The Central Florida Knights are looking like the team to beat in the American Athletic Conference much to everyone’s surprise. After defeating the Louisville Cardinals a few weeks ago, the Knights solidified themselves among the conference’s elite and a possible contender for a BCS bowl game.
On the other side of the field, the Houston Cougars are sitting at 7-1 on the season and are a legitimate threat to the Knights conference title hopes. While the Knights are unbeaten in conference play, so are the Cougars at 4-0 and are sitting atop the AAC. A win for the Cougars here puts them in the driver’s seat in the conference.
Central Florida has had the success they’ve had this season because of junior quarterback Blake Bortles who leads the 29th-ranked passing offense in the nation. Bortles has passed for 1,870 yards and 15 touchdowns on the year to go along with four interceptions. Rannell Hall and Breshad Perriman are the top targets for Bortles, catching a combined 50 passes for 944 yards and four touchdowns. Storm Johnson leads the rushing attack with 592 yards and nine touchdowns on 114 carries.
Houston hasn’t gotten nearly as much love as a top team in the AAC as teams like UCF and Louisville, but the Cougars don’t need recognition to prove they are a top team in the conference. As the 18th-ranked passing offense behind freshman quarterback John O’Korn, the Cougars are a force to be reckoned with through the air. O’Korn has 2,121 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air with only four interceptions — not bad for a freshman. Deontay Greenberry is one of the top wide outs in the conference with 62 catches for 948 yards and nine scores.
Defensively, the Cougars rank 35th in the nation, allowing just 22.4 points per game, as well as 86th in the nation by allowing 438.6 yards per contest. Central Florida ranks 18th in the nation in points allowed and 17th in yards allowed per game.
Houston will travel to Central Florida to take on the Knights at 7 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 9. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Houston 30, UCF 33