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UConn football vs. UCF Knights: How to watch, by the numbers, what to watch for

It’s the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 UCF at Pitt Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. ET


ANNOUNCERS: Roy Philpott (play-by-play), Kelly Stouffer (color analyst), Lauren Sisler (sideline)

RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network; TuneIn; 97.9 ESPN Hartford, WINE 940 AM, WGCH 1490 AM, WICC 600 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WATR 1320 AM WILI 1400 AM and 95.3 FM

ANNOUNCERS: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline), Bob Joyce (pregame host)

RECORDS: UConn (1-2); UCF (3-1)


OVER/UNDER: 64 points

SERIES HISTORY: The UConn Huskies and UCF Knights will meet for the 7th time with the Knights holding a 4-2 advantage in the series.


Pregame Coverage

Preseason opponent preview: UCF Knights

Notes & quotes from Randy Edsall’s weekly press conference

Fun With Numbers

0 - Number of wins in American Athletic Conference openers for UConn (0-6). This is their final chance to get one as they’ll be an independent starting next season.

2 - Losses for UCF in their last 30 games following last weekend’s loss at Pittsburgh. UConn has lost 25 of their last 30 games.

4 - True freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel will make his fourth career start when he leads UCF against the Huskies. Gabriel already has 11 touchdowns on the year and is averaging more than 260 passing yards per game.

6 - UConn has surrendered at least 30 points in each of their last six losses dating back to last season, including last week’s 38-3 loss to Indiana.

559 - Yards of total offense per game for UCF, which ranks No. 1 in the American Athletic Conference and No. 7 in the nation.

1,070 - Number of days that the ConFLiCT trophy has been missing.

What to watch for

How do the Huskies respond after getting punched in the mouth?

It’s an old football coach cliche, but it certainly rings true this week. After a complete breakdown on both sides of the ball against Indiana, UConn has their toughest game of the season this week, away at the No. 22 team in the country.

Responding in any fashion will be a tough task, especially when facing a pissed-off opponent who just lost their first regular season game in two years.

Jack Zergiotis with the pressure off

After the first disastrous start of his young career, hopefully Jack Zergiotis lets some weight off of his shoulders. The last time he came into a game with low expectations was against Illinois when he went 21-31 for 275 yards. That’s a good start, but the freshman regressed a bit last week.

UCF will come out and score a lot of points, which means Zergiotis will get plenty of opportunities to get the ball. He can either build on his first start, or put out another stinker like last week. With Randy Edsall’s full confidence in the former and a call from Dan Orlovsky, we should (key word “should”) see a more relaxed Zergiotis with the ball on Saturday.

The UCF offense is a juggernaut

The Knights have four (4) running backs averaging over six yards per carry, all with over 20 rushing attempts so far this season. Dillon Gabriel has completed 60% of his passes for 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions, averaging 10.2 yards per pass attempt (good enough for seventh in the nation.)

If UCF puts a show on this year like they did last, at some point it might be worth it to appreciate good, offensive football with a couple future NFLers.

Anything but Civil

This might be the last-ever edition of the now-infamous rivalry game, the Civil ConFLiCT. It was a misguided idea from the start, but it sure has given the college football world (and us) plenty to talk about over the last five years. And ultimately, isn’t that what it was all about?