Unbeaten UCF, Cincinnati battle for 1st place in AAC East
No. 19 Cincinnati (9-1, 5-1 American, No. 24 CFP) at No. 11 UCF (9-0, 6-0, No. 11 CFP), 8 p.m. EST (ABC).
Line: UCF by 7.
Series record: UCF leads 2-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
UCF hopes to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 23 games and clinch the American Athletic Conference East Division title, as well as a spot in the league’s championship game. The Knights moved up one spot in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings to No. 11, highest standing for an AAC team in the five-year history of the CFP format. Cincinnati hopes to extend the East Division race another week. The Bearcats are 24th in the CFP rankings.
UCF, which is third in the nation in total offense and eighth in scoring, is facing the conference’s top defense. Cincinnati leads the AAC in rushing defense, scoring defense, total defense and fewest first downs allowed. The Bearcats rank fifth nationally in three-and-out series.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cincinnati: RB Michael Warren II. He scored four times against South Florida, including his first TD catch. He has 18 touchdowns this season, a school record. His 17 TDs rushing tie the school record. He has run for 1,082 yards overall, the first Cincinnati player to run for 1,000 since 2012.
UCF: QB McKenzie Milton, eighth in Heisman Trophy balloting a year ago, has thrown at least one TD pass in every game during the Knights’ AAC-record winning streak. He’s ninth in the nation in total offense at 324.3 yards per game and 14th in passing yards per game at 288.6.
FACTS & FIGURES
ESPN “College GameDay” makes its first stop in Orlando. ... UCF has forced at least one turnover in 28 consecutive games, dating to 2016. Indiana has the next longest streak at 16. ... Cincinnati is 4-1 on the road, with its only loss at Temple, equaling its most road wins since 2014. ... Bearcats are off to their best start since 2009, when they went 12-0 and lost to Florida in the Sugar Bowl. ... Among the 33 teams that won four games or fewer last season, Cincinnati is the only one with nine wins this year. ... The Bearcats are trying to win 10 games for the first time since 2012.