Memphis looks to end losing streak vs. UCF

Memphis looks to end losing streak vs. UCF

Neither team is ranked but the game between Central Florida and Memphis on Saturday figures to be another competitive meeting between the American Athletic Conference schools.

The programs met four times in 2017 and 2018, in the regular season and AAC championship games, with UCF victorious each time. The Tigers (1-1, 0-1 AAC) have lost 13 consecutive games to UCF (2-1, 1-1) and trail in the series 13-1.

The teams, both coming off bye weeks, did not meet last season.

A crowd of approximately 10,000 is expected in the 61,008-seat Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, reduced because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“I think a lot of us do have a chip on our shoulder when it comes to UCF because of what’s occurred with them in the past,” Memphis coach Ryan Silverfield said. “It’s going to be a battle. I don’t care if we win the game 3-2, just as long as we come out with a win.”

Silverfield, in his first year after replacing Mike Norvell (who is now at Florida State), mentioned that UCF’s speed is of the utmost concern, especially with receiver Jaylon “Flash” Robinson, a transfer from Oklahoma, and running back Otis Anderson.

Memphis followers are aware of Anderson, who had 113 yards on 15 carries, including a 62-yard run and the game-winning touchdown in overtime of the 2017 AAC championship game.

Robinson is averaging 20.3 yards per reception.

Knights sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel has passed for 1,155 yards in only three games while completing 62.6 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and two interceptions.

“They play fast on offense, they’re going to try and get 100 plays,” Silverfield said. “They got playmakers, they are fast. (People) always make the comment that Florida teams are fast and they are.”

UCF is coming off a 34-26 loss at home to Tulsa following road wins at Georgia Tech and East Carolina.

Memphis defeated Arkansas State at home in the season opener and lost at SMU 30-27 on Oct. 3.

Brady White is third on Memphis’ career passing list with 7,970 yards.

Damonte Coxie, who caught eight passes for 85 yards against SMU, is second on the Tigers’ career receiving yards chart with 3,052 yards. Antony Miller is the Tigers’ leader with 3,590 receiving yards.

“Memphis is a good football team,” UCF coach Josh Heupel said. “I think they have skilled players on the offensive side of the ball, and they’ve done a good job on special teams over the last couple of years.

“For us, it is about us. We have to do things better than we did (against Tulsa). Things that are correctable. We’ve got a lot of really good football players who will be ready to play.”

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