ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – After a surprise bye week caused by Hurricane Florence, the No. 16/18 UCF football team returns to Spectrum Stadium on Friday night to take on FAU. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
Marc Daniels, Gary Parris and Jerry O’Neill will have the call on FM96.9/AM740 The Game and on the iHeart Radio app, starting with the Florida Hospital Tailgate Show at 4 p.m.
Here are five things to know heading into Week 4:
1. HAMPERED BY A HURRICANE
For the third straight year, the Knights had their schedule affected by a hurricane on the eastern seaboard and the second consecutive season that a game was canceled. Two years ago, UCF needed to reschedule a conference clash against Tulane due to Hurricane Matthew, a game the Black and Gold evenually won 37-6. In 2017, the Knights had nearly a month off following Hurricane Irma’s landfall, forcing the Memphis game to be rescheduled and the Georgia Tech game to be canceled. UCF returned to action at Maryland and picked up a 38-10 Power 6 victory. The offense ran for 250 yards, while the defense constricted the Terrapins to 197 yards of total offense.
2. DEFENSE SET FOR SINGLETARY
The UCF defense will face one of the most electric running backs in the nation in Devin Singletary. The junior has powered a running attack that has averaged 187.3 yards per game with his national-best seven rushing touchdowns. To counter the potent ground game, the Knights enter the weekend with the fifth ranked scoring defense at 8.5 points per game and ninth in team tackles for loss per game at 9.5. Nevelle Clarke and Rashard Causey lead the team with a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage.
3. DAVIS AND NIXON, A 1-2 PUNCH
Receivers Gabriel Davis and newcomer Tre Nixon have created quite the target tandem for quarterback McKenzie Milton through the first two games of the year. Nixon's debut with the Black and Gold featured five catches for 101 yards and two scores against UConn. Davis followed that performance with a career day against South Carolina State, going for nine receptions for 111 yards. Davis and Nixon are averaging a combined 11.5 receptions and 153 yards per game this season.
4. GET HERE EARLY
Another massive crowd is expected at Spectrum Stadium on Friday night. Local artist and UCF alumnus Keith Eaton will headline the UCF Tailgate Concert Series presented by Pacifico, starting at 5 p.m. Two weeks ago, UCF rolled out enhancements to Spectrum Stadium, including improved concessions, new premium seating and increased signage. Be sure to arrive early when gates open at 5:30 p.m. As an added bonus, the Knightmare will have a chance to play Mario Kart on Nintendo 64, which will be displayed over the video board in front of the entire stadium.
5. SPECIAL PLAY
While the offense and defense have dominated headlines in the opening two games, the special teams phase has had its fair share of success. Kicker Matthew Wright is perfect on PATs and converted on his lone field goal attempt against SC State. Against, the Bulldogs A.J. Wooten broke through the line to block a 45-yard field goal, and Kyle Gibson picked up the loose ball and returned it 57 yards to set up the Knights’ second touchdown of the game. The UCF kick return and punt coverage teams will face their biggest challenge of the year as the Owls rank seventh in kick return defense and 19th in punt returns.
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Tickets for the rest of the 2018 season are going fast. Fans can purchase theirs today and learn about all their options by calling (407) 823-1000 or visiting us online at https://ucfknights.co/18fbtix.