ORLANDO, FL (AP) — West Virginia (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) at UCF (3-4, 0-4 Big 12), 12 p.m. ET (FS1)
Line: UCF by 7, according to FanDuel SportsBook
Series Record: West Virginia leads 2-0
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
UCF has not had the introduction to the Big 12 the team hoped. Nearly midway through their inaugural season in the league, the Knights are still hoping to get their first Big 12 win. West Virginia and coach Neal Brown are feeling the pressure too after two straight losses, one on a Hail Mary to Houston and the other after leading entering the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State last week.
West Virginia’s runners vs. UCF’s rush defense. UCF has struggled against the run since jumping into Big 12 play, giving up an average of 196 yards per game this season on the ground and 255.5 yards per game in Big 12 play. The Mountaineers are strong on the ground, amassing 191.4 rush yards per game (fitth in the Big 12). Running back C.J. Donaldson (453 yards, six TDs) and quarterback Garrett Greene (349, five) have led the way.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Virginia: CB Beanie Bishop Jr. Bishop had four pass breakups against Oklahoma State. He has 11 on the season to go with two interceptions and 37 tackles. That will be key against a UCF offense that seeks explosive plays.
UCF: WR Xavier Townsend. The sophomore wide receiver was front and center for the Knights’ failed game-tying two-point conversion in Saturday’s loss at Oklahoma. But Townsend has come into his own, tallying 190 yards and two touchdowns receiving and 150 rushing yards this season.
FACTS AND FIGURES
West Virginia WR Hudson Clement is listed as doubtful after sustaining a lower leg injury last week. … UCF had several ailing players, including quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, who required IVs before the game against Oklahoma last week. … The Mountaineers allowed Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon II to run for a career-high 282 yards last week. … UCF is on a four-game losing streak, the first such streak for the Knights since their 0-12 season in 2015. The Knights have not lost consecutive games at home since losses to Maryland and Temple in 2016. … Saturday is homecoming for the Knights which will include a pregame concert from DJ Diesel (aka Shaquille O’Neal).
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