UCF Football: Preview, prediction, live stream vs. SMU in Week 10

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Two hot teams coming into Week 10 will meet for a Saturday showdown at Gerald J. Ford Stadium aiming to add to their 2017 résumé.

UCF football will look to remain perfect in the American Athletic Conference as it takes on the Mustangs of SMU this weekend. The Knights have caught fire offensively and sit at 7-0 on the 2017 season.

Central Florida is led by quarterback McKenzie Milton who is flaunting a 72.9 completion rate while throwing for just under 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns thus far. Second-year coach Scott Frost has shined and built an offensive powerhouse in UCF.

Not only do the Knights come into this contest streaking, but SMU has won four of its last five games as well. The Mustangs have played consistently all season and will aim to knock off the Knights in what would be an upset that would boost their résumé as we approach bowl season.

Coming off a nail-biting win against Tulsa last week, the Mustangs sit at 6-2 on the season. SMU is also led by their quarterback, Ben Hicks who has 2,305 yards to go along with his 19 touchdowns.

Here’s how you can watch Central Florida take on SMU in Week 10:

Date: Saturday, Nov. 4
Time: 7:15 pm ET
Location: University Park, Texas
Venue: Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Live Stream: WatchESPN

Keys to Victory

This AAC showdown is going to come down to the execution and play on defense for each team. We have learned in this 2017 season that neither of these teams are shy to score. Central Florida is coming into this contest after scoring a record-breaking 73 last week against Austin Peay.

For Central Florida, the Knights are just going to have to do what they have done all year, score. Coming into this contest, there are outside distractions that the Knights will need to ignore. Head Coach Scott Frost has been rumored around the nation as one of the top candidates to find a new and more prominent job after getting off to a 7-0 start this season.

SMU will aim to pull off the upset against the newly-ranked No. 15 team in the country. The biggest focal point for the Mustangs Saturday will be their defensive play. Central Florida is averaging nearly eight yards a play which is absurd.

Coming off a game where the Mustangs were shredded by a two-win team for 34 points and 458 yards, SMU ranks 100th in the nation in total defense and this can not be the case Saturday if the Mustangs want to go home with a victory. SMU will need to establish a ground game with running back Xavier Jones heading the way.

If SMU can get a couple early stops and a score or two, that could put the pressure on a team who hasn’t experienced much of it thus far in the 2017 season.

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Even though the Vegas spread favors Central Florida by 13 points, this game has the making to be a close one. The 13 points feels like a bit too much for a gutsy team playing at home that has played well in every game this season. With the Knights having to deal with so many outside distractions, I don’t see this game getting out of hand by any means. I expect this AAC battle to feature touchdowns, touchdowns and a few more touchdowns. Each team will score with ease, but it is going to come down to who can get the defensive stops when they need them.

Final Score: UCF 45, SMU 40