UCF Rolls on to Memphis Looking To Remain Perfect

Written by Michael Hull

The UCF Knights take their 18-game winning streak into Tennessee, where they will look to keep on rolling against the Memphis Tigers. The Knights come into this matchup as just 4.5-point favorites. This is also a rematch of last years’ Atlantic Athletic Conference (AAC) championship game, in which UCF won in double overtime, 62-55. The Tigers come into this matchup sitting at 4-2, but are coming off a 55-14 dismantling of UConn a week ago.


For the Knights, the key to this game will be, as usual, defense. Everyone knows the offense will put up points, but this defensive unit needs to step up. Last week, this Knights squad held fellow AAC opponent SMU to just 20 points in a blowout win, but Memphis’ offense is much more explosive than the Mustangs’, being led by workhorse running back Darrell Henderson. Henderson leads the nation in rushing yards(934), yards per carry (11.8) and is second in the country for rushing touchdowns(12). The Knights have been a stingy run defense so far this season, however, allowing 4.1 yards per carry and one rushing touchdown per game.


They will need to hone in on containing Henderson and forcing Tigers’ quarterback Brady White to throw the ball. White has been effective for Memphis thus far as well, throwing 15 touchdowns to just one interception, yet taking the ball out of the hands of Henderson should be priority one for the Knights defense. Of course, this is easier said than done, as he is not only a threat in the backfield. Henderson is third on the team in receiving yards (178) and fourth in receptions (9).



As for the Tigers, the key to the game is ball control. Of course, this mainly revolves around Henderson running effectively, but it is not just him in the backfield. They are currently averaging nearly 275 yards on the ground a game, and 7.7 yards per carry.


They will need Henderson and Patrick Taylor Jr. to shoulder a large workload in this game in order to keep the clock moving and not put the ball into the hands of McKenzie Milton, Adrian Killins and the freight train that is the Knights’ offense. Taylor Jr. is not as an efficient runner as Henderson, averaging 6.6 yards per carry, but he is still effective, especially in scoring situations, as he has six touchdowns on 51 carries so far this season.


Brady White needs to continue being smart with the football. He currently holds a 183.1 quarterback rating and has completed 69 percent of his passes so far. If he can continue to avoid mistakes and Henderson and the running back group can control the clock, this could be the week UCF’s 18-game winning streak comes to an end.


This game will take place Saturday, October 13 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, TN.



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