No. 20 Cincinnati (6-1, 3-0 American) at UCF (5-2, 2-1), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: UCF by 1 ½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Cincinnati leads 4-3
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Two-time defending champion Cincinnati has won 17 straight regular-season games against American Athletic Conference foes, matching the league record set by UCF from 2017-19. The Bearcats have a 19-game streak against AAC opponents overall, including wins in the past two conference title games. That ties another mark the Knights co-own. Interestingly, Cincinnati ended UCF’s 19-game streak three years ago.
UCF dual-threat QB John Rhys Plumlee against Cincinnati’s stingy defense. The Ole Miss transfer is averaging 258.9 yards passing and another 72.3 yards per game rushing. He’s thrown for 11 touchdowns vs. six interceptions, while also rushing for seven TDs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cincinnati: QB Ben Bryant has thrown for 1,761 yards, 15 TDs and six interceptions. RB Charles McClelland is coming off rushing for 129 yards and a TD in last week’s 29-27 victory over SMU.
UCF: RB Isaiah Bowser has run for 378 yards and a conference-leading 10 TDs rushing. LB Jason Johnson had 15 tackles during last week’s 34-13 road loss at East Carolina.
FACTS & FIGURES
Cincinnati has won six straight since losing its season opener at Arkansas. ... UCF had won four straight before losing last week. The Knights are 6-0 in conference home games under coach Gus Malzahn. ... The Bearcats have won three straight in the series, including 56-21 at Cincinnati in 2021 and 36-33 in Orlando two years ago. ... Cincinnati’s has scored a nation-leading four touchdowns on defense. LB Ivan Pace, Jr. is tied for first with seven sacks and leads the country with 14½ tackles for loss. ... The Bearcats and Knights have won four of the past five AAC titles, with UCF claiming consecutive championships in 2017 and 2018 and Cincinnati winning in 2020 and 2021.
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