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

The trophy is back — consider the rivalry renewed.

(John Raoux / Associated Press)

TIME: 4:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN+

ANNOUNCERS: Conner Onion (play-by-play), Leger Douzable (color analyst)

RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network; Varsity Network App; 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)

RECORDS: UConn (1-9), UCF (6-4)

LAST WEEK: UConn defeated by Clemson 44-7. UCF was defeated by SMU, 55-28.

POINT SPREAD: UCF -30.5

OVER/UNDER: 55.5

SERIES HISTORY VS UCONN: UCF and UConn have met seven times on the gridiron with the Knights holding a 5-2 advantage. After resistance from UCF, the Knights have bought into the Civil ConFLiCT, and revealed the original trophy (or possibly an imposter) late Friday night.

DEPTH CHART: UConn; UCF

OPPONENT PREVIEW: UCF

WEATHER FORECAST: Orlando, FL

Fun With Numbers

1 Million - Number of dollars UConn is being paid to play UCF

758 - The number of days between UConn football wins vs FBS teams (as of game day)

1498 - The number of days between UConn football wins vs FBS teams at Rentschler Field (as of game day)

2 - Number of kickoff returns for touchdowns by Brian Brewton this season. The last time it was done was in 2010 when Nick Williams also did it twice.

105 - Total tackles by Jackson Mitchell, which is fifth-best in the country

10.5 - Tackles per game by Mitchell, which is fifth-best in the country

500 - Today marks the 500th game in UCF football history.

What To Watch For

2022 Senior Bowl invitee Travis Jones said it best, regarding UConn’s remaining schedule, two games against a pair of former American Athletic conference-mates that might seem like an afterthought considering all the changes surrounding the program at the moment.

“For me, the coaching changes, I don’t worry about that,” Jones said during availability on Tuesday. “My job is to go out there and play, and that’s what I’ve been doing.”

For Jones, that description of his game is an understatement. UConn football is a program that regularly sends talented players to the NFL regardless of the on-field product, and Jones is set to be the latest in a group of draftees that includes Byron Jones, Matt Peart and fellow defensive linemen Foley Fatukasi and Shamar Stephen, and Jones is set to be the latest addition to that list.

New senior bowl invitee Travis Jones has elite athleticism and technique that make him attractive to NFL scouts, and leads the Huskies in several key defensive stats, including tackles from the defensive line and QB pressures by interior linemen.

He’s a grown man! He has all the NFL traits that you want,” head coach Lou Spanos said of his star lineman. “High football IQ, tremendous athlete, for what he does at the position he’s great at stopping the run game and pressuring the quarterback.”

As for the rest of the UConn team? This will be the second game of the year with new head coach Jim Mora Jr. on the sidelines. The first game was a drab strangling at the hands of Clemson that looked decent for a moment, but the Tigers’ superior talent was able to step up and get it done.

UCF isn’t quite the daunting task that stood before UConn last week, nor are they the hyper-charged champion of the Group-of-5 that claimed a “national championship” in 2017. UCF is 6-4 and bowl eligible with two games remaining in the season, but that’s mediocre for a team that expects to be challenging in the AAC year in and year out.

Luckily for them, their star quarterback Dillon Gabriel should return from injury this week. Northwestern transfer Isaiah Bowser provides a threat on the ground and in the passing game, while wide receiver duo Ryan O’Keefe and Brandon Johnson rank up there with the best in the conference.

UConn will start Steven Krajewski at quarterback again this week, after Jack Zergiotis was given the nod last weekend to give Mora Jr. a better look at him.