CSJ 2018 Week 12 Preview: Cincinnati at UCF, How To Watch and Fearless Prediction

Cincinnati at UCF
When: Saturday, November 17, 8:00 PM EST
Where: Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
TV/Streaming: ABC / Watch ESPN

Cincinnati Bearcats (9-1, 5-1 AAC)

The national spotlight will be on this game with the national televised night game on ABC.  ESPN’s Gameday show will also broadcast from Orlando for this game.  To the American Athletic Conference, the executives in the league are likely saying., “Finally!” as the AAC has shown to be a venerable conference but does not get the recognition when compared to the Power 5 conferences.

To the game itself, Cincinnati comes into this game with just one loss–an overtime defeat at Temple a couple weeks ago.   The Bearcats are coming off a win over USF

The Bearcat offense will likely try to run first as it is 17th ranked  in rushing.  Cincinnati will be facing a UCF defense that ranks only 105th in that category.

On the other side, the Bearcat passing offense ranks 85th nationally in yardage, while UCF is 49th against the pass.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Key Player: QB Desmond Ridder has rushed for 497 yards rushing and five scores. But how he throws the ball will likely be the key to the game for the Bearcats.  He has completed 63.9 percent of his passes in eight starts, throwing for 1,897 yards and 15 TDs with five interceptions.

Fantasy Bonus Baby: RB Michael Warren II has rushed for 1,082 yards and has a school-record 18 touchdowns. Warren’s 17 rushing TDs are tied for the school single-season record shared by David Small (17 in 1993).  Look for him to get his share in this game–especially if Ridder can get the passing game going first.

Central Florida Knights  (9-0, 6-0 AAC)

UCF owns all of Division I football’s longest winning streak with 22 straight wins.  As most know, UCF wound up as the nation’s only undefeated teams last year and UCF has claimed them self as the the national titlist after it beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl last year.

It is hard to argue with the Knights logic even if the College Football Playoff committee kept them out of the Final Four and most likely will do the same to them this year should UCF remain undefeated.

On the field, UCF has continued to be strong.   The Knights are fourth nationally in rushing, facing a UC defense that is sixth nationally in that department.

For the passing side, the Knights are 29th nationally in passing offense, while the Bearcats are 15th in passing defense.

Image result for mckenzie milton ucf

Courtesy of Orlando Sentinel

Key Player: QB McKenzie Milton is the key to the Knight offense.  He has a team-high eight rushing scores. Milton is ninth nationally in total offense (324.4 per game), including 285 yards total rushing.  He is 14th nationally in passing yardage at 288.6 yards per game, with 21 TD passes and just five interceptions.

Fantasy Bonus Baby: Milton has to be the pick as he is such a central force to make the UCF offense go.  Look for him to again have a huge game in what the Knights hope can make a statement on national television that they should be considered for the Football Playoff final four.

Fearless Prediction: Given the statistics, this game looks like it should be close and not as high scoring as many of the UCF scores have been.  But I think with the home field and the motivation to show it belongs in the top four.  I think UCF will win by double digits to show it is one of the Top 4 teams in all of FBS.  UCF 38 Cincinnati 24

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