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UCF vs. South Florida: Preview, How to Watch, TV, Predictions, and Keys to the Game

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The War on I-4 plays perhaps its final battle in the Bounce House

Photo: Derek Warden

It’s Black Friday, and that means it’s the War on I-4.

The UCF Knights (7-4, 5-3 AAC) play their final home game of the 2021 season against the South Florida Bulls (2-9, 1-6 AAC) at the Bounce House. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on ESPN.

Let’s get ready:


Game Day Guide

When: 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: The Bounce House

Weather: Courtesy of Black & Gold Banneret’s unofficial meteorologist and UCF alum Eric Burris:

Line: UCF -17.5 (67% of the money on UCF), Over/under 62 (73% on over), per OddsShark


How to Watch

TV: ESPN

Stream: ESPN+

Crew: Roy Philpott and Kelly Stouffer, UCF’s good luck charm team


Series Notes

Tied 6-6.

  • The Knights have won four in a row.
  • UCF has won six of eight since both teams have been in The American.
  • Last meeting: 2020 - UCF 58, South Florida 46

Keys to the Game

When UCF Has the Ball

Last week, UCF showed that while they're still a run first team, they can exploit the outside. This helps make Mark-Antony Richards and Johnny Richardson good compliments to each other. Expect UCF to still be run first and depending on what the defense gives them, you'll see one of these backs in. This keeps the pressure off the quarterback so the defense won't drop too many players back.

UCF Offense vs. South Florida Defense

Category UCF Offense FBS Rank S. Fla. Defense FBS Rank
Category UCF Offense FBS Rank S. Fla. Defense FBS Rank
Rush Yards 190.1 41st 209.9 115th
Pass Yards 220.0 76th 279.4 122nd
Total Yards 410.1 63rd 489.3 125th
Points 33.5 28th 36.3 120th
Stats: stats.ncaa.org

UCF’s Key Players to Watch

  • #16 QB Mikey Keene — 145/224 (65%), 1,471 yards, 15 TD/6 INT
  • #25 RB Johnny Richardson — 93 carries, 599 yards, 6.4 ypc, 3 TDs
  • #3 WR Brandon Johnson — 37 catches, 558 yards, 10 TDs

South Florida’s Key Players to Watch

  • #5 LB Antonio Grier — 76 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INTs
  • #11 LB Dwayne Boyles — 60 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles
  • #17 DT Blake Green — 30 tackles, 2.5 sacks

When South Florida Has the Ball

It's expected that South Florida will be playing from behind, which usually means more passing. Timmy McClain is still learning the college level game, but has shown potential. They will continue to ride McClain. Early on or if the game stays close, you'll see more running from Jaren Mangham, especially in short yardage situations.

South Florida Offense vs. UCF Defense

Category S. Fla. Offense FBS Rank UCF Defense FBS Rank
Category S. Fla. Offense FBS Rank UCF Defense FBS Rank
Rush Yards 165.0 65th 161.4 84th
Pass Yards 189.7 106th 212.5 42nd
Total Yards 354.7 101st 373.9 59th
Points 24.1 99th 26.3 67th
Source: stats.ncaa.org

South Florida’s Key Players to Watch

  • #9 QB Timmy McClain — 127/233 (54.5%), 1,666 yards, 5 TDs/7 INTs, 255 rush yards, 3 rush TDs
  • #0 RB Jaren Mangham — 139 rushes, 578 yards, 4.2 ypc, 15 TDs
  • #10 WR Xavier Weaver — 37 catches, 640 yards, 2 TDs

UCF’s Key Players to Watch

  • #15 LB Tatum Bethune — 83 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions
  • #1 DE Big Kat Bryant — 45 tackles, 13 TFLs, 5 sacks, 7 QB hurries
  • #37 DB Quadric Bullard — 73 tackles, 4 TFLs, 2 sacks, 5 passes defended, 3 fumble recoveries

Podcast

Listen to our latest podcast as we preview the game:

Predictions

Get our takes on today’s game in this week’s Knights Roundtable:

Follow Along!

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