Preview: UCF vs. LSU

2019 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
No. 7 UCF vs. No. 11 LSU
Jan. 1 | 1 PM ET 
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (ORLANDO, Fla.) – The 2018 season comes down to one game for the UCF football team. Playing in their third New Year’s Six Bowl, the No. 7/7 Knights will take on No. 11/11 LSU on Tuesday afternoon in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN Radio and FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game.

Marc Daniels, Gary Parris, and Jerry O’Neil will have call on FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game and on the iHeart Radio app, starting with the Florida Hospital Tailgate Show at 11:00 a.m.

Feeling The Fiesta
The Knights have taken over the Valley of the Sun for the second time in six seasons. UCF’s climb to the pinnacle of college football took a huge step forward at the 2014 Fiesta Bowl when the Knights beat Baylor 52-42 in a shootout. The Black and Gold jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, before the Bears tied it up in the second quarter. The Knights used 17 points in the fourth quarter to set the program record for wins in a season with 12, eclipsed by the 2017 squad’s 13th win at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Blake Bortles was named the Fiesta Bowl Offensive Player of the Game with 301 yards on 20-for-31 with two touchdowns.

Seeing the SEC
This marks the second year that the Knights will meet an opponent from the SEC in a New Year’s Six Bowl Game. Last year, UCF used 21 unanswered points to take down Auburn 34-27 in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. McKenzie Milton threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns with 116 yards and a score on the ground to earn Offensive Most Valuable Player of the Peach Bowl. The 2019 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl will be UCF’s 10th bowl game in program history and the fourth against an SEC opponent. The Knights are 2-1 over the previous three contests, including a 10-6 win over Georgia in the 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

Going for 1-0 x13
Ever since head coach Josh Heupel took over at UCF, he’s preached the same thing over and over and over. Go 1-0 in everything. That mentality has helped the Knights traverse adversity that has popped up over the season and still come out on top. The Knights set the team single-season record 3,318 yards on the ground. Darriel Mack tied in the single-game record with four rushing touchdowns in the American Athletic Conference Championship after taking over for an injured Milton. The defense also has not missed a beat, ranking in the top-25 nationally in fumbles recovered, takeaways and scoring defense.

Award-Winning Line
Offensive line coach Glen Elarbee was named the FootballScoop Offensive Line Coach of the Year presented by AstroTurf on Friday. The Knights have dominated in the trenches this season with 276.5 yards rushing per game and totaling 545.4 yards per game. UCF was the only team in the nation to rank among the top five nationally in rushing and in the to-30 in passing. The offensive line will have to be at its best against LSU. A program that is synonymous with gritty defense, the Tigers have allowed just 139.3 yards on the ground per game. Linebacker Devin White is averaging just under 10 tackles per game.

Watch Parties
If you can't be there in person, find a watch party hosted by an official UCF alumni chapter or club in your area. Watch party locations will be added as they become available. Have questions about the game? Find all things UCF in regards to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on ucfalumni.com/bowlbound.