In one of the biggest non-conference home games in school history, UCF is set to take on Pac-12 power Stanford at the Bounce House on Saturday. Here are 10 interesting stats about the matchup.
1. UCF is a combined 51-11 in years where the team starts 2-0.
We may be only two games into 2019, but history tells us that things are looking good for the Knights – and could look even better if they get a big win on Saturday. UCF is 37-2 in years where the team starts 3-0.
2. Stanford has not played in the state of Florida since the 2010 season
The Cardinal will have to adjust to a very different climate than they’re used to playing in. That last trip to the Sunshine State was the 2011 Orange Bowl, where Stanford took down Virginia Tech in a big win.
3. This is UCF’s first game against a Pac-12 opponent since 2015
And that game was against… you guessed it! Stanford. This will be the return trip for that contest, where the Cardinal earned a 31-7 win over the Knights. All things considered, UCF could have done a lot worse than a 24-point loss given the team was in the midst of a disastrous 0-12 year.
4. Stanford last started 1-2 in 2017… and finished ranked
There’s been a lot of talk from national media this week about how this matchup has lost all of its potential power for UCF since Stanford dropped a game to USC last weekend. David Pollack even appeared to suggest on Twitter that the Knights should start looking forward to Pitt as their potential marquee opponent. But the Cardinal have bounced back from rough starts before, like in 2017 when the team went on to play for a conference championship and finish ranked No. 20.
5. UCF is 3-6 all-time against Power Five opponents at the Bounce House.
The Knights have not had a ton of success at home against major opponents since moving on campus, but those numbers have gone up in recent years. Last season’s victory over Pitt was UCF’s first home win over a Power Five opponent since 2013.
6. Stanford has won at least eight games every year since 2009
The Cardinal have been remarkably consistent over the last 10 seasons. They have gone 102-32 in that span, finishing ranked seven times and appearing in five BCS/NY6 bowls. Stanford has also won the Pac-12 three times this decade.
7. Fans could tie UCF’s record of 12 straight games with 40,000+ in attendance
UCF fans have been remarkably consistent over the last few years, with at least 40,000 showing up for every game since USF in 2017. If they do that just one more time, they’ll tie the record that was set back in 2007-2008 when the Bounce House first opened. The team is anticipating a sellout but the weather forecast could potentially bring down that number, with heavy rain expected.
8. Stanford is 5-1 against Group of Five teams in the Playoff Era.
The Cardinal have not played a ton of G5 teams, but have been mostly dominant when they do. That one loss came in 2017, to a San Diego State team that went on to finish 10-3. There’s no question that UCF is the highest-caliber G5 program that Stanford has faced in recent years, with those other matchups coming against teams such as Rice.
9. UCF could potentially start three quarterbacks in three games
The Knights’ quarterback situation has been incredibly interesting and incredibly hard to predict. Brandon Wimbush won the job and started the team’s first game. But Dillon Gabriel played in the first quarter and went on to start against FAU. And now Darriel Mack, who replaced injured star McKenzie Milton last year, is back from an ankle injury and could potentially reclaim that starting spot on Saturday. Stanford certainly has its hands full preparing for three different realistic options.
10. Stanford will face three ranked opponents in four games
UCF is currently ranked No. 17, and obviously must be taken seriously. But the Cardinal could almost be forgiven for looking ahead, given that the team will take on No. 15 Oregon and No. 23 Washington in its next three games.