College Football
Preview
South Florida at Central Florida
When: 3:30 PM ET, Friday, November 24, 2017
Where: Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, Florida

The annual War on I-4 has never been more important as undefeated Central Florida hosts South Florida on Friday afternoon with a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship on the line. The 12th-ranked Knights have rolled along while scoring at least 31 points in all 10 victories while USF dropped one contest to Houston, but its senior-laden lineup is primed to reach their first conference title game.

“We’ve really been waiting for this game since last year,” UCF junior receiver Tre’Quan Smith told reporters of last season’s 48-31 loss - the second straight in the series. “We all remember what happened last year and basically, it’s like payback. We’re ready to go to war.” The Knights are led by sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton, who has thrown for almost 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns while completing 69.6 percent of his passes for the nation’s top scoring offense (48.2). Senior quarterback Quinton Flowers keys the South Florida offense with 17 scoring strikes and nine touchdowns on the ground with a team-high 870 rushing yards while the Bulls are tied for second in the nation with 17 interceptions. “We have not put together a complete game yet,” USF coach Charlie Strong told reporters. “It’s maybe one half on offense and then the next half the defense steps up. … In all three phases, we have yet to see a complete game and we need a complete game this game. That’s what it’s going to take - a total team effort.”

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: UCF -11

ABOUT SOUTH FLORIDA (9-1, 6-1 AAC): Flowers has been the most prolific offensive player in school history and rushed for at least 119 yards in three of his last four games, but completed 53.5 percent of passes during his senior season thus far. The Bulls have plenty of offensive weapons to support Flowers with senior running backs Darius Tice (860 yards, 10 TDs rushing) and D’Ernest Johnson (715, seven) along with senior receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (48 catches, 737 yards). USF will need a big effort from its inconsistent defense, which is led by senior linebacker Auggie Sanchez (school-record 378 career tackles) and has allowed 19.9 points per contest.

ABOUT CENTRAL FLORIDA (10-0, 7-0): Milton, who threw for 225 yards with two interceptions against USF last year, has not been picked off while tossing six touchdown strikes in the last two contests. Smith is the top target for Milton with 44 catches for 850 yards and 11 scores, and sophomore running back Adrian Killins Jr. is a key home run threat with 629 yards along with eight touchdowns on the ground. “(Killins) might not fit a lot of schemes but he definitely fits ours,” UCF coach Scott Frost told reporters as his team goes for its first AAC title game appearance. “He’s not the biggest guy in the world but he’s got elite speed, and we knew we could use that in our system.”

EXTRA POINTS

1. Flowers needs 146 yards to become USF’s all-time rushing leader, passing Marlon Mack, and 96 to break Matt Grothe’s team total offense record (10,875).

2. UCF junior LB Pat Jasinski boasts at least six tackles in nine straight games and leads the way with 76 for UCF, which leads the nation in turnover margin per game (plus-1.6).

3. The Bulls have won six of the eight all-time meetings after scoring at least 44 points in each of the last two showdowns.

PREDICTION: South Florida 34, Central Florida 31
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
South Florida 9-1 W2 37.9 19.9 5-1 4-0 7-1 0-0 6-1
Central Florida 10-0 W10 48.2 20.5 5-0 5-0 6-0 0-0 7-0
Last Meeting
South Florida Central Florida
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/26/16 UCF 31 USF 48 503 351 152 402 64 338
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
South Florida Q. Flowers 65.4 152 0 0
Central Florida M. Milton 61.9 225 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
South Florida M. Mack 20 155 7.8 2
Central Florida J. Hamilton 14 54 3.9 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
South Florida R. Adams 9 78 8.7 0
Central Florida T. Smith 7 183 26.1 2
Touchdowns Player TD
South Florida Q. Flowers 2
Central Florida T. Smith 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
South Florida Q. Flowers 53.5 2097 17 5
Central Florida M. Milton 69.6 2928 26 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
South Florida Q. Flowers 162 870 5.4 9
Central Florida A. Killins Jr. 84 629 7.5 8
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
South Florida M. Valdes-Scantling 48 737 15.4 5
Central Florida T. Smith 44 850 19.3 11
Touchdowns Player TD
South Florida D. Tice 10
Central Florida T. Smith 12
Quickchart Matchup
South Florida South Florida Off vs  Central Florida Central Florida Def
South Florida 494.2 yards
Central Florida 373.6 yards
South Florida 5.1 yards/rush
Central Florida 4.2 yards/rush
South Florida 7.5 yards/attempt
Central Florida 6.4 yards/attempt
Central Florida Central Florida Off vs  South Florida South Florida Def
Central Florida 523.2 yards
South Florida 323.5 yards
Central Florida 5.3 yards/rush
South Florida 3.2 yards/rush
Central Florida 10.5 yards/attempt
South Florida 6 yards/attempt