Preview: #12/13 UCF vs. SMU

Saturday | Oct. 6 | 7 PM
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) –
The No. 12/13 UCF football team will wrap up a four-game homestand on Saturday night, as the Knights return to American Athletic Conference action against SMU, presented by OUC. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

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 6:

Saturday night will be the #UCFSalutes Game. The Black and Gold will honor active service personnel, military retirees and veterans throughout the game. The Knights will don helmets with a special UCF camo decal on the sides and a camo stripe down the middle. Prior to the season, each player selected a branch of the Armed Forces to honor with a decal on the back of each helmet. 

The Knights will face a league opponent for the first time since week one, a 56-17 victory on the road at UConn. UCF is one of three undefeated teams tied atop the stacked East Division. Cincinnati is out to a 5-0 start, including a Power 6 victory at UCLA, and South Florida is 4-0 after a pair of Power 6 victories against Georgia Tech and Illinois. Both programs received votes in this week’s polls. The Knights continue to be the lone club from The American to be ranked.

IOA Plaza will have plenty of fun for fans before gates open. Splash Dogs will perform throughout the day, showing off some ridiculous bouncing abilities as they fly from a stage into a pool. As a bonus #UCFSalutes, there will be military vehicles parked around the plaza available for photos. UCF Men’s and Women’s Basketball will be signing autographs, starting at 5 p.m. Local band, Jill’s Cashbox will hit the stage for the UCF Tailgate Concert Series presented by Pacifico at 5:15 p.m.

Last season, the Knights faced one of the most difficult tests of the year when they traveled to SMU. UCF pulled out a 31-24 victory to improve to 8-0, but the win did not come without its share of challenges. Adrian Killins Jr. rushed for 145 yards and two scores and McKenzie Milton threw for 412 yards and one score to lead the Black and Gold. Matthew Wright’s 19-yard field early in the fourth quarter gave UCF a seven-point lead. The defense came up big for the Knights, keeping the Mustangs off the scoreboard on their final three drives, including a pair of turnovers on downs.

For the second time this season, UCF will face a dual-threat quarterback. After starting the year 0-3, SMU head coach Sonny Dykes made a change and handed the offense to freshman signal caller William Brown, who has guided the Mustangs to wins over Navy and Houston Baptist. The dual-threat quarterback has a 66.1 completion percentage with six touchdowns and ranks third on the team with 24 rushes for 86 yards. The first time the Knights faced a runner at quarterback, UCF had a difficult time keeping UConn’s David Pindell in check, as the Huskies signal caller ran for 157 yards with one touchdown and threw for 266 yards and a score. Four weeks later, the Knights will need to stop another dual-threat passer in order to improve to 8-1 all-time against the Mustangs.

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