ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) – After a pair of road wins, the UCF football team makes its return to Spectrum Stadium for three straight home games, starting with Temple on Thursday. The No. 9/9 Knights and the Owls will kick off at 7:30 p.m. with coverage on ESPN and FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game.
Date: Thursday, Nov. 1
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game
Live Stats: https://ucfknights.co/fblivestats110118
NAVY GAME – TIME/TV UPDATE
It was announced on Monday that UCF’s previously scheduled game vs. Navy will be under the six-day window by tv partners. It should announced by Sunday what time and on what network the game will be played.
TEMPLE GAME – NOTES TO KNOW
– After starting 2018 with seven straight wins, the Knights enter their eighth game of the season still holding the nation’s longest winning streak at 20 games, which is a UCF and American Athletic Conference record. The Knights are one of just four undefeated teams in all of FBS (Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame).
– The Knights have started 7-0 under Josh Heupel following a 37-10 win at ECU. After leading the nation in scoring last season (48.2ppg), UCF is currently fifth in the nation in scoring offense (44.4ppg) and sixth in the nation in total offense (537.1ypg).
– UCF won its 20th straight at ECU, the first during the streak without McKenzie Milton at quarterback. Instead it was Darriel Mack Jr., who earned his first start. The redshirt freshman threw for 69 yards, but ran for a career high 120 yards on the ground, the second most ever in a game by a UCF quarterback.
– The UCF defense has gotten it done with turnovers again in 2018. Last season, the Knights finished second in the nation with a +1.31 turnover margin and with 18 turnovers gained through seven games this season, UCF currently ranks third in all of FBS with a margin of +1.86.
– The Black and Gold offense has been stellar on crucial third downs. UCF is sixth in the nation in third-down efficiency, converting at 51.5 percent (50-of-97).The Knights moved up in both national polls again this week.
– With seven straight wins to start the 2018 season, it marks just the second time in the program’s FBS history that UCF has begun a season 7-0. The other time was last year’s undefeated national championship campaign.
– UCF leads the all-time series against Temple, 3-2. The Knights and Owls are tied 1-1 in games played in Orlando. Last season, UCF went up to Philadelphia and won 45-19.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL GAME NOTES – UCF VS TEMPLE
CLIMBING IN THE POLLS
The Knights climbed to ninth in the nation in both the Amway Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25 Poll this week. UCF is the highest ranked team out of the state of Florida and the top team in the American Athletic Conference.
FROM THE PRESSER
With the game taking place on Thursday, UCF head coach Josh Heupel held his weekly press conference on Saturday afternoon. He first addressed the bye week and how he, his staff and his players use that to their advantage.
“When it’s not right into game week mode, it’s time to catch your breath and collectively look at what you’ve done in all three phases,” Heupel said. “What’s working for you, what’s not, what are the tendencies. At the same time, as you move forward, it’s always about what your kids are good at, what they’re comfortable with, taking into account the scheme you’re seeing on the other side. You’re trying to balance all that out.”
Having been on the road for two games and then going into a bye week, Heupel then addressed what it will be like to come back home and play in front of Knight Nation.
“It’ll be a lot of fun,” he said. “Thursday night, national tv, great opponent, opportunity to come back home and play in front of our crowd. It’s been a while. Hopefully we have a packed house. They’re going to create a home field advantage.”