KICKOFF: 12:00 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Corey (play-by-play) and Rene Ingoglia (color analyst)
RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network (WTIC 1080 AM, WILI 1400 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WGCH 1490 AM), SIRIUS 112, XM 202, XM 962 (Internet), TuneIn Radio app
ANNOUNCERS: Joe D'Ambrosio (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Ken Sweitzer (sideline)
POINT SPREAD: UCF -4.0
SERIES HISTORY: This is the fourth time the two teams have met on the gridiron with UConn holding a 2-1 lead. Since the invention of the conFLiCT, the Huskies have won the last two games including a 40-13 win in Orlando last season.
The computers like Central Florida this Saturday, with S&P+ projecting a 4.5-point Knights win and F/+ projecting UCF 5.1 points ahead of UConn. Right now UCF is ranked 61st in the nation in overall S&P+ efficiency while the Huskies are 90th.
By the Numbers
26 - National ranking of the Husky run defense, which will be going up against another strong rushing attack Saturday in the Knights, who have the 33rd-highest rushing yards per game in the country.
72 - Penalty yards per game for UCF, currently 115th in the country.
0 - The number of times UCF has won the #conFLiCT rivalry since its inception. #InBobWeTrust
150 - Career receptions for senior receiver Noel Thomas, good for eighth in program history while his career receiving yardage (1814) is ninth in program history. This season, his yards per game (108.3) and receptions per game are among the best in the country at 13th and ninth, respectively.
103 - S&P+ Efficiency ranking for UCF’s offense. It could be tough sledding for the Knights to get points on the board given the potential for inclement weather and the Florida players’ inability to adapt to the cold against the Huskies, who rank 60th nationally in scoring defense.
Jawon Hamilton and Dontravious Wilson vs. UConn Front 7
The Huskies held the explosive USF rushing attack relatively in check as long as they could, but tired as the game wore on and the offense failed to give them time to rest. UCF has a better defense than the Bulls, but UConn also won’t be as strained as it was trying to contain Quinton Flowers and Marlon Mack.
UConn Offensive Line vs. UCF Defensive Line
This is a constant, as UConn, offensively but even as a whole, is a good offensive line away from being a solid college football team. The problem is everyone knows that and as the 80-to-90th team on the recruiting totem poll has to plan accordingly. Anyway, UCF has been very good defensively on passing downs. If UConn can’t get into enough manageable third down situations, something which has been a bit of a problem, it could be a long night for the offense where we are left hoping for a special teams/defensive miracle to win.
UConn has to move the ball on 1st and 2nd down. The ground game is the best way to do that but the offensive line must come to play even with Tommy Hopkins out for the season.
UCF QB McKenzie Milton vs. UConn Defense
This matchup is interesting because by all accounts UConn should dominate it, and if the Husky defense can pull that off it could mean a relatively easy win boosted by great field position thanks to short drives and turnovers. Milton has played well for a freshman, but he will be dealing with a very strong defense which could unravel this game quickly, much like last year’s game.
I think UConn has the upper hand here with its strong defense and an offense which has been finding its way. The weather will certainly play a factor as well, as the Central Floridians will be greeted by a cold and possibly rainy day at the Rent. On top of that, the Huskies will be boosted by the potential glory of winning the third game in the #conFLiCT rivalry, which Bob may be done talking about but will live forever in our hearts. UConn 23, UCF 14