College Sports

This is why Memphis is the first legit risk to UCF’s unbeaten streak

Saban dismisses claim that UCF shares national title with Alabama

Alabama coach Nick Saban insists that his team is the true NCAA football champion, and not UCF, who went undefeated last season. Saban added that the College Football Playoff system is "not broken."
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Alabama coach Nick Saban insists that his team is the true NCAA football champion, and not UCF, who went undefeated last season. Saban added that the College Football Playoff system is "not broken."

Don’t be fooled by the two wins from the 2017 season.

Or the final score from one of those games — 40-13, the other was a 62-55 overtime thriller.

Because when Memphis plays UCF this Saturday, the Tigers are the first team this season that poses a real threat to end the nation’s longest active winning streak and end the Knights’ bid for back-to-back unbeaten seasons.

UCF’s up-tempo offense got faster this season under first-year head coach Josh Heupel with a Heisman Trophy-caliber quarterback McKenzie Milton clicking in five games — all victories — this season.

The closest a team has gotten to knocking off the Knights this season was Florida Atlantic in a 20-point loss. FAU ran for 320 yards in the loss. Memphis has two 320-plus rushing yard games this season against Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

Memphis possesses the No. 8-ranked rushing offense in college football this season. UCF’s rushing defense ranks 90th nationally, and 10th among the 12 American Athletic Conference teams.

UCF’s offense is averaging 48.6 points per game and No. 3 in the nation for total offense, with the best defense faced being Pittsburgh, currently ranked No. 95.

Memphis, on the other hand, has the best defense UCF’s high-powered offense has faced thus far. The Tigers rank No. 38 in total defense.

So the Tigers rushing game against UCF’s rushing defense is one key for Memphis to pull off the upset. UCF has other teams capable of knocking the Knights from the unbeaten ranks.

Cincinnati and USF are currently ranked in the Associated Press and Coaches Top 25 polls. The Bearcats have the No. 5-ranked defense in the country, while USF — the regular-season finale — is the annual “War on I-4” rivalry game.

UCF is a 5-point favorite on the road against Memphis, according to Bovada. The game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. eastern start.

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