clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preview: UCF vs. Tulane

It’s Homecoming and the Space Game, and UCF needs to get back on track

UCF vs East Carolina Football Photo by Conor Kvatek/Collegiate Images via Getty Images

After last week’s disastrous loss at Memphis, the UCF Knights are back home for the first time in three weeks and still looking for their first conference win of the season as they face the Tulane Green Wave on Homecoming. It’s also the annual Space Game at the Bounce House.

ESPN2 will carry the game live.


Kickoff

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: The Bounce House

Line: UCF -21, Over/under 71.5 (OddsShark)

Gametime Weather: Scattered Thunderstorms, high of 85°. Winds at 9 mph.

Threads: #UCFinSpace

TV

Network: ESPN2

Crew: Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Kelly Stouffer (analyst)

Series

All-time: UCF leads 7-2. Tulane’s only victories were in 2015 (duh) and 2006 in a one-point game. UCF is 4-0 all-time against Tulane at home.

Last Meeting: Last year, in a game that was a lot closer than we remember:

Tulane Coming In

The Green Wave have come back to earth a bit after last year’s 7-6 bowl season. Since their surprise 5-1 start in 2019, they have gone 4-8, and 2-5 on the road. Interestingly, their two wins in 2020 have come on the road against South Alabama and Southern Miss.

Last week, the Wave valiantly pushed #17 SMU to overtime before falling, 37-34.

Head Coach: Willie Fritz. In his fifth season in New Orleans, Fritz is still building on back-to-back winning seasons, their first since 1997 and 1998, when they went 12-0.

What to Watch For

When UCF Has the Ball

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Memphis
UCF WR Ryan O’Keefe
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

UCF fixed a lot of issues from the first three games on offense last week at Memphis, racking up nearly 800 yards of total offense and 49 points on the road. And yet, here we are at 2-2.

The bottom line for the #1 offense in the nation is to keep doing what it’s doing - overwhelming opponents with speed and keeping the defense off-balance with a healthy mix of option running and play action.

Tulane’s primary weakness is against the pass (66th in the nation at 304.8 yards allowed per game), so if UCF can get into a rhythm early and continue to execute, this game could get out of hand in a hurry.

When Tulane Has the Ball

Tulane v South Florida
Tulane RB Stephon Huderson
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Tulane’s offense is 20th in the nation in scoring (36.4 points per game) but 51st in total offense (386.8 yards per game. The primary reason is they have struggled mightily in the passing game (154.8 yards per game, 67th in the nation).

After the graduation of QB Justin McMillan, Keon Howard, another transfer from Southern Miss, was expected to take the helm, but he was benched after the first two games in favor of true freshman Michael Pratt from Deerfield Beach, Florida.

The Wave’s strength is in the backfield, with Stephon Huderson, Cameron Carroll and Tyjae Spears combining for 880 rushing yards and 11 TDs this season. Expect a heavy dose of those three guys. If the Wave’s O-Line can control the game up front, it may be enough to keep the UCF offense off the field, and thus make it a close one late.

Predictions

Get Prepped

Listen to our latest podcast as we preview the game:

Who ya got?

Black & Gold Banneret has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.