Otis Anderson

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UCF clobbers Temple to remain on Group of 5 NY6 radar

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A close game at the half turned into an old-fashioned whooping at the expense of Temple (5-3, 2-2 AAC). UCF (6-2, 3-1 AAC) used big plays to score five touchdowns outside the red zone in a 63-21 victory Saturday night in Philadelphia. The win helps UCF remain within one game of Cincinnati in the AAC East Division standings and keeps the Knights on the radar for a spot in the New Years Six.

After having their first-half lead cut to 28-21 just before halftime, UCF scored four touchdowns in the third quarter before the Owls could manage to get a first down strung together. Dillon Gabriel tossed a touchdown pass of 73 yards to Marlon Williams, Bentavious Thompson rushed for two touchdowns and Otis Anderson (who rushed for 205 yards) scored a touchdown in on the ground in the big third quarter. As a team, UCF racked up 593 yards of offense against a Temple team that had been playing some decent defense before running ton some tough offenses (Temple lost to SMU last week). And once UCF got rolling, it was impossible for the Owls to keep up the pace; they were shutout in the second half as the game raced away from them.

UCF still needs help to get back to a New Years Six bowl game. Only conference champions form the Group of Five are eligible for the reserved spot in the New Years Six bowl line-up, so UCF must first get back to the conference championship game. Having already lost a head-to-head matchup with Cincinnati, the Knights need some help. Not only must UCF continue to take care of their own schedule, but the Knights will need to see Cincinnati lose twice in the regular season for a chance to move ahead of the Bearcats in the division. Cincinnati owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with the two-time defending conference champions.

UCF did clinch bow eligibility by picking up their sixth win of the season, and the Knights will look to pick up a road win next week against Houston. Temple will be back in action after a bye week when they travel down to Tampa to face USF on Nov. 7.

UCF clinches NY6 bowl bid as AAC champs and Scott Frost avoids question about Nebraska

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If you wanted an offensive shootout, you certainly got it in the American Athletic Conference championship game. After out-lasting No. 20 Memphis (10-2) for a second straight shootout victory, this time in a 62-55 double-overtime thriller, No. 14 UCF (12-0) will get their chance to score a signature victory against a power conference opponent in the New Years Six bowl lineup. At 12-0, UCF essentially clinched their spot in the big game bowl lineup to be determined by the College Football Playoff selection committee tomorrow. We may not have to wait quite as long to learn about the future of UCF head coach Scott Frost.

Memphis forced the AAC championship to go to overtime with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game at 48-48. Memphis had a chance to win the game in regulation but could not convert on a long field goal in the final minute. UCF also could not take advantage of a last-minute possession and gave the ball back to Memphis by way of an interception. But little time remaining, Memphis could not get into field goal range. So the game went to overtime after 96 points and 1,399 yards of offenses.

After the teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime, UCF opened the second overtime with a touchdown run by Otis Anderson. Memphis kept the game alive with a great fourth down conversion between Riley Ferguson and Anthony Miller, but Ferguson was picked off a couple of plays later by Tre Neal.

It was the only interception of the game thrown by Ferguson, who passed for 471 yards and four touchdowns. Miller caught 14 passes for 195 yards and three scores and Memphis had two 100-yard rushers with Darrell Henderson and Patrick Taylor Jr. UCF’s box score was loaded a swell. McKenzie Milton passed for 494 yards and five touchdowns to overcome three interceptions in the game. Anderson rushed for 117 yards and Tre'Quan Smith accounted for 161 yards and two scores. Dredrick Snelson also had 145 yards and two touchdowns.

As the highest-ranked conference champion, UCF will be rewarded with the lone spot in the New Years Six bowl lineup reserved for the highest-ranked conference champion from the Group of Five conferences. It is only fitting this year’s spot goes to the only undefeated team in the country outside of Wisconsin (and if Wisconsin loses in the Big Ten championship game, UCF will be the only undefeated team in the country).

UCF may be heading to the Peach Bowl or another New Years Six bowl game, but Frost could be making his way to Lincoln, Nebraska. It was a storyline that was unavoidable for the ABC telecast in the beginning of the game, and for good reason. Frost has been one of the hottest names in the coaching carousel, and the undefeated run by UCF was a big part of the reason why that was the case. Various reports and rumors have suggested Frost is already on his way to Nebraska to be the next head coach, but nothing official has been announced on either end. Frost declined to answer the question about accepting the Nebraska job in his on-field postgame interview.

We’ll probably find out in the next 24-36 hours where UCF will be heading for the bowl season, and the decision of Frost will not be lingering too far behind if it has yet to be made official one way or the other by then. Memphis will still be heading to a bowl game as one of the top AAC representatives too, but it will not have the same prestige as the big bowl game lineup. Memphis head coach Mike Norvell could also remain a name to watch on the coaching carousel’s radar too.