Teams headed in opposite directions meet Saturday when the Central Florida Knights look to extend their American Athletic Conference winning streak against the Connecticut Huskies. UCF has won all 11 of its conference games since the league's inception in 2013-14, including a 62-17 triumph in the first meeting against Connecticut. The Huskies are coming off their fifth consecutive defeat, a 31-21 setback against then-No. 17 East Carolina.
The Knights have won five straight overall after opening losses to Penn State and Missouri and are coming off 34-14 victory over Temple. With last year's quarterback Blake Bortles in the NFL, the Knights have relied on their outstanding defense in 2014. That group will provide a big obstacle for the Huskies, who enter second-to-last in FBS scoring with an average of 14 points per game.
TV: Noon ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: UCF -12
ABOUT CENTRAL FLORIDA (5-2, 3-0 AAC): Sophomore quarterback Justin Holman was 25-of-39 for a career-high 336 yards and two TDs against Temple and ranks third in the conference with a 135.4 passer rating with 11 TDs and six interceptions. Running the ball has been a struggle for UCF, which ranks 120th in yards per carry (2.64). A defense that has yielded 13 points per game in conference games and ranks third nationally in red zone TD efficiency (34.6 percent) and fifth in yards per play (4.38) could make it a long day for UConn.
ABOUT CONNECTICUT (1-6, 0-4): In its best game of the season last week, Chandler Whitmer threw for a season-high 303 yards and two TDs and Deshon Foxx caught four passes for 120 yards, including an 88-yard TD that tied East Carolina 21-21 late in the third quarter. Whitmer, who enters against UCF ranked 123rd out of 125 in Total Quarterback Rating (26.2), will need to duplicate last week's effort through the air because the Huskies are also 123rd in yards per carry (2.34). UConn has a pesky defense, ranking first in the conference in third-down conversions (33.3) and third in yards per rush (3.5), but the Huskies have recorded just eight sacks all season.
1. Central Florida is 27-7 since the start of the 2012 campaign – tied for the eighth-most wins in FBS.
2. UConn tied its season high in points against East Carolina and added a season-high 397 total yards.
3. The 62 points scored last season against the Huskies was the most during coach George O'Leary's 11-year tenure at UCF, and the school's most in a game since a 63-0 win over Liberty in 2001.
PREDICTION: Central Florida 27, Connecticut 7