VIDEO: UCF Knights Football Squad Heads North To Battle UCONN Huskies
By UCF Knights // October 22, 2016
Huskies lead the all-time series 2-1
ABOVE VIDEO: UCF Director of Broadcasting Marc Daniels looks ahead to the Knights’ matchup against the UConn Huskies.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA — UCF and UConn will square off for just the fourth time Saturday in Hartford, Connecticut. Kickoff is slated for noon ET on ESPNews.
UCF enters the contest 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the American Athletic Conference, after a heart-breaking, last-second loss to Temple last week.
The Knights opened conference play with a 47-29 win over ECU back on Oct. 1. UConn is 3-4 overall and 1-3 in AAC play. The Huskies hold wins over Maine, Virginia and Cincinnati. Meanwhile, UConn has lost to Navy, Syracuse, Houston and USF.
UConn is allowing just 129.9 yards per game on the ground, which ranks No. 26 in the nation. The Knights are coming in No. 33 in the country in rushing offense, averaging 207.7 yards per game.
The Huskies are among the least-penalized teams in all of college football, ranking No. 2 in the nation with just 29 yards per game in penalties. The Knights, on the other hand are ranked No. 115 and have racked up 72 yards per game in penalties.
Saturday marks the fourth meeting between UConn and UCF on the gridiron. The Huskies lead the all-time series 2-1. This is just the second meeting in Connecticut.
The first-ever meeting came in 2013 during UCF’s run to the Fiesta Bowl and an eventual season-ending No. 10 ranking. The Knights rolled over the Huskies 62-17 in that first meeting in Orlando.
The next season, UConn upset the Knights 37-29 in East Hartford. The Huskies were responsible for UCF’s only conference loss in a season where the Knights shared the AAC title.
During last season’s 0-12 campaign, UConn rolled over UCF 40-13 at Bright House Networks Stadium.
ABOVE VIDEO: Head coach Scott Frost and players Mackenzie Milton and Chequan Burkett talk about the Knights’ upcoming game against the UConn Huskies.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
UConn comes in with a stout defense that ranks 26th nationally in rushing yards allowed per game at 129.9. Anchoring the defense is a pair of linebackers in Vontae Diggs and Junior Joseph, who both have over 40 tackles on the season. Safety Obi Melifonwu leads the team in tackles with 57 and has a pair of interceptions.
Offensively, the Huskies utilize quarterback Bryant Shirreffs in both the passing and running game. The redshirt junior averages 226.9 passing yards per game along with tallying 33.0 per game on the ground. Shirreffs main target is Noel Thomas Jr., who is averaging 108.3 receiving yards per game and has three touchdowns on the year.
LAST TIME OUT
Homecoming ended in heartbreak for UCF last Saturday night at Bright House Networks Stadium.
After jumping out to a 25-7 lead in the first half, the Knights saw Temple registered 19 unanswered points to take a 26-25 victory. The Owls scored with one second left in the game on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Phillip Walker to Keith Kirkwood. The pass capped a four-play, 70-yard drive in just 31 seconds.
The UCF defense turned Temple away twice late in the fourth quarter, stopping the Owls on fourth down both times deep in Knights’ territory. But the Black and Gold couldn’t quite hold on.
McKenzie Milton was responsible for all three of the Knights’ touchdowns, first connecting with Tre’Quan Smith for a 55-yard touchdown on UCF’s opening drive of the game. Early in the second quarter, the true freshman found classmate Adrian Killins for a 16-yard touchdown pass. Just over a minute later, Milton scored with his legs, sprinting for a 63-yard score.
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