UCF Knights (7-0, 4-0) at SMU Mustangs (6-2, 3-1)
- Start Time: 7:15 PM EST
- Location: Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX
- TV: ESPN 2
- Streaming: Here
- Weather: 78 at kickoff with a 2% chance of rain
- Line: UCF -14.5, O/U 75.5
- FPI: UCF 74.1%
UCF blew out FCS Austin Peay 73-33 last week but it’s what arch-rival USF did(or didn’t do) that helped the Knights more than anything.
Houston beat USF on a last-second touchdown run by QB D’Eriq King. Not only did this hand USF their first loss of the year, but it gave UCF control of the AAC and they became the highest ranked Forgotten 5 team, putting them in line for a New Years Six bowl.
UCF is led by QB McKenzie Milton, Milton is hands down the best QB in the AAC, if not all of the Forgotten 5 conferences(Yes I just said that). He doesn’t take sacks or turn the ball over(three int’s this year).
Milton at times makes football look easy, but it’s easy when you have speedsters all around you like, RB Adrian Killins Jr, WR Tre’Quan Smith, and WR Dredrick Snelson. When you have guys like this to get the ball to, points and wins will just come. Killins might be the fastest player in the country, he exploded for a 96 yard touchdown run against Memphis where he slowed down the the last 15-20 yards and was still pulling away from defenders. Tre’Quan Smith seems to be a threat to get to the end zone whenever he touches the football, he has nine receiving touchdowns along with one on the ground as well.
UCF is an offensive juggernaut that scores 51 points per game and gains 529.7 yards each game, but their defense is just as great, only allowing 19.7 points a game with a turnover margin of +12. They play like a stereotypical Florida college football defense plays; fast, mean, and hard hitting.
UCF has all the tools needed to have an undefeated season, they just can’t slip up and SMU is more than good enough to ruin everything for the Knights.
The Mustangs became bowl eligible last week in a comeback win over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. SMU is 6-2 now which is their best start since 1984 and it is their first time going to a bowl since 2012.
The Mustangs are led by QB Ben Hicks, who is a gunslinger with 2,305 yards and 19 touchdowns. Even with these impressive numbers, Hicks at times can get careless with the ball throwing six interceptions so far.
Hicks has two huge wideouts to throw to as well, Courtland Sutton has nine touchdowns thus far, and Trey Quinn with seven touchdowns. These two take a lot of pressure off of Hicks because when in need he knows where to go.
SMU’s defense is worrisome as they give up 31 points and almost 440 yards per game. UCF might shred them to pieces with their explosive offense.
UCF has their path all mapped out, win and their in a New Years Six bowl. The biggest test left is USF, but they can’t look ahead and must focus on this week.
The Mustangs biggest win is Arkansas State, they need a signature win, could it come this week?
I don’t think it will as the Knights are bringing too many weapons for SMU’s defense to handle. It may not be a blow out, but it won’t be a back and forth affair.