5 Key Things To Watch For In UCF vs Cincinnati

Central Florida head coach Scott Frost, center, walks on the sideline in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland in College Park, Md., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky.

After their big win against Memphis last weekend, the UCF Knights have gotten in the AP poll for the first time in over three years ranked 25th.

As the success continues, the Knights will be hitting the road on Saturday, as they will be heading North of the border to face Cincinnati.

Cincinnati hasn’t gotten off to a great start this season with a 1-4 record, but they always give the Knights a challenge when they face off against one another.

Here are five things to watch in this upcoming game between UCF and Cincinnati.

UCF’s Offensive Line

Before the season started, there were issues during Fall camp about how their offensive line was going to hold up.

Things have changed as the offensive line has not allowed a sack thus far on McKenzie Milton in their first three games. He’s one of the only quarterbacks in division one football that has yet to be sacked.

The Knights have also been torching defenses on their running game thus far. More on that in the next thing to watch.

Their O-line has been great thus far and will need to continue that to have as much offensive success against Cincinnati.

Running Game

The Knights running game has been a thing to watch during the season, especially in the last two games.

They rushed for 250 yards against Maryland and 350 yards against Memphis. Do the math, and you get 600 yards in the last two games, easily the best in the conference.

Central Florida running back Taj McGowan, center, rushes for a touchdown past Maryland linebackers Jermaine Carter Jr., left, and Shane Cockerille, right, in the first half of an NCAA college football game in College Park, Md., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. Also pictured is Central Florida offensive lineman Aaron Evans (66). Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky.

Adrian Killins has had a big hand in that, as well as Milton, and Taj McGowan. The Knights love to use running back by committee and will look to continue that against Cincinnati.

Milton Continuing Success

Milton has been en Fuego thus far in his first three games for the Knights, and it’s not just because of his offensive line.

As mentioned before, he has yet to take a sack and is doing a great job of running the fast-paced offense led by Scott Frost.

Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton (10) sets up to throw a pass as Tulsa linebacker Petera Wilson Jr. (44) rushes past Central Florida offensive lineman Aaron Evans (66) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. Photo: AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack.

Milton has completed 64.6% of his passes, thrown for 791 yards, eight touchdown passes and here’s a kicker, only two interceptions and no fumbles.

What a fantastic start for someone who everyone thought was miles away from being the quarterback the Knights need. He needs to continue the success to get the Knights pass Cincinnati.

Secondary has been On Point

The secondary was another concern for the Knights heading into the season, but like their O-line, the secondary for the Knights have been shutting opposing team’s offenses.

Two names that have been huge in the secondary and that’s UNC transfer, Mike Hughes, and Tre Neal.

Hughes has been making a tremendous impact since arriving at Knights camp just before the season began.

He has two interceptions and multiple pass deflections thus far this season. Hughes has also done a great job in not allowing many yards after the catch.

The secondary has been on point this far and will need to continue their success in this upcoming game.

Will Ranking Affect the Knights Play?

The Knights are ranked 25th in the AP poll for the first time since 2013. So, there is excitement around campus and the team.

Will that affect the play of the Knights for not only this game but for the rest of the season?

UCF head coach Scott Frost has been on record saying that he doesn’t want his team to even think about the rankings and more about getting better each game and each day. That’s a thing to look out for to see if the Knights take a dip in their play against Cincinnati.

The 25th ranked UCF Knights will be going up against Cincinnati on the road on Saturday, October 7th at 8:00 p.m. The game will air on ESPN U.