Saturday UCF and Memphis play a big game for the Knights on the road. UCF, coming off their big win over Cincinnati, are now ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings and control their destiny to play in a major bowl. But they will need to win five straight to get to Dallas and the Cotton Bowl. This game at the Liberty Bowl will not be easy against a 4-4 Memphis team that are two plays from being 6-2. The Tiger blew a 19-point fourth quarter lead and lost to Houston 33-32 and also lost in four overtimes to East Carolina. They did drop additional games against at Mississippi State and Tulane.
The Tigers are tough at home where they have gone 39-6 since 2016 and have won their last 11 straight coming off a bye.
UCF has won 14 of 16 all-time, including last year's 24-7 win. After winning 13 straight in the series, the Knights lost a 2020 game that is one where you'd have to read the stat sheet to believe.
The 2020 season was odd for everyone dealing with COVID and game protocols and almost empty stadiums. On October 17th, the Knights(2-1) traveled to Memphis to face the Tigers(1-1). A limited crowd of 10,554 settled in for one of the season's biggest offensive performances by each team in the country.
The Knights grabbed a 7-0 lead seven minutes into the game. Memphis answered in 0:57 to tie.UCF built a 20-7 lead and went to the half up 27-14. The lead grew on the opening drive of the third quarter when Dillon Gabriel ran for a score and then added a two-point conversion and it was 35-14.
The teams traded scores and UCF led 49-37 with 5:29 left. Memphis scored in six plays and then forced a UCF punt. The Tigers then went nine plays in 90-seconds and grabbed a 50-49 lead with 1:08 left. Gabriel completed three straight passes and UCF got to the Memphis 30. They would face and fourth-and-two at the Memphis 22 but Daniel Obarski missed a 40-yard field goal with 0:19 left. The Tigers held on for the 50-49 win.
The statsheet was full of offense. The two teams combined for 191 plays(UCF 96/Memphis 95). They totaled 1,501 yards with UCF putting up 798.The game had 75 first downs(Memphis had 41). Dillon Gabriel was 35-for-49 for 601 yards and five touchdown passes. UCF had three receivers over 170 yards receiving(Marlon Williams 191, Ryan O'Keefe 175, Jaylon Robinson 173). Memphis quarterback Brady White was 34-for-50 for 486 yards and six touchdown passes. The Tigers had two receivers over 130 yards.
In the fourth quarter alone, UCF put up 224 yards, 197 passing and Memphis totaled 253 yards and 213 through the air.
The game lasted four hours and nine minutes and was exhausting for all involved. Let's see what this year's version of the Knights and Tigers brings in what may be the last game between the two for the foreseeable future...
From 1984-1994 the FSU-Miami game featured both teams ranked and in seven of those 11 meetings the two teams were ranked inside the top 10 when they played. From 1999-2006, again, both were ranked in the matchup and in five of those both were inside the top 10. This will be the 67th meeting between the Seminoles and Hurricanes, with the Canes leading 35-31 in games played. There have been four "wide right" games and two "wide left" games played between the two.
Back in 1989, FSU beat Miami 24-10. Canes' starting quarterback Craig Erickson missed the game with an injury and freshman Gino Toretta started. Erickson returned later in the season and Miami went on to win the national title. Before the game, Miami mascot, Sebastian the Ibis tried to put out Chief Osceola's lighted spear during his pregame routine. Decked in a yellow raincoat and wearing a fireman's helmet with a fire extinguisher, Ibis sprayed a police officer who tried to grab the extinguisher. Other officers tackled Ibis and handcuffed him. He would be released shortly after the incident but headlines were made when Miami's mascot was temporarily arrested before a game...
Nuggets: At least three members of Florida's team have announced intentions of either entering the draft or transfer portal. There will be more and no one should be surprised. It happens with new coaches who went to flush out players they don't see as part of their culture and vision of leadership. Expect more from Billy Napier's team but the portal always giveth and taketh...Two years ago this weekend, Tennessee lost at Arkansas to drop to 2-4. They would finish the season going 3-7 and Jeremy Pruitt would get fired. Two years later, Josh Heupel's team takes the field against the defending national champs(Georgia) as the number one ranked team in the country...No matter what the new media deal is for the Pac 12, the league will announce a figure per team greater than the Big 12. Even if the deals expected with ESPN and Amazon total less than the Big 12 package, the conference will tell you when you add the Pac 12 Network revenue and projected new college football playoff money, it will be greater than $50-55M. Why? Because egos are everywhere in college sports and Pac 12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff wants to say he got more than Brett Yormark...
Final note: Why do leaves change colors in the fall? Because when we move the clocks and there are fewer hours of daylight leaves stop their food-making process.