#24 Cincinnati Bearcats vs. #11 UCF Knights
- Start Time: ESPN College Gameday 9am-noon, 8:00 PM EST
- Location: Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, Fl
- TV: ABC
- Line: UCF -7
- FPI: UCF 70.1%
- O/U: 60.5
- Series: UCF 2-1, UCF 51-23 in 2017
This defense is legit they ranked fifth in defensive success rate and only give up 14.9 points per game. Cortez Broughton leads the defensive effort for the Bearcats. He has 33.5 tackles and 15.5 TFL, nearly half of his tackles are forcing the other team backward. Two others have eight TFL but after that, no one has more than six. They will need a huge performance from Broughton if they have any hope of taming McKenzie Milton and the high powered UCF offense.
This will be this defenses biggest test, they’ve only played one team with an offense close to UCF’s and they lost that game to Temple.
The Cincinnati offense is pretty good, they score 35 points per game and put up 447.8 yards. They do it with a balanced attack led by freshman QB Desmond Ridder and sophomore RB Michael Warren II. Ridder has thrown 1897 yards and 15 touchdowns with five interceptions. Warren has 1082 yards and 17 touchdowns. It’s scary to think that these two will be there for a lot longer. They will only get better from here.
The Knights have a chance to prove something to the CFP Committee on the big stage come Saturday night. Everyone has been complaining that they haven’t played any ranked teams, here is their chance.
The Knights offense is one of the best in the country and they are perfectly balanced. They average 271.6 yards through the air and 271.4 on the ground. QB McKenzie Milton has weapons all over the field, starting with WR’s Gabe Davis, Tre Nixon, and Dredrick Snelson. Combined they have 13 touchdowns and 1,446 yards.
Running backs are led by Greg McCrae, Adrian Killins Jr., and Otis Anderson. These three have a combined 12 touchdowns and 1,453 yards.
Milton’s job is a lot easier when he has all of these guys around him to get the ball to. That is why he has 21 passing touchdowns and eight rushing. Keep in mind that he missed the entire ECU game, who knows what that number would be if he played in that one.
The UCF defense needs work, there is no way around it. They give up far too many yards, 423.6 to be exact. They give up just over 21 points a game, which isn’t terrible but it isn’t ideal. They’ve had the amazing offense to bail them out time and time again.
With that being said, they don’t need to be an elite defense when they have an elite offense. They just need to be average, and right now, they aren’t.
They show up for the second half of games but in the first half, they look bored and sluggish at time. This Cincinnati offense is more than capable of scoring points on this defense. Will the second half defense show up to play the entire game or will the offense have to carry the team again?
This is definitely going to be a candidate for the game of the year. I think this will be a nail biter and come down to who can make a stop late.
This is the biggest game in UCF history, Gameday will be here and the game is on primetime on ABC. I don’t think the Knights will disappoint.
Milton will throw a late touchdown to Otis Anderson and the Knights will push their win streak to 23 games.