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Preview: UCF Ends Regular Season with the War on I-4 in Tampa

Could we see McKenzie Milton return to action?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 23 UCF at USF Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The UCF Knights’ 2020 regular season comes to an end wit their annual Black Friday clash with the South Florida Bulls in the War on I-4.

ESPN will carry the game live from Raymond James Stadium at 3:30 p.m. While yes, the game is significant, what’s more significant is the possibility that we might see McKenzie Milton play football for the first time since his devastating leg injury two years ago on this very same field.


Kickoff

When: 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Line: UCF -25, O/U 67 (OddsShark).

Gametime Weather: Partly cloudy and calm, low 80s.

Threads: Black, white, black (my personal favorite)

Gameday Guide

TV

Network: ESPN

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

Series

All-time: South Florida leads 6-5. The Knights have won the last three and are 5-2 against the Bulls since the two teams have been in the same conference.

Last Meeting: Last year. Another ruthlessly efficient ass-kicking:

USF Coming In

It’s bad. The Bulls are 1-7, 0-6 in The American, and their only win was in the opener against The Citadel. They’ve given up 34 or more points in the last five games, and had their most recent game against Navy canceled due to COVID-19 issues last week.

Head Coach: Jeff Scott. A Florida native who played at Clemson, Scott was an assistant under Dabo Swinney for 12 years before getting his shot as a head coach for the Bulls after Charlie Strong’s firing last year.

What to Watch For

When UCF Has the Ball

Dillon Gabriel USF
Dillon Gabriel
Photo: Derek Warden

Friday might be a good time for UCF to unleash the beast. USF has struggled on defense all season (76th in FBS, 424.5 yards allowed per game), but especially against the run (208.8 yards allowed per game, 105th in FBS). They can’t get off the field (117th in 3rd down defense) and allow a ton of points (37.6 points/game, 114th in FBS).

Look for UCF to attack early and often, and try to put USF out of its misery in short order.

When USF Has the Ball

South Florida v Houston
Jordan McCloud
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

USF’s offense was horrid prior to this game (109th in FBS, 330.2 yards/game), and now with leading rusher Johnny Ford entering the transfer portal with three years left, it’s going to be even worse.

QB Jordan McCloud has the tools to be good one day, but right now the Bulls’ passing attack is non-existent (99th in FBS, 193.1 yards/game), and the run game isn’t helping (137.1 yards/game, 87th FBS). Unless the Bulls suddenly discover an offense, this could be a long day for them.

So...Is KZ going to play?

Right now, we don’t know. We probably won’t know until before the game when the teams come out for warm-ups and he’s either in pads or not. If there’s any possibility that he will play, he’ll come out fully dressed. Then we’ll have to see how the game plays out.

The bigger a lead UCF has in the second half, the greater the likelihood he plays in garbage time. Right now, though, we just don’t know.

Predictions

Get them here:

Get Prepped

Listen to our latest podcast as we preview the game and discuss the possibility of Milton playing:

Who ya got?

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