In a rematch of last year's American Athletic Conference Championship Game, UCF looks to keep their nation-leading winning streak going on the road against Memphis. UCF continues to shine as the team to beat in the AAC and the entire Group of 5, but Memphis is looking to play the role of spoiler as the Tigers hope to avoid falling to 1-3 in conference play.
Will Memphis be able to continue their high-scoring ways at home and bring an end to UCF's winning streak? Or will the Knights continue to roll on in pursuit of another undefeated season at the expense of the Tigers?
UCF at Memphis
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 13 at 3:30 p.m.
Spread: UCF -5.0
Three Things to Watch
1. UCF is 11-0 all-time against Memphis since moving to FBS
Although there have been some close contests between the two programs, UCF has never walked away from a game against Memphis with a loss since making the move up to the FBS level. The Knights are 11-0 going back to when the two schools first met in 2005 as Conference USA members. The two schools have played all of their matchups as conference foes over the years from Conference USA to the AAC, but UCF continues to hold the upper hand on Memphis. Last year saw UCF go 2-0 against the Tigers, first with a 40-13 victory in the regular season matchup in Orlando and later in the AAC Championship Game, a 62-55 triumph also played in Orlando. The lone loss suffered in the series by UCF came when the Knights were still at the FCS level in 1990.
2. Memphis is a scoring plenty of points at home
This season may not be going quite according to plan for the Tigers, but they do fare well at home. Memphis is 4-0 at home this season and the offense has been clicking in each one of them. Memphis has outscored their opponents 232-85 in home games this season. Of course, none of those teams Memphis has hosted (Mercer, Georgia State, South Alabama, UConn) is of the same quality as UCF, so this week may be a bit different in terms of the scoring advantage. UCF's defense has had some lapses at times, however, and Memphis could be the kind of team that can take advantage of that and get involved in a bit of a back-and-forth shootout with the Knights. Betting the over in this one may be a wise bet.
3. McKenzie Milton with room to improve?
It almost sounds crazy to suggest a player with the production of Milton is looking to bounce back in any way this week. Milton has already passed for 1,501 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for five touchdowns this season, despite getting a good chunk of time off later in games as UCF pulls away for their wins. However, Milton could have a little room to improve with his completion percentage. Milton has completed 52.9 percent of his passes in each of the last two games against Pittsburgh and SMU, and his Week 2 performance against FCS opponent South Carolina State was right in the same territory with three interceptions. If Milton is going to light a spark for his Heisman campaign, connecting on a few more passes will only continue to pile up the yardage to help him remain on the radar.
Just two weeks ago, Memphis was blown out of the stadium on the road by Tulane, a team that enters this week with a record of 2-4. For whatever reason, Memphis just looked lost against their division foe. As such, Memphis is now in a position where they likely need to win the remainder of their games for a return trip to the AAC Championship Game to be a possibility. Getting that streak going at home against UCF does not appear to be a good spot to be in. UCF should once again manage to get off to a quick start as they have most of this season, which means Memphis needs to keep pace right from the start. Memphis will give UCF a good battle, but at the end of the day, UCF will once again go home celebrating a win against the Tigers and improving their 18-game winning streak to 19.
Prediction: UCF 55, Memphis 48
— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. McGuire also contributes to College Football Talk and The Comeback as well as hosts the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB and Like him on Facebook.