able to get their offense untracked at least with 573 total yards. They also had they hands full with Rhode Island giving up a whopping 49 points. That certainly doesn't bode well as they take on up-tempo and high scoring Syracuse this week.
Next Game: at Syracuse (3-0)
Navy 51, Lehigh (FCS) 21
QB Malcolm Perry paced Navy and their vaunted ground attack with 233 of its 483 yds and three of its six touchdowns. The Midshipmen's defense used three turnovers to help them to a 48-7 by the 4th as they coasted to an easy win over Lehigh before giving up two late TD's in garbage time.
Next Game: at SMU (0-3)
Pitt 24, Georgia Tech 19
The Pitt defense had an INT and a fumble recovery and contained a Georgia Tech offense that had 602 yds last week vs USF to only 386. The Panthers jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and forced the Yellow Jackets to play catch up, something they clearly are not built for.
Next Game: at North Carolina (0-3)
Memphis 59, Georgia State 22
Memphis got its offense hack on track after a heartbreaking loss to Navy last week, totaling 679 yards. QB Brady White lead the passing game with 269 yds/5 TDs and RB Darrell Henderson did the same for the ground game with 233 yds/2 TDs. The Tiger defense did give up 22 points despite only 312 total yards of offense for Georgia State.
Next Game: vs South Alabama (1-2)
#19 Michigan 45, SMU 20
SMU lost its 3rd straight game to start the season, giving up over 40 points in each while scoring only an average of 18 on offense. The Mustangs will need to get untracked fast as Navy and its clock-killing, ball control running game comes to town next.
Next Game: vs. Navy (2-1)
Temple 35, Maryland 14
Temple, which had disappointed in its first two games, both losses, shocked the previously undefeated and impressive looking Terrapins. The Owls' defense led the way limiting Maryland to 195 yds total while snagging 2 INT's, one that went for a TD as they were able to shut out the Terrapins offense without a score in dominating fashion.
Next Game: vs Tulsa (1-2)
Cincinnati 63, Alabama A&M (FCS) 49
Cincinnati got its offense on track, racking up 642 total yards, including 402 yards rushing and six TDs against their FBS opponent. Coach Luke Fickell's defense continued its impressive showing on the year, allowing only 182 total yards by Alabama A&M and now have allowed only 24 total points in its first three games.
Next Game: vs. Ohio (1-1)
South Florida 25, Illinois 19
South Florida: 3-0
USF has not looked particularly good in any of their first three games of the season, but they have shown resiliency in winning all of them and as the saying goes "a win is a win". The Bulls still have discipline problems(14 penalties) and haven't found a kicker yet, but scored the last 18 points and found a way to win for the 2nd straight week despite themselves.
Next Game: vs ECU (1-1)
Texas Tech 63, Houston 49
Houston's defense took it on the chin in this shootout loss to the Red Raisers as they gave up a massive 704 yds of total offense, including 605 yds and five TD's from the Texas Tech aerial assault. The loss wasted a 462 yd/5 TD stellar passing game by Cougars QB D'Eric King. King also had 46 yds and a TD on the ground.
Next Game: vs Texas Southern (1-2)
#24 Oklahoma State 44, #17 Boise State
Boise State: 2-1
After a scoreless 1st Q, Boise St scored 40 seconds into the 2nd, but then OK St went on a 31-7 run to make the Broncos one dimensional and put the game out of reach. Boise St, who had 400 yds rushing in their previous game vs UConn, had no such luck against the Cowboys, having only 34 on 31 attempts. They also allowed 7 sacks and a forced fumble.
Next Game: at Wyoming (2-2)
Troy 24, Nebraska 19
The Scott Frost fairytale return that started on an auspicious note when it's 1st game was canceled immediately after the kickoff, took a hit for the 3rd consecutive week with the loss to Troy. Unlike last week when the Cornhuskers went toe to toe with COL, NEB was playing catch up all game in this one. The Trojan jumped out to a 17-0 lead and hung on to upset Husker Nation and its prodigal son.
Frost played the game without his promising QB Adrian Martinez, who was injured (knee) in their 2nd game and is out till further notice. This is an extremely bad omen, as Knights fans will recall the same happening to UCF in their winless 2015. NEB is favored in only 2 (and just barely) of their remaining 9 games. With only a walk-on QB to rely on, blood is definitely in the water in the B1G.
Next Game: at #19 Michigan (2-1)
Cancellations due to Hurricane Florence
ECU (1-1) at Virginia Tech
South Carolina State (0-2) vs. North Carolina Central