While the Tigers claim a 7.5-point spread ahead of the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, no lack of credit has been given to the Knights who are on a 25-game winning streak and as healthy as possible without McKenzie Milton.
The SEC Network aired a segment that featured a preview of both teams where the hosts warned against underestimating UCF.
“I heard from more from LSU fans that were fired up when they saw UCF […] everyone is tired of UCF running their mouth. They saw one of their SEC brethren last year get beat in the Peach Bowl. No way LSU comes in overlooking this UCF team this year,” host Chris Doering said.
“You legitimately can’t afford to [overlook UCF]; there is a lot riding on this game,” host Marcus Spears said.
UCF will be missing its star quarterback due to a knee injury however LSU will be missing at least five players including cornerback Kelvin Joseph, defensive tackle Dare Rosenthal, outside linebacker Travez Moore, cornerback Greedy Williams, cornerback Kristian Fulton, defensive end Breiden Fehoko, and nose guard Ed Alexander. Jacob Phillips will miss the first half of the game after being flagged for targeting in the Texas A&M matchup.
“If this team (LSU) is not laser-focused going into this game they will get embarrassed. I did a UCF game earlier in the year and these guys are real. In a one-game scenario they’ve got speed everywhere – their offense, when it’s clicking, goes at warp speed – they will wear you down,” Gene Chizik said.
“Yes, McKenzie Milton is gone but they got a guy named Darriel Mack.”
Should UCF’s defense hold strong in the first half and continue their stellar performances in the second half, LSU’s shaky offense will struggle. Should UCF quarterback Darriel Mack, Jr. find his rhythm early on with Adrian Killins, Greg McCrae, and Otis Anderson at his side, the score will run up as it has done through the 2018 season. Mack, Jr. fumbled and botched throws in the AAC Championship and his first game starting – the sophomore managed to account for six touchdowns and lead 700 yards of offense to overcome Memphis in a decisive 56-41 final score.
The UCF Knights face the LSU Tigers at 11 a.m. for their third New Year’s Six meeting in five years on the line.