Preview: UCF at South Florida

No. 8/9 UCF at South Florida
Friday, Nov. 23 | 4:15 p.m.
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – After jumping up to No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings, the No. 8/9 UCF football team wraps up the regular season on Black Friday on the road at South Florida. Kickoff is set for 4:15 p.m. and can be found on ESPN and FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game.

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 1:15 p.m.

Here are five things to know heading into Week 13.
The 2018 regular season has been a memorable one for the Knights. UCF owns the longest active winning streak in the nation at 23 games. The Black and Gold has shown the ability to blow teams out, overcome slow starts, hold on in close games, pass, run, force turnovers and make tackles for loss. Quarterback McKenzie Milton has looked every bit of a Heisman Trophy candidate with his plethora of weapons, while the defense has continued to improve every week, capped off by a tantalizing performance last weekend against Cincinnati. However, all of that means nothing, throw out all the past successes when it comes to the War On I-4 rivalry.

Despite the close proximity between UCF and South Florida, Friday will be just the 10th meeting between the two schools on the gridiron in history. The Bulls hold a 6-3 advantage, but the Knights have won three out of the last five battles. The win in last season snapped a two-game skid for the Black and Gold. Offense has dominated the series in recent memory, as one team has scored at least 40 points in each of the last three matchups.

Possibly the most memorable entry in the series history between the Knights and the Bulls came last year on Black Friday. In a contest between two undefeated teams with far-reaching title implications, the two clubs combined to score 91 points and produce 1,186 total yards of offense. After Milton found Otis Anderson for a 23-yard touchdown on a screen play with 2:21 remaining in the fourth quarter. South Florida responded with an 83-yard touchdown strike and a two-point conversion less than minute later. On the ensuing kickoff, UCF returner Mike Hughes caught the ball at the five, ran up field, made two eye-popping cuts and sealed his reservation for six in the Cabanas with the game-winning touchdown. The defense sealed the win when Richie Grant forced a fumble with 49 second left.

In the third installment of the named I-4 rivalry series, the Knights have an early lead through the fall sports. The Black and Gold’s lead grew to 18-6 on Wednesday night when the UCF volleyball team swept South Florida. Going for their third consecutive War On I-4 trophy, the Knights won in 2016-17 51-33 and in 2017-18 49-35. Six points are on the line on Friday night.

Knight Nation has traveled well throughout the 2018 season, so much so that South Florida head coach Charlie Strong said in his weekly press conference that “I just don’t want them to come in and take over our stadium,” in reference to UCF fans. USF vice-president of athletics Michael Kelly announced on Monday that more than 50,000 tickets had been sold for the game at Raymond James Stadium. The Knights are expecting a large contingent of the tickets sold to be cheering on the Knights. Wherever you are on Friday watching the game, remember the #UCFansWear is black.