Memphis UCF Football

UCF wide receiver Tre Nixon, right, runs past Memphis defensive back T.J. Carter after making a catch during the first half of the American Athletic Conference title game on Saturday in Orlando, Fla. UCF won 56-41 and will face LSU in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.

A quick rundown of LSU's opponent in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, the UCF Knights ...

The basics

KICKOFF: Noon, Jan. 1 at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.


RADIO: WDGL-FM, 98.1; WWL-AM, 870; WWL-FM, 105.3; KLWB-FM, 103.7

RANKINGS: 7th in AP and coaches polls, 8th in CFP

SERIES: First meeting


RECORD: 12-0 (8-0 American Athletic Conference)

RECENT RESULTS: Defeated Cincinnati 38-13, defeated South Florida 38-10, defeated Memphis 56-41 (AAC championship game)

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Quarterback Darriel Mack, running back Greg McCrae, wide receiver Gabriel Davis

DEFENSIVE LEADERS: Free safety Richie Grant, weak linebacker Nate Evans, defensive end Titus Davis

RUMBLINGS: When UCF meets up with LSU on New Year's Day, it will have been 744 days since its last loss — a 31-13 setback to Arkansas State in the 2016 Cure Bowl. Convinced they were snubbed by the CFP committee for the second year in a row despite owning a nation's-best 25-game winning streak, first-year coach Josh Heupel and his Knights will no doubt have a chip on their shoulder when they go against the Tigers.


UCF is still coping with the loss of star quarterback McKenzie Milton to a season-ending ankle injury, but Mack threw for 348 yards and two TDs in the win over Memphis on Saturday. McCrae has rushed for 1,101 yards and a 9.0 average for a balanced attack that nets 276.5 yards rushing — sixth in the FBS — and 268.9 yards passing per game. They average 44.2 points per game (sixth in FBS) and have scored at least 30 points in 27 consecutive games.


Grant, who tops the team with six interceptions (third in the FBS) and 102 tackles, leads a salty pass defense that has allowed just 196.2 passing yards a game and 12 TDs in 12 games. The Knights do give up 227.4 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per attempt, which LSU could exploit. UCF ranks eighth in the FBS with 26 takeaways — just four off the national lead. Evans, a former John Curtis standout, was a first-team All-AAC pick along with Grant.

Sheldon Mickles

Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.