What the Knights Learned vs. Cincinnati

UCF barely missed on its opportunity Saturday for a signature win over a highly rated opponent, as number-seven Cincinnati rebounded from an early 11-point deficit with a pair of fourth-period touchdowns to tip the Knights by three points (36-33).
That now leaves UCF (5-3 overall, 4-3 AAC) with a single regular-season matchup on the slate—Friday (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) on the road against rival South Florida (1-7 overall, 0-6 AAC) in the War on I-4.
Here are some leftovers from a back-and-forth Saturday at the Bounce House:

  1. All those turnovers. UCF continues to lead the nation with 20 gained turnovers (tied with Syracuse). That averages out to exactly 2.5 per game—and that's the best number produced by a Knight team since 2.54 in 2000 (15 interceptions, 13 recovered fumbles that year). UCF currently stands ninth nationally in turnover margin at plus-1.38. The Knights also rank number one in fumbles recovered in 2020 with 11.
  2. The Heupel era. With a single regular-season game remaining in 2020 (and hopefully a bowl game), here's what the Knights have averaged during the 34-game, nearly three-season Josh Heupel era at UCF (with averages ranked against the current NCAA FBS team leaders): 
    Total Offense - 544.5 - 7th
    Rushing Offense - 236.1 - 13th
    Passing Offense - 308.3 - 20th
    Scoring Offense - 43.1 - 10th

    Total Defense - 404.5 - 62nd
    Rushing Defense - 198.3 - 96th
    Passing Defense - 206.2 - 33rd
    Scoring Defense - 25.3 - 42nd
  3. Ranked teams at the Bounce House. Saturday's visit by seventh-ranked Cincinnati marked the highest-rated opponent to play at the Bounce House since Texas came into the dedication game of the facility rated sixth (Associated Press rankings) in 2007. Here are the other ranked teams that have played in UCF's current home facility:

    --2007, #6 Texas - L, 32-35
    --2008, #17 South Florida - L, 24-31 (OT)
    --2009, #9 Miami - L, 7-27
    --2015, #21 Houston - L, 10-59
    --2017, #22 South Florida - W, 49-42
    --2017, #16 Memphis - W, 62-55 (OT) in AAC Championship Game
    --2018, #19 - Cincinnati - W, 38-13
    --2020, #7 Cincinnati - L, 33-36
  4. What about this for a coincidence? UCF (8) and Florida (7) have played different numbers of games—yet the two programs are tied atop the NCAA chart for passing yardage, both at 377.6 yards per game. UCF averages 14.67 yards per completion, Florida averages 14.68.
  5. Road warriors? UCF on Friday at USF will be looking for its fourth road win of the 2020 campaign. The only FBS teams that currently boast four road wins are SMU and Louisiana-Lafayette. 
  6. Strength of schedule. It's a weird year in this statistical category, with non-league games at a minimum and in some conferences non-existent. USF, for example, this week rates sixth in the NCAA toughest schedule listings (its FBS opponents are playing at .632 pace), in great part because of a non-league game versus unbeaten Notre Dame. UCF stands 98th (.475, 28-31), with #2 Notre Dame 102nd (.458), #6 Florida 106th (.446) and #3 Ohio State 114th (.406).
  7. In case you missed it. Richie Grant's game-high 16 tackles Saturday against Cincinnati marked the most by a UCF player since Grant also had 16 against Navy in 2018 in a 35-24 win at the Bounce House.