(Updated: FIXES typo in second sentence of About Maryland)
Followingtwo weeks of cancellations because of Hurricane Irma, Central Florida returns toaction this week when the Knights visit Maryland on Saturday afternoon. While UCF has been not played since itsseason-opening victory against Florida Atlantic on Aug. 31, Maryland was off last week after opening with a pair of non-conference victories to start its campaign.
TheTerrapins exploded on offense in the first two weeks, topping the 50-pointmark in both contests and look to continue to roll in their final tuneup gamebefore starting Big Ten Conference play. Maryland will look to shore thingsup defensively against another explosive-style offense as the Terrapins haveallowed nearly 300 yards passing per game and allowed opponents to convert50 percent on third-down conversions. UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton, who madehis first career start in a 30-24 double-overtime loss to Maryland last season, looksto open up the Knights’ passing game, which accounted for 439 yards in their opener. Milton threw for 260 yards in last year’s meeting.
TV: 3 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1. LINE: Maryland-3.5
ABOUT UCF (1-0): The Knights explodedout of the gate with a 61-point showing to start the season, but because of theeffects of Hurricane Irma, UCF has been limited in their ability to practiceafter the Orlando area recovered from the storm. Coach Scott Frost did notseem concerned about the extended time off, telling the media during his weekly conference call: “I feel really good about ourplayers being able to dial back in.’’ Junior wide receiver Tre‘Quan Smith caught a pair of touchdown passes in the season opener.
ABOUT MARYLAND (2-0): The Terrapins sport a strong running attack with an average of 315 yards in opening the season with victories against then-No. 23 Texas and Towson. While the Terrapins have piled that up with a committee of tailbacks, it has been the explosive Ty Johnson leading the way while averaging 15.1 yards per carry in the opening two games while piling up 256 yards. Freshman quarterback Kasim Hill has been efficient in running the offense, which is ninth in the nation with 315 yards per game on the ground.
1. Smith needs one more 100-yard receiving game to move intoa tie for eighth-most in school history with eight.
2. UCF islooking to start a season 2-0 for the first time since 2013.
3. Marylandenters the weekend second in the nation in scoring at 57 points per game.
PREDICTION: Maryland 37, UCF 33