The bowl schedule is out and Auburn, the SEC’s West Division champion, will return to Atlanta and entertain the UCF Knights, the AAC champions and Group of 5 representative, in the 2018 Peach Bowl.
Here are five quick things to know about the Knights:
1. The Knights can score
Two years ago, UCF was 0-12 and ranked 126th in the nation in scoring. As of today, the Knights are 12-0 and No. 1 in scoring, averaging a ridiculous 49.4 points per game. UCF is led by quarterback McKenzie Milton, the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a wizard running the team’s spread offense. By all accounts Milton should have gotten some sort of Heisman acknowledgement after throwing for 3,795 yards, rushing for a shade under 500 and accounting for 42 touchdowns.
2. The Knights can be scored on
The Knights have given up 97 points in their past two games, both against high-powered offenses — South Florida and Memphis. UCF has held up well on defense for most of the year but as the competition got better the scores raised considerably. Auburn will have four weeks to get healthy for this one and quarterback Jarrett Stidham should have a full assortment of weapons to strike quickly.
3. Frost will hang around
Scott Frost accepted a 7-year, $35 million contract to return to Nebraska in a deal that leaked to the public while Saturday’s AAC Championship Game was heading to overtime. Offensive coordinator Troy Walters will take over as the interim coach, but Frost is expected to coach in the bowl game. Most of UCF’s coaching staff is expected to join Frost in Nebraska, so it’ll be interesting to see how those coaches balance helping out the Knights with bowl prep and recruiting for the Cornhuskers.
4. UCF has been here before
The Knights already have a major bowl title to their credit from when Blake Bortles led UCF to a 52-42 win over Baylor in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. Any player currently on the Knights roster was likely red-shirting that year, but Auburn shouldn’t expect a team that will be overwhelmed by the big stage against an SEC opponent.
5. There’s a short history here
UCF and Auburn played three consecutive years from 1997-99, all at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn won all three games, but two of them were fairly competitive considering the Knights were a program less than 20 years in existence at the time. The most intriguing game was 1998 when a 7-1 UCF team led by Daunte Culpepper walked onto the plains with an upset on its mind. Auburn held on for a 10-6 win. In next month’s game, 10-6 will likely be the score midway through the first quarter.