University of Central Florida
Location: Orlando Florida
Students: 60,181 (50,968 Undergrad) 2nd largest University in US
Stadium: Bright House Network stadium (Capacity 45,000)
Head Coach: George O’Leary ( 10th Season, 63-55)
Conference: American Athletic Conference
2013 record: 3-0 coming off a bye last week
Overall Record Vs. Gamecocks: Gamecocks Lead series 3-0
Famous Alumni: Daniel Tosh (comedian), Brandon Marshall (NFL WR), Daunte Culpepper (former NFL QB)
UCF has already deemed this the biggest game in school history, and will look to capitalize on their momentum from the victory over Penn State two weeks ago in Happy Valley. UCF is a up and coming program that has enough talent to compete with every team on their schedule this year. The first hurdle for the Knights was to beat Penn State, which they did, now on to the Gamecocks and in a couple weeks Louisville.
The Gamecocks will play in front of a sold out crowd at Bright House Network stadium, where the students have organized a Gold Out for the game. This will be the 2nd time in school history that UCF has played a ranked team at home, knocking off #13 Houston 37-32 in 2009.
Knights Players to Watch:
QB Blake Bortles- 50-70 passing for 816 yards and 7 tds
RB Storm Johnson- 305 yards rushing, 6 tds
WR Rannell Hall- 11 Rec, 212 Yards, 1 td
What might happen?
Central Florida will come out fired up and will look to score quickly on the Gamecocks to keep the crowd fired up. Spurrier will have different plans for the beginning of the game. Just as Spurrier likes to do on the road, he is going to slow the game down by running Mike Davis early and throwing the ball when he has too. Both Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds are having great season and this should continue against the Knights on Saturday. Look for Connor Shaw to continue to play well, both throwing and running the ball on Saturday. The Knights will be without starting Linebacker Willie Mitchell, which should help both the running backs and Shaw on the ground.
After the poor performance on special teams against Vandy and a week off, I am going to be looking for vast improvement in all areas of special teams. This could play a major factor on Saturday and the rest of the season.
The Gamecock Defense will be the difference in the game, the front 7 will finally play like a top caliber group and force a couple turnovers. Once the crowd is out of the game, it shouldn't take long for USC to finish off the Knights.
Prediction: USC 31 UCF 18