No. 14 UCF and QB McKenzie go for 10-0 at chilly Temple
No. 14 Central Florida (9-0, 6-0 American, CFP No. 15) at Temple (5-5, 3-3), Saturday, noon ET (ESPNU)
Line: UCF by 14.
Series record: Tied 2-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
No matter what happens in Philadelphia, UCF is still in position to win the AAC East when it plays South Florida the day after Thanksgiving, but the Knights are trying to remain unbeaten and at least make a case for being in the College Football Playoff discussion. Temple needs at least one more victory to get bowl eligible in coach Geoff Collins’ first season.
UCF QB Milton McKenzie vs. Temple’s pass rush. The Owls defensive line has been active and productive. Temple is second in the conference in sacks (2.8) per game with defensive linemen Quincy Roche (six), Jacob Martin (six) and Sharif Finch (5½) combining for 17½ sacks. McKenzie is mobile, accurate and directs one of the most efficient and potent passing games in the country. He is averaging 10.8 yards per attempt and has a 184.23 efficiency rating.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCF: LB Shaquem Griffin. The senior who had his left hand amputated when he was 4, was the conference defensive player of the year in 2016 and he is having another solid season with 6½ tackles for loss and 44 total tackles.
Temple: QB Frank Nutile. It took a few games for the Owls to settle on a quarterback, but Nutile seems to have fixed the problem. He has passed for more than 200 yards in three straight games, with a total of six touchdowns.
FACT & FIGURES
The Knights can break the program record for longest winning streak (nine) set in 2013, when Blake Bortles led UCF to the Fiesta Bowl ... UCF has scored at least 30 points in every game this season, the longest streak in the nation ... The Knights average seven plays per game of at least 20 yards ... Temple is 3-3 against ranked opponents since 2014. ... The Owls beat UCF in Orlando, Florida, last year with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood with a second left. ... Temple’s seniors will be honored before the game. It’s a class that has won 31 games, tied with the class of 2011 for the most in program history. ... UCF will be greeted by very un-Florida weather. Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s, with some rain.
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