UCF has one last chance to make an argument to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee on Saturday, taking on Memphis in the AAC Championship Game. The Knights and their loyal fans have been screaming for inclusion in the top four for more than a year now, and on Tuesday the committee placed them at No. 8. While it’s the highest-ever ranking for any Group of Five team, UCF believes its undefeated record is deserving of a chance to compete for the national championship.
So what’s needed? UCF fans are going to be rooting hard for Alabama, Texas and Northwestern to be winners on Saturday, but that temporary fan experience will be overtaken by a much tougher task at hand with Memphis coming to town. The Tigers took UCF all the way to the wire in a 31-30 result earlier this year in Memphis and were a few bounces away in the 2017 AAC Championship Game, losing 62-55 in double overtime. For UCF to extend its winning streak to 25 games, it will have to do so without the MVP of that 2017 conference title game, star quarterback McKenzie Milton.
Date: Saturday, Dec. 1 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Spectrum Stadium — Orlando, Florida
TV: ABC | Live stream: WatchESPN
UCF: There are few stories from this entire college football season that have been as impactful and deeply saddening as Milton’s injury against USF last Friday. The graphic nature of the injury and what we know now about Milton’s long-term health made the entire sport pause to send best wishes to one of the most electric offensive players of the last two seasons. We all want to see Milton return to full health, but the moment requires that we turn our attention to how UCF can maintain production without him under center.
Memphis: If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch Darrell Henderson in action, then make sure you get it in before he takes his talents to the next level. Henderson, a 5-foot-9, 200-pound junior from Batesville, Mississippi, is No. 2 in the nation in rushing yards (1,699), rushing touchdowns (22) and yards per carry (8.58) while ranking No. 1 in the nation in all-purpose yards (2,109), total touchdowns (22) and plays of 40+ yards (13). It’s those explosive plays that make Henderson so dangerous, where no lead is safe as long as Memphis has the ball. Henderson is sure to be one of the top running back prospects in the NFL Draft, and he’s been the key to the Tigers’ rebound from a 1-3 start to the season.