UCF takes on FAU tonight in the second game of the 2019 season. Here are 10 interesting stats you might not have known about the matchup.
1. Since joining the AAC, UCF has gone 4-1 against Conference USA opponents.
UCF saw plenty of success in Conference USA, and has seen plenty more against its old foes since leaving. The Knights have averaged 44.4 points per game in those meetings, with the one loss coming in a narrow game to FIU during the 2015 winless season.
2. FAU is 11-3 at home over the last two seasons
The Owls have been a little tougher at home than one might expect given their overall record. 11 of their 16 wins since 2017 have come at FAU Stadium. They even managed to have a winning home record last year despite missing out on a bowl.
3. The biggest impact player is gone for both teams from their last meeting
Star quarterback McKenzie Milton led the Knights to victory in the teams’ 2018 meeting, recording six total touchdowns and throwing for 306 yards. But the Owls stayed in the game for a half thanks to the efforts of Devin Singletary, who rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns. Now, Milton is out with injury and Singletary is in the NFL. New players will have to step up for both squads.
4. FAU is anticipating a sellout after averaging 17,052 fans per game last year
That’s just 58 percent capacity for the 29,000-seat stadium. The Owls typically do a little better in their home opener, bringing in 24,101 fans last season. But with FAU coming off a 5-7 campaign, it’s safe to say that Knight Nation will be well represented in Boca.
5. UCF has won nine straight games on the road
The last road loss for the Knights came back in November 2016, against rival USF. Since then, UCF has been a devastating team to face in your own stadium. They’ve won those nine games by an average of 21.6 points and the game has rarely been in question by the fourth quarter.
6. FAU outscored Ohio State after the first quarter last week
Of course, it’s not easy to overlook the fact that the Owls gave up 28 points in that first quarter alone. But through the rest of the game, Ohio State was outscored 21-17. Does this mean the game was closer than the score indicated? Not necessarily. But it does suggest that FAU has more playmakers than might be expected.
7. UCF has played FAU or FIU in eight of the last nine seasons
The Knights love matching up against their instate rivals to the south, and have done well on the field. UCF is 5-2 in those games so far, and has more games against FIU on the schedule in future years after wrapping up the FAU series tonight.
8. FAU has gone 1-3 against AAC teams over the last five years
The AAC is certainly the class of the Group of Five, and FAU is far from the only squad to struggle against its teams. But the Owls’ last win came against Tulsa back in 2014. Since then, FAU has seen no success against the conference.
9. UCF and FAU first met in 2003
The Knights took the game that year with a 33-29 victory, and both programs have come so far since then. FAU was still an FCS squad, and UCF was struggling to find its footing in the MAC. Those teams are both in a much better spot 16 years later.
10. FAU put up more points on UCF last year than anyone except Temple, Memphis and LSU
The game wasn’t exactly close thanks to the Knights’ offense but the Owls definitely remained competitive to the tune of 36 points. UCF dominated FAMU defensively, but it’s still hard to tell much from an FCS opponent. FAU will be the first chance this year to gauge the team’s progress on both sides of the ball.