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Ohio State Opponent Analysis: University of Central Florida

The Urban Era continues.
UCF Football players holding a UCF football sign in the air.

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 2: Members of the UCF Knights football team hoist up the school logo after winning the ACC Championship 62-55 against the Memphis Tigers at Spectrum Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Coming off a season opening 56-10 victory over Miami (OH), new head coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes look to have similar success against the UCF Knights.

A few quick UCF Notes:
- Opened season with a 56-14 victory over Akron
- Amassed 386 yards of total offense
- Allowed 325 total yards on defense (only 69 rushing)
- Running back Latavius Murray amassed 108 yards on only 14 carries

Come Saturday, look for the Knights to display a fairly balanced attack, though with more of an emphasis on the running game. Against Akron, UCF displayed the ability to move the ball and score, both on the ground and through the air. Led by sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles in his first collegiate start, the Knights passing game amassed 180 yards and four scores. Three of those touchdown tosses came at the hand of Bortles, the other came from another sophomore, Tyler Gabbert. Gabbert, a Missouri transfer and the brother of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert, completed only one pass on the day for a 12 yard score. Bortles should see the most extensive playing time, but if the game gets out of hand, look for Gabbert to take some snaps later on.

Senior running back Latavius Murray stole the show on the ground for UCF last week, but three different backs had double digit carries and all three scored at least one touchdown. Utilizing the success of the run game to its advantage, UCF was able to dominate the clock - a strategy it should try to employ this week as well.

Defensively, UCF looks to have a solid unit, only giving up two scores in its first game. The rush defense should be stronger than its pass defense, but Ohio State should be able to move the ball either way. The Knights will need to make the Buckeyes turn the ball over, as they did against Akron (recovered three fumbles and picked off one pass).

UCF brings a solid unit into its first ever matchup against Ohio State, but the Buckeyes should still be able to come out on top.

All statistics thanks to