No. 25 UCF (3-0, 1-0 AAC) at Cincinnati (2-3, 0-1), Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPNU).
Line: UCF by 14.
Series record: Tied 1-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
UCF is off to its best start since 2013 and back in the Top 25 for the first time since the end of that season. The Knights are on the ascent after failing to win a game in 2015. Coach Scott Frost led them to a 6-7 mark last season and has completed the turnaround with a team that ranks in the top 10 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense. They moved into the Top 25 with a 40-13 win over Memphis, and need another good showing against an overmatched team to have a chance to move up.
UCF’S rushing game vs. erratic Bearcats defense. Sophomore Adrian Killins Jr. ran 96 yards for a TD against Memphis, the longest run and scoring play from scrimmage in American Athletic Conference history. He and dual-threat QB McKenzie Milton will be facing a defense that allowed Navy to run for 569 yards in its 42-32 win. The Knights ran for 350 yards against Memphis.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCF: LB Shaquem Griffin, the AAC’s defensive player of the year in 2016, leads a defense that hasn’t allowed more than 17 points this season. He’ll be a key to containing a Cincinnati running game that has alternated three backs and averages only 3.5 yards per carry.
Cincinnati: QB Hayden Moore has taken every snap and has thrown for nine touchdowns and four interceptions. The Bearcats’ biggest problem has been slow starts that leave them playing from behind — outscored 42-17 in the first quarter. They need a quick start to avoid another lopsided loss.
FACTS & FIGURES
UCF beat the Bearcats 24-3 in Florida last season and clinched a bowl berth. … Alabama and Washington are the only other teams along with UCF to rank in the top 10 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense. … Milton ranks seventh nationally in passing efficiency. He has thrown for 791 yards with eight TDs and two INTs. … UCF leads the nation in turnover margin. The Knights had five takeaways against Memphis. … Cincinnati lost three fumbles during a 38-21 defeat to Marshall last week, setting up 21 points.
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