After wrapping up the American’s automatic BCS berth on Thursday night, thanks to Louisville’s victory over Cincinnati, the sense of urgency may nto be there for UCF this afternoon in Dallas. But don’t let that take away from what SMU is doing to UCF just yet. SMU needs to pick up a win this afternoon to become bowl eligible, and after one half they may be on their way to the postseason. SMU leads UCF 10-3 at the half in cold Dallas.
The only touchdown of the half came midway through the second quarter when Neal Burcham completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Holman. The score gave the Mustangs a 10-3 lead. UCF has been very limited in their offensive production against SMU, with quarterback Blake Bortles completing eight of 13 passes for 84 yards and Storm Johnson rushing eight times for 28 yards. UCF was held to just 122 yards of offense in the first half.
SMU entered the day a win shy of bowl eligibility status, so they will need a strong second half to finish this one off. UCF does not look like the same team they have been at times this season, but we have also seen the Knights overcome some sluggish starts in conference play for thrilling endings. Whether that happens today or not is anyone’s guess. If UCF does come back to win this one their bowl situation will not change. They will be the last conference champ seeded in the BCS bowl selection process, which could mean Fiesta Bowl, win or lose.
A win for UCF will win the outright championship rather than sharing the championship with Louisville. UCF owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Cardinals, which is why UCF has already clinched a spot in the BCS.