The Knights (3-2, 1-0) have surprised many in the college football nation, and more importantly 64,000 grateful students who see coach Scott Frost as a messiah who has saved Orlando and its football reputation. UCF sits in second place of the American Athletic Conference in the Eastern division, under only that of I-4 rival USF (5-1,2-0).
The onset of Hurricane Matthew resulted in the cancellation of UCF’s most recent game against conference rival Tulane (3-2,0-1). UCF will have to get back into its momentous charge, keep up its impressive play and roll into a three-game winning streak if it wants to keep up its credibility and the idea that the Knights could be a force not to be reckoned with.
As of right now, there has been no official announcement about who will be starting as the commanding officer of the offense tonight, coached by Troy Walters. All eyes will be on the gridiron to see who is set up in the shotgun position, whether it will be true freshman quarterback sensation, McKenzie Milton of Hawaii, or senior quarterback, Justin Holman of Georgia.
The Knights, who are off a 47-29 destructive victory over East Carolina on the road, saw great plays all around the field on both sides of the ball. Led in the ground-and-pound game by senior running back Dontravious Wilson, who leads the conference in total touchdowns with eight (seven rushing, one receiving), the Knights have a plethora of options in the backfield, including freshman Jawon Hamilton and the speed machine that is freshman Adrian Killins.
In the air game, the Knights are led by the aforementioned Holman and Milton, whom have helped the Knights accumulate 962 passing yards with five reception touchdowns. Their favorite targets have been redshirt sophomores Tre’Quan Smith and Jordan Akins. Smith has caught two touchdown passes and has recorded 221 yards while Akins has caught a touchdown pass and eight passes for 185 yards.
Going into tonight, the Knights will be tasked with containing senior Temple quarterback Phillip Walker, who has passed for 1,415 yards and eight touchdowns. One thing the Knights may have trouble with tonight is keeping each of the Temple targets marked since eight of the listed receivers have earned over 100 yards. Four of those eight have over 185 receiving yardage.
With UCF redshirt senior inside linebacker Mark Rucker missing the first half of play due to a targeting call, where he was found guilty of committing against the East Carolina quarterback two weeks back, the Knights will have to stay sharp on the line to stop a powerful rushing game that matches that of UCF’s. With 838 net yardage on the ground, the Owls are led by senior Jahad Thomas and sophomore Ryquell Armstead. Between the two, they have contributed 13 touchdowns.
For updates, you can follow @Evan_Abramson or @CFF_Sports for information prior to and during tonight’s conference matchup.