UCF will play their first game as a ranked team ever on Saturday at home, where they will face the 6-3 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
The Knights will be playing as a member of the top 25 for the first time after receiving the number 25 ranking in the AP poll earlier this week. UCF was one of only two schools in the state of Florida to be ranked in the poll.
The Knights are coming off an impressive victory over pre-season Conference USA favorite Houston. The Houston game was yet another showcase for the high-powered Knights offense, in particular freshman quarterback Jeffery Godfrey. Godfrey accounted for 410 yards of offense, and UCF was able to score at least 35 points for the fifth consecutive game. Coincidently, the Southern Miss defense has given up 35 points on average over their last four games.
Southern Miss is coming off a 46-30 victory over Tulane. The Golden Eagles sport a 3-2 conference record with both losses coming against teams UCF has defeated already this season (East Carolina and UAB, respectively). Junior QB Austin Davis leads the Southern Miss offense that outranks the UCF offense in average total yards per game, passing yards, rushing yards, and points scored.
UCF enters the game with the number one defense in Conference USA. The Knights are currently giving up 8 fewer points per game than the Golden Eagles. Darius Nall, who plays opposite of Bruce Miller and his double-teams, leads the way for UCF with 7.5 sacks on the season.
Southern Miss has traditionally dominated UCF in the series’ brief history, owning a 4-1 record against the Knights. The Golden Eagles defeated the Knights last season by a score of 26-9.
UCF has the only remaining undefeated conference record in C-USA. If UCF continues its winning ways, they are in pole position to host the conference championship game. For Southern Miss to make the C-USA championship game they will need UCF to lose twice, including Saturday, and ECU to lose two more times as well.