The No. 20 UCF Knights will attempt to keep their historic start to the football season intact, as they will travel to Annapolis, Maryland for what should be a high-scoring affair versus another prolific offense and American Athletic Conference foe, the Navy Midshipmen. With players who are already tasked to serve and protect our great nation, finding a way to protect the end zone from the UCF offense should also prove to be a challenge for Navy.
Touting the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense at 50.6 points per game, the Knights come into the contest 5-0 for the first time in school history. Quarterback McKenzie Milton continues to show significant progress, averaging 321.8 yards passing per game and is second in the nation in passing efficiency behind only Baker Mayfield of the Oklahoma Sooners. This is the Knights second trip to the state of Maryland this season. In the previous trip, they defeated the Maryland Terrapins 38-10 in September.
Based primarily around an option-oriented system offensively, the Midshipmen will provide a different test than any so far this season for the UCF Defense. Navy is averaging 35.5 points per game, and leads the nation in rushing yards per game at 397.5 behind junior quarterback Zach Abey. Abey has eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing this season (1,016) and has 12 touchdowns on the ground, adding five more through the air. Navy returns home this week off of their first loss of the season in a road game at Memphis last Saturday. The Knights defeated Memphis 40-13 at Spectrum Stadium earlier this year.
Regardless of Saturday’s outcome it may not be the only meeting of the year between the two schools, as either represent a different side of the division within the American Athletic Conference. A potential rematch could occur in December at the AAC Championship game, where the Knights could have an automatic berth into a New Year’s Six bowl game on the line. The New Year’s Six bowl games grant an automatic berth to the highest-ranked team from the Group of Five conferences. Saturday’s game in Annapolis is scheduled for 3:30PM and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.