Mon, 04 Dec 2023

UCF aims for signature win against Baylor

Field Level Media
27 Sep 2023, 06:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports)

After a rough start to life in a new conference, UCF will look to make its first statement as a member of the Big 12 when it hosts Baylor on Saturday afternoon in Orlando, Fla.

The Golden Knights (3-1, 0-1) had won three straight nonconference games before falling short in a 44-31 setback at Kansas State last week.

Redshirt sophomore and USF transfer quarterback Timmy McClain was 14-of-24 passing for 264 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. RJ Harvey had 44 yards rushing on 13 carries and scored a 1-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.

UCF may look to lean more on the run against Baylor, which ranks 104th in the country with 685 yards rushing allowed through four weeks.

"Bottom line is for us to be effective, we've got to be effective running the football," UCF coach Gus Malzahn said. "It doesn't matter who we're playing. We're a run-play-action team."

Baylor (1-3, 0-1) is coming off its own disappointing outing where it scored just two first-half field goals on six red zone trips in a 38-6 loss at home to unbeaten rival Texas.

Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers threw for 293 yards and a score, while Texas also racked up 175 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground.

Baylor's offense struggled to match that production as six different ball-carriers combined for only 60 yards on 31 attempts.

Saturday will also mark the first road game for the Bears, potentially making it more difficult to make the necessary corrections in what is sure to be a hostile environment at FBC Mortgage Stadium.

"We have to take all of the things that we've been through and learn from them, and apply them and get better," Baylor coach Dave Aranda. "I just think for us to have success we can't be making the same mistakes again."

UCF won the only prior meeting in history between the two teams, a 52-42 victory in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.

--Field Level Media

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