WHO: No. 8 UCF (12-0) vs. No. 11 LSU (9-3)
WHAT: The 48th PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
WHEN: 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
THE SKINNY: Once again undefeated, UCF is looking to end the season with a win in a big bowl game against a team from the SEC. And if they do, get ready for another offseason full of conversation and debate about whether or not UCF’s claim to a second-straight national championship has any merit. Of course, to entertain that idea, UCF will have to take down LSU without star quarterback McKenzie Milton.
UCF has talented players capable of making some plays happen even without Milton. Freshman Darriel Mack Jr. continues to play in place of the injured Milton at quarterback, and he is capable of making some plays himself. But he’ll rely on the running attack of Greg McCrae and Adrian Killins to help take some of the pressure off of him against a stingy LSU defense. LSU has held their opponents to fewer than 20 points in four of their final six games. The only games allowing more than 20 points were against Alabama and Texas A&M, a crazy overtime marathon of a game to close out the regular season. Points could be difficult to come by for the Knights.
LSU’s offense should focus on wearing down a UCF defense that has had its issues this season. A shootout is not the type of game the Tigers want to get into. Instead, managing the clock with efficient drives led by Joe Burrow should be the key to a win for LSU. This should be a game dictated by LSU’s running game with Nick Brosette leading the charge. If the scoring gets out of hand, LSU may not be equipped to keep up the pace. Keeping the game from getting to that kind of tempo will be the key for LSU. Expect a relatively low-scoring Fiesta Bowl.
THE LINE: LSU -7.5
THE PREDICTION: LSU 24, UCF 16