Sports Illustrated ranked the 37 non-College Football Playoff games in terms of their watchability and the UCF-LSU Fiesta Bowl matchup turned out at number one on their list.
“Snubbed from the playoff after another perfect season, UCF will face the biggest threat yet to its winning streak (now at 25 games) on New Year’s Day. The Knights will be fired up to once again prove they can hang with the big boys in the SEC, and LSU figures to be more excited to play UCF than Auburn was last year. No McKenzie Milton is unfortunate, but Darriel Mack Jr. showed he’s no slouch with six total touchdowns in the AAC championship game. His dual threat ability against LSU’s defense—which will be without Greedy Williams but will have safety Grant Delpit and hopefully linebacker Devin White—should be fascinating to watch. This one is a great start to a fun day of football,” said the article.
DO NOT MISS this matchup!
— Fiesta Bowl (@Fiesta_Bowl) December 6, 2018
UCF will face another powerful SEC program on New Year’s Day with the hope of finishing a second flawless season while paving the way to the playoffs in 2019.
“The Knights are a lot more competitive than people give them credit for, and it’s clear that the touchdown-plus line in the Fiesta Bowl is an overreaction to Milton’s injury that bettors can take advantage of,” Sports Illustrated wrote in their bowl preview.
Pick: UCF +7.5
Confidence Level: Very High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)
The greatest fact of all is that UCF has a real chance at dominating LSU on the national stage. SEC commentators agree.
The loss of star quarterback McKenzie Milton began doubts that the Knights wouldn’t finish the season strong. Backup QB Darriel Mack, Jr. dispelled those fears by claiming 4 rushing touchdowns against Memphis in the AAC Championship while being responsible for two more in the air. UCF broke free and away from the visiting team, who held a three-score lead, to hold their opponent to 35-3 in the second half and win 56-41.