College Football
Preview
Central Florida at South Florida
When: 3:30 PM ET, Friday, November 27, 2020
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

"The War on I-4" in-state rivalry will be renewed when the UCF Knights play host to the South Florida Bulls on Friday afternoon in Orlando.

South Florida leads the series 6-5, and scheduling UCF was paused for a few years after winning a 64-12 blowout in 2007.

Fast forward to 2020, and it's the Knights who are dominating the series and going for their fourth straight win. In the past two years, the Knights have outscored the Bulls by a combined 72-17.

This year, the Bulls (1-7, 0-6) have lost seven straight games, and they are the only winless team in American Athletic Conference play.

UCF (5-3, 4-3) is seventh in the AAC standings. They lead the league in scoring (42.6), first downs (28.4 per game), third-down conversion rate (50 percent), turnover margin (plus-11), total offense (586.6 yards per game) and passing offense (377.6).

The Bulls are 10th in the league in scoring (20.2). Their rushing offense is last in the league, suggesting they may struggle to run clock and shorten the game. And they are last in points allowed (37.6).

The Bulls postponed last week's game against Navy due to injuries/illness. The Bulls started the season with 40 scholarship defensive players but were down to just 16 -- and only two healthy tackles and two cornerbacks.

A bright spot for the Bulls has been junior slot receiver Bryce Miller, a former walk-on who leads the team with 22 receptions, often taking some punishing hits.

"The quarterbacks trust me to catch it," Miller said. "Taking the hits doesn't really bother me. I just focus on the ball and try to protect myself."

UCF, coming off a 36-33 loss to seventh-ranked Cincinnati, has scored at least 24 points in 47 straight games. That's the second-longest active streak in the nation.

Even so, this season has not gone as planned for the Knights.

"We're disappointed in that result," UCF coach Josh Heupel said after the loss to Cincinnati. "We resemble a darned good football team. We just have to do the little things to win. We're not that far off."

The Knights are led by quarterback Dillon Gabriel and wide receiver Marlon Williams.

Gabriel, who has passed for at least one touchdown in 21 consecutive games, leads the nation in passing yards, total offense and passing yards per game (377.1).

Williams ranks among the top 10 in UCF history in career catches (157), yards (2,260) and TDs (18). This season, he ranks second in the nation in reception yards (1,039), fifth in catches per game (8.9) and fourth in yards per game (129.9).

The Knights can also run the ball. Greg McCrae and Otis Anderson rank 1-2 in program history in yards per carry (6.7 and 6.2 respectively).

UCF's defense, meanwhile, leads the nation in turnovers forced, with 20, and the Knights are 5-0 this season when they've posted more takeaways than their opponent.

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Central Florida 5-3 L1 42.6 29.6 2-2 3-1 4-2 1-0 4-3
South Florida 1-7 L7 20.2 37.6 1-2 0-5 1-3 0-1 0-6
Last Meeting
Central Florida South Florida
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/29/19 USF 7 UCF 34 539 232 307 250 134 116
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Central Florida D. Gabriel 59.0 270 2 0
South Florida J. McCloud 42.9 116 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Central Florida A. Killins Jr. 14 115 8.2 1
South Florida J. Ford 11 58 5.3 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Central Florida G. Davis 8 106 13.2 2
South Florida K. Joiner Jr. 2 30 15.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Central Florida G. Davis 2
South Florida J. Ford 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Central Florida D. Gabriel 61.7 3017 26 3
South Florida J. McCloud 59.5 937 5 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Central Florida O. Anderson 109 614 5.6 4
South Florida J. Ford 55 285 5.2 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Central Florida M. Williams 71 1039 14.6 10
South Florida O. Dollison 19 249 13.1 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Central Florida M. Williams 10
South Florida J. Ford 4
Quickchart Matchup
Central Florida Central Florida Off vs  South Florida South Florida Def
Central Florida 586.6 yards
South Florida 424.4 yards
Central Florida 4.7 yards/rush
South Florida 4.9 yards/rush
Central Florida 9 yards/attempt
South Florida 7.4 yards/attempt
South Florida South Florida Off vs  Central Florida Central Florida Def
South Florida 330.2 yards
Central Florida 452.1 yards
South Florida 3.8 yards/rush
Central Florida 4.1 yards/rush
South Florida 5.8 yards/attempt
Central Florida 8 yards/attempt