First place in the American Athletic Conference East Division is up for grabs as the UCF Knights take on the Temple Owls, one of the hottest teams in the conference. The Owls have come to Orlando and upset the Knights before, scoring the go-ahead touchdown with one second left in the 2016 matchup. Temple wants their second top-25 win of the season, while the Knights will be looking to make a statement to the playoff committee.
The 12th-ranked Knights and the Owls will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
- Commentators: Dave Flemming, Gene Chizik/Dusty Dvoracek, Laura Rutledge
UCF leads 3-2.
Last meeting: 2017. This was nothing but another easy win in UCF’s 2017 domination tour. The Knights went up to Philadelphia and beat the Owls 45-19, behind KZ’s five-touchdown performance and five-turnovers forced by the UCF defense.
Temple Coming In
After starting the season 0-2, including a loss to FCS Villanova, the Owls have won five out of their last six, including an overtime victory against then-#20 Cincinnati. Temple also hung with Boston College, who’s now a top-25 team, and defeated Maryland, who’s 3-2 in Big Ten play. There’s no doubt they’re putting it all together and getting better game by game.
When UCF Has the Ball
UCF Offense: Will KZ Return? The last time UCF took the field, redshirt freshman Darriel Mack Jr. was behind center for the Knights. At last update, McKenzie Milton will still be a gametime decision for the matchup against the Owls. UCF proved they can still put up big numbers without him, but in a matchup of teams undefeated in conference play, you want your star quarterback taking the snaps.
Temple Defense: No Fly Zone. The Owls defense has given up the 4th-fewest passing yards per game out of any team in the country. They also have the second-best QB rating against and 9th-lowest completion percentage allowed. Granted, this secondary hasn’t faced a quarterback as good as KZ, but UCF might have to turn to the ground game to come away with a win in this matchup.
When Temple Has the Ball
Temple Offense: Average. There’s nothing this Temple offense is going to do that’s going to really wow you. They’re 96th in total yards per game and 59th in points per game. Their featured back, Ryquell Armstead, is a game time decision just like KZ. Whether or not he will play in this game will have a huge impact on the outcome.
Ryquell Armstead 75 yard TD run #Temple pic.twitter.com/UG3gR8Gh2J— New Account (@ftbeard_17) September 29, 2018
UCF Defense: Match Made in Heaven. Temple back Ryquell Armstead is a very solid player but after facing Devin Singletary and Darrell Henderson, the UCF defense has already seen the best the country has to offer. In the passing game, sophomore quarterback Anthony Russo will be taking snaps for the Owls. He’s a pretty average quarterback that’s a true pocket passer. Facing a quarterback who isn’t mobile is a favorable matchup for UCF. If they can make this game one-dimensional for Temple, UCF could win by 20+.
Hey Knight fans- ready to fill up the bounce house this week??? Watching clouds and even a quick shower- otherwise I think we're looking just fine!#ChargeOn @UCF_Football @UCFKnights @MarchingKnights pic.twitter.com/C77ymDS3wd— Eric Burris (@EricBurrisWESH) October 29, 2018
Line: UCF is a 10-point favorite
Pick: UCF 42, Temple 23
Who ya got?
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