No. 6 Oklahoma, QB Dillon Gabriel look to keep momentum going against UCF

Thu, Oct 19, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)

No. 6 Oklahoma, QB Dillon Gabriel look to keep momentum going against UCF

UCF (3-3, 0-3 Big 12) at No. 6 Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0), Saturday, noon ET (FS1)

Line: Oklahoma by 17 1/2, according to? FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

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Oklahoma is well positioned to reach the Big 12 title game after defeating previously unbeaten Texas two weeks ago. A much-improved defense has helped the Sooners climb into the College Football Playoff conversation. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel is a strong Heisman candidate after an electric start to the season, and he wants to perform well against UCF, the school he transferred from two seasons ago. A loss here derails much of the progress Oklahoma has made during coach Brent Venables' second year and costs Gabriel dearly. New Big 12 member UCF seeks its first league win.

KEY MATCHUP

UCF run game vs. Oklahoma defensive front. The Knights rank third nationally with 246.3 yards rushing per game. R.J. Harvey leads the way with 511 yards and six touchdowns on the ground this season. Johnny Richardson has rushed for 441 yards and averages 8.3 yards per carry. Oklahoma allows just 113.7 yards rushing per contest.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

UCF: QB John Rhys Plumlee. He's set to return after missing most of the last month with a leg injury. He's a dual threat and averages 8.6 yards per carry. It will be worth watching how mobile he is against an Oklahoma defense that ranks third nationally in tackles for loss per game.

Oklahoma: WR Nic Anderson. The 6-foot-4 freshman has six touchdown receptions on just 11 catches and averages 25.6 yards per catch. He could get more targets now that Andrel Anthony, the team leader in yards receiving, is out for the season with a leg injury.

FACTS & FIGURES

UCF ranks fourth nationally in total offense while Oklahoma ranks sixth. Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally with 45.2 points per game while UCF is 27th ... Oklahoma leads the nation in turnover margin (1.83). ... Since the start of the 1999 season, the Sooners are 23-1 in games immediately following their annual rivalry game against Texas. ... Oklahoma faced UCF head coach Gus Malzahn after the 2016 season when he was Auburn's head coach. Oklahoma defeated the Tigers 35-19 in the Sugar Bowl. ... UCF's offensive line was one of 23 listed in the Joe Moore Award midseason honor roll.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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