UCF will journey for a street sport for the primary time within the 2021 season Friday night time with an opportunity for first-year Knights coach Gus Malzahn to impress voters within the polls and faculty soccer followers throughout the nation in a highlight sport at Louisville. The Knights are 2-0 after a dramatic comeback win towards Boise State within the opener and a routine 63-14 victory towards Bethune-Cookman in Week 2. That is the primary time UCF may have performed away from dwelling this season and it comes towards the lone Energy 5 opponent on the crew’s regular-season schedule.
However whereas UCF could also be on the lookout for legitimacy as a prime crew, Louisville has to view this as an opportunity to get proper. The Cardinals began the 12 months in a 26-0 halftime gap towards Ole Miss within the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Recreation earlier than the offense lastly received getting in a 43-24 loss. There have been way more encouraging headlines from final week’s win towards Jap Kentucky, together with star defensive again Kei’Trel Clark flattening two interceptions and a breakout sport from freshman broad receiver Ahmari Huggins-Bruce. Nonetheless, the Playing cards are eyeing this winnable sport towards a high-level opponent as a technique to construct some confidence with ACC play starting subsequent week at Florida State.
That is the third assembly all-time between the 2 packages who shared convention affiliation — and competed for a convention championship — for a single season within the AAC again in 2013. The Knights received that sport 38-35 en path to a Fiesta Bowl victory.
Louisville vs. UCF: Must know
Compact begin for Louisville: The Cardinals are going through one of many tightest attainable home windows for his or her first three video games. That is been a check that Scott Satterfield and his employees have tried to arrange for all by way of fall camp. All in all, it should be three video games in 12 days, with two of these video games coming towards opponents which are favored to win. It is a lengthy season with loads of alternatives to stack up wins in ACC play, however to exit this 12-day grind with solely a 30-3 win towards Jap Kentucky can be disappointing.
UCF QB Dillon Gabriel in midseason type: After main the nation in passing yards per sport in 2020, Dillon Gabriel has proven no indicators of slowing down even after the teaching transition to Malzahn from Josh Heupel. By means of two video games, Gabriel is averaging 315 passing yards per sport, and ranks within the prime 10 nationally in passing touchdowns, factors liable for, and whole offense. Louisville’s protection had bother slowing down Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, one other one of many prime quarterbacks within the nation, so the Cardinals should restrict Gabriel to tug off the win on Friday night time.
A win ought to propel UCF into the highest 25: The Knights completed simply exterior the AP High 25 and Coaches ballot following Week 2. After beginning the 12 months exterior the highest 30 in each units of rankings, the hard-fought win towards Boise State has positioned UCF to affix Cincinnati within the nationwide rankings and provides the American Athletic Convention two viable candidates for the New Yr’s Six. Whereas Louisville’s eventual type is but to be decided on this early a part of the season, this nonetheless would qualify as a top quality win by happening the street on a brief week right into a hostile Energy 5 setting like Cardinal stadium.
How one can watch Louisville vs. UCF reside
Date: Friday, Sept. 17 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Cardinal Stadium — Louisville, Kentucky
TV: ESPN | Reside stream: fuboTV (Attempt without spending a dime)
Louisville vs. UCF prediction, picks
Featured Recreation | Louisville Cardinals vs. UCF Knights
Whereas a lot time has been spent discussing Gabriel and the methods he can beat groups together with his arm and legs, there’s been an actual enhance from Northwestern switch Isaiah Bowser. The 6-1, 225-pound operating again is averaging 115 yards per sport and tied for second nationally in speeding touchdowns with 5 scores. He brings a physicality that helps this offense win in short-yardage and goal-to-go downs, offering stability and a complement to the unfold ideas that also linger even after the teaching transition. Louisville’s protection had some bother with Ole Miss early on, and that tape will present some alternatives for Gus and UCF to search out sufficient benefits to get out and in of Cardinal Stadium with a win. Prediction: UCF (-7)
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