Weekend Spotlight: UCF at Louisville
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UCF (4-1, 1-0 AAC) at No. 8 Louisville (6-0, 2-0 AAC)
Louisville leads series 1-0 (Last meeting November 2, 1985: Louisville 42, UCF 21)
Another week, another pivotal midweek American Athletic Conference matchup as UCF travels to Louisville for the Friday evening game. The game features two of four schools that still have perfect conference records through week seven. Louisville enters the game looking for its third conference championship in three years, having won a share of the last two Big East championships. The two teams have only met once, at Louisville in 1985 when UCF team was still a D-II.
UCF has started off hot since coming over to The American this season, boasting a 4-1 record with a win over Penn State and a narrow loss to No. 9 South Carolina. The Knights have excelled at forcing turnovers, bringing in a plus-seven turnover margin which ranks sixth in the nation. The Knights will provide a tough test for the stingy Louisville defense. UCF has scored at least 24 points in every game so far this season. Quarterback Blake Bortles leads the Knights offense, having thrown for 1,334 yards and nine touchdowns this season with just three interceptions. Rannell Hall and Breshad Perriman both come in averaging over 70 yards receiving per game and Storm Johnson has rushed for 455 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. UCF has relied on youth this season featuring just eight seniors on their roster, which is the second fewest in the nation.
Heisman hopeful Teddy Bridgewater and the Cardinals high-powered offense is what most people think about on this year’s Louisville team, but its defense has been among the best in FBS so far this year. The defense ranks first in points against (7.3) and second in rushing defense (68.3) and total defense (229.5). They have also only surrendered ten first half points on the entire season. Junior Lorenzo Mauldin and senior Marcus Smith are two of the defensive leaders, notching 7.0 and 6.0 sacks respectively on the year. Bridgewater has continued to be an effective leader on offense. He has thrown 18 touchdowns to just two interceptions on the year and had a streak of 143 passes between interceptions earlier this year. Bridgewater has spread the ball around, completing a pass to at least seven different receivers every game he has started while at Louisville.
Two Point Conversion
-First and only time that UCF and Louisville will play each other as conference opponents with Louisville moving to the ACC next season.
-Seven high schools from the state of Florida have an alumnus on both teams.