Former AAC foes UCF, Cincinnati resume rivalry in Big 12
Thu, Nov 2, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
UCF (3-5, 0-5 Big 12) at Cincinnati (2-6, 0-5), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
Line: Cincinnati favored by 4 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Tied 4-4
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
UCF and Cincinnati quickly developed a heated rivalry while members of the American Athletic Conference. The two schools bolted the AAC in July and now will resume that rivalry as the new bloods in the Big 12 Conference. While both programs enjoyed successful runs in their former conference, they have yet to earn a win in Big 12 play. That will change when both teams take their 0-5 conference record into Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, where the Bearcats are 3-1 all-time against the Knights. UCF last won at Cincinnati in 2017.
While Cincinnati has had its struggles offensively this season under first-year coach and offensive playcaller Scott Satterfield, the Bearcats have been dominant in the run game. They enter with the sixth-best rushing attack in the FBS, averaging nearly 223 yards per game. Cincinnati will face a Knights defense that is allowing more than 207 yards on the ground per contest. That ranks 126th in the FBS. The Bearcats outgained Baylor 288-80 on the ground at home on Oct. 21 but lost 32-29.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCF: RB RJ Harvey leads UCF's fourth-ranked run game, totaling 712 yards on 126 carries with six touchdowns. Harvey has rushed for 100-plus yards in each of his last three games. The senior racked up 84 yards and two scores in a 25-21 win against the Bearcats last season. He led a backfield that racked up 258 rushing yards on the Cincinnati defense.
Cincinnati: Ryan Montgomery is scheduled to return for the Bearcats after missing the last four games with an injury. The senior running back and return specialist looks to provide a spark to a reeling Cincinnati squad that has lost six straight. Montgomery ran for 95 yards on eight carries against the Knights in 2021.
FACTS & FIGURES
UCF ranks sixth in the FBS and leads the Big 12 in total offense, averaging 495 yards per game. ... Cincinnati has rushed for 200 or more yards six times and UCF has done it five times. ... UCF leads the Big 12 and ranks 12th nationally in passing yards per completion (14.49). ... The Knights defense leads the Big 12 in fewest passing yards allowed per game (194.6). ... Both UCF (121) and Cincinnati (102) rank toward the bottom of the FBS in turnover margin. ... UCF is converting 49.5% of its third-down attempts, which ranks 11th in the FBS and second in the Big 12. ... A team has scored at least 50 points three times in eight all-time meetings. ... Satterfield's Louisville squad defeated UCF in 2021 and 2022.
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