The best game of the weekend in Florida?
The eyes of the college football world will be glued to the state of Florida this weekend, as three prominent programs from the state will be hosting big-time contests.
Tennessee travels to The Swamp to take on SEC East foe Florida, Ohio State descends upon South Beach to battle Miami and Oklahoma arrives in Tallahassee to take on Florida State in the most-anticipated contest of the weekend.
But there's another game that will take place in the Sunshine State this weekend: Central Florida at Florida International. And the matchup of unbeatens is sure to be one of the better games of the day.
Despite all of the off-the-field issues the Knights have dealth with recently, head coach George O'Leary has done a masterful job of turning UCF into one of the most feared defenses in the country. The C-USA member, one of the popular picks to emerge as "the next Boise State," are giving up a stingy 1.5 points per game while scoring 46 points per contest. And while Charleston Southern and Boston College both have anemic offenses, the fact is that O'Leary's bunch proved last year that it's a defense that gives opponents fits.
What's even more impressive is that only four starters returned on defense and the unit hasn't missed a beat.
Offensively, quarterback Jeff Godfrey leads an attack that is averaging nearly 500 yards per game, including a ground game that's racked up 275 yards per contest.
ICONFIU's T.Y. Hilton is explosive -- and that's an understatement.
Meanwhile, Florida International has a stud do-everything performer in receiver/returner T.Y. Hilton, who is coming off of a career-high 201 yards receiving in the team's upset win over Louisville -- the program's first against a BCS-conference opponent.
Mario Cristobal, one of the rising coaching stars in the nation, has a passing offense averaging 220 yards per contest. What is troubling, however, is that the running game hasn't been very productive. So if the Sun Belt-member Panthers are in third-and-long situations, that will play right into UCF's hands. Hilton once again needs to play huge in this game, especially on special teams, because he'll be going against a tough secondary.
UCF has BYU next on its schedule, so the Knights can ill afford to look past Cristobal's squad in this in-state matchup.
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