No. 17 Central Florida returns home on Saturday to host Austin Peay for the final non-conference game remaining on the regular season schedule. One of the nation’s most efficient offenses figures to keep rolling behind quarterback McKenzie Milton and an emerging running attack.
After the loss of starting tailback Jawon Hamilton to injury on Sept. 23 at Maryland, sophomore Adrian Killins, Jr., has emerged as the Knights’ top threat out of the backfield. Since the injury to Hamilton, Killins has twice reached the 100-yard mark and scored five touchdowns on the ground while adding a receiving score. The native of Daytona Beach, Fla. owns the two longest plays from scrimmage with touchdown runs of 96 and 79 yards, the later coming in last week’s 31-21 victory at Navy. Killins, who also returns kickoffs, currently leads UCF in all-purpose yards, averaging 99.7 per game.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, ESPN3. LINE: Off
ABOUT AUSTIN PEAY (5-3): For the third time this season, the Governors will step out of FCS and take on an FBS opponent. Austin Peay opened the season with consecutive losses at Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio), falling by a combined score of 57-24. The Governors are led by the quarterback duo of JaVaughn Craig and Jeremiah Oatsvall, which spearheads the top-ranked rushing attack in the Ohio Valley Conference - averaging 246.8 yards per game.
ABOUT CENTRAL FLORIDA (6-0): The Knights are coming off their biggest challenge of the season last Saturday when they knocked off Navy in Annapolis as Milton threw for 233 yards and Killins rushed for another 122 in the see-saw battle. UCF, the highest scoring offense in the nation, was limited to a season-low 31 points and held under 500 yards of offense for the first time in four weeks but coach Scott Frost was pleased with how his team responded to the first test of adversity. “I saw a lot of frustrated guys early in the game, especially on offense when we weren’t finishing drives,‘’ Frost told reporters. ”That put us in a situation where we were in a dogfight. You never know how a team is going to respond in one of those games until you get in one. I thought our guys did enough in the end and compete well enough to get the job done.‘’
1. Central Florida has scored on its opening possession in four consecutive contests and five of the six games on the season.
2. UCF’s junior WR Tre‘Quan Smith has eight career 100-yard receiving games and needs one more to move into a tie for fourth in school history.
3. Milton ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency (196.3), third in passing yards per completion (16.4) and ninth in total offense (327.8 yards per game).
PREDICTION: UCF 62, Austin Peay 17