Position matchups: What to watch Saturday
If there's one positional matchup where UCF might be best-suited to handle USF this weekend, it's the defensive backs, where the Knights have four senior starters who combine for 139 career starts, led by cornerback Joe Burnett.
UCF was rated by Athlon Sports as having the No. 5 defensive secondary in the country this summer, so the Knights present a challenge, even for an experienced group of receivers as USF will bring to Orlando.
"They're a tough group and they really play well," receivers coach Mike Canales said. "I think they're darn good. I'm so impressed with each and every one of them. Their safeties are very aggressive, and their corners can lock up and play man-to-man. We're going to have a challenge this week."
Four USF receivers have caught touchdowns against UCF before -- Marcus Edwards had the first touchdown in the 2006 win, and Taurus Johnson, Carlton Mitchell and Jessie Hester caught scoring passes last season. Johnson had two.
Another key matchup should be USF's All-American defensive end George Selvie, who goes up against UCF senior tackle Pat Brown, whose 39 career starts are the most of any left tackle in college football. Yes, UCF held Selvie to one sack in two previous meetings, but Selvie had four tackles for loss in last year's game, with a forced fumble as well. He had eight tackles and two hurries as a freshman in 2006.
-- UCF is still trying to sell out Saturday's game -- the splash page at UCFathletics.com is touting single-game tickets for the Knights and Bulls.
-- Hadn't seen these rankings before, but Athlon Sports does a full list of all 119 Division I-A teams each week. USF is No. 20, and UCF is ... keep scrolling down ... keep going ... No. 81. That's two spots below DUKE. I think even the Bulls fans will agree that's ridiculously low ... Athlon, by the way, picks UCF to play in the St. Petersburg Bowl, against Pittsburgh. They have USF in Charlotte against North Carolina ...