Preview: No. 22 UCF hosts East Carolina for homecoming on Saturday

By Despina Barton, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Thursday, October 12, 2017, 3:55 PM EDT

East Carolina PIRATES at No. 22 UCF Knights

When: Saturday, 7:00 pm  

Where: Spectrum Stadium, Orlando (4465 Knights Victory Way)

TV: CBS Sports Network

Coaches: East Carolina– Scottie Montgomery, 2nd Season (1-5, 4-14 overall); UCF – Scott Frost, 2nd Season (4-0, 10-7 overall)  

About the matchup: 

After an abbreviated game at Cincinnati (51-23, 3Q) the Knights return home to Orlando unbeaten and jumping up to the No. 22 spot in the latest AP College Football poll.

UCF is currently 2-0 in AAC play and 4-0 for the first time since 1988 and moving up to division one. The Knights will see its third straight conference opponent in East Carolina on Saturday for homecoming. Perfect timing as UCF’s offense is coming off back to back 500-yard games and averaging a nation leading 47.5 points per game.

Sophomore QB McKenzie Milton threw a career best five touchdowns against the Bearcats and that was only in three quarters of play as inclement weather rolled in. The unit scored on every possession last week at Cincinnati with Milton and Tre’Quan Smith connecting for three scores last week. Smith would go on to trek in his first career rushing TD as well. Barring any injury, Milton and all of his offensive weapons are clicking on all cylinders and finding a nice rhythm here in week five.

As for East Carolina and the Pirates they have been struggling this season to find wins. The Pirates dropped back to back American Conference games to No. 18 USF (61-31) and Temple (34-10) entering this weekend’s contest against the Knights. The Pirates went 3-9 in Scott Montgomery’s debut season last year; only to carry a single victory (UConn), through six weeks this year.

The Pirates QB Thomas Sirk has been their bright light at the end of the tunnel. The graduate student Sirk is leading the team in passing (107-for-189 for 1,382 passing yards) and rushing (145-yards on 52 carries) while his top receiving choice this year has been Davon Grayson (31-for-535, 5 TD’s).

ECU leads the overall series record against the Knights, 10-5. And for the group that hasn’t seen a win since September 24th is eager to get their season back on track as they travel down to Orlando. It would be wise for UCF to not count them out even though the home team is a 36-point favorite.

Three and out:

1. Adrian Killins broke away for a 100-yard kickoff return in last year’s contest against the Pirates, UCF won 47-29.

2. If UCF wins, this will be the Knights first 5-0 start since 1988, first in Division 1 era.

3.  In the Pirates and Knights last meeting on October 1, 2016—UCF scored in all phases of the game (offense, defense, special teams) for the first time in six years.