FACTS & STATS: Site: Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323) — Orlando,
Florida. Television: None. Home Record: Tulane 2-1, UCF 2-0. Away Record:
Tulane 0-3, UCF 1-1. Neutral Record: Tulane 0-0, UCF 0-1. Conference Record:
Tulane 1-1, UCF 1-0. Series Record: UCF leads, 4-1.
GAME NOTES: The UCF Knights look to remain unbeaten in American Athletic
Conference play on Saturday afternoon when they host the Tulane Green Wave at
Bright House Networks Stadium.
UCF is a perfect 9-0 in league games since the AAC was formed, and the team’s
streak of 10 straight regular-season wins in conference play is currently the
fourth-longest active streak in the nation. The Knights are coming off last
Thursday’s 31-24 overtime victory against BYU, which marked their third
straight win after an 0-2 start.
Meanwhile, Tulane is coming off a hard-fought 12-3 win over Connecticut last
weekend. However, the Green Wave are still winless on the road in three tries
In terms of the all-time series between these two teams, UCF owns a 4-1 lead.
Tulane’s offense is averaging only 19.7 points per game, which is tied for
111th in the Football Bowl Subdivision. An unsettled quarterback position has
certainly contributed to that. Redshirt freshman Tanner Lee started the first
five games before a shoulder injury against Rutgers forced him to sit out last
week’s game. While Lee is questionable for this contest, he has completed only
49 percent of his passes and has thrown more interceptions (nine) than
touchdowns (eight). Senior Nick Montana got the start against UConn and
completed 19-of-26 passes for 135 yards and a TD.
The positive news for the Green Wave is that the defense really came to play
against the Huskies. Tulane yielded just 217 yards of total offense while
forcing three turnovers; a pair of fumble recoveries by junior strong safety
Darion Monroe and an interception by junior cornerback Lorenzo Doss. The Green
Wave controlled the line of scrimmage with 10 tackles for loss, including four
sacks. They also notched a safety in the victory. On the season, Tulane ranks
sixth in the country in red zone defense.
UCF clawed its way back from a 14-point second-half deficit to beat BYU. The
running game was bottled up to the tune of just 63 net yards on 33 attempts as
a team (1.9 ypc). However, quarterback Justin Holman found some holes in the
secondary as he threw for 326 yards and two TDs on 30-of-51 accuracy. He
spread the ball around to nine different receivers. It was somewhat of a
breakout performance for Holman, who is completing just 56 percent of his
passes while averaging 197.0 ypg through the air this season. Then again he
has not gotten much help from the ground game with lead running back William
Stanback averaging only 3.4 ypc.
The Knights have enjoyed a bit more success on the defensive side of the ball,
as they entered the week ranked 31st nationally in total defense (335.8) and
37th in points allowed (21.4). Linebacker Terrance Plummer paces the unit with
53 tackles, including 7.5 for loss. He racked up a game-high 17 tackles
against BYU to go along with a sack, forced fumble and recovery. Thomas Niles
has a sack in a school-record six straight games, while Jaryl Mamea has
notched four sacks. Jacoby Glenn has three interceptions and seven passes
defended to his credit.
Tulane will be riding a wave of confidence after holding UConn to three
points. However, until somebody in the AAC proves they can beat the Knights,
it would be unwise to pick against them.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCF 24, Tulane 13