Jacksonville Sports Day

UCF: Knights No Longer Control Their Own Destiny

ORLANDO – The UCF football team is coming off of its first open week of the 2019 season, likely a much needed break for the Knights, who have lost two out of their last three games.

The Knights match up with the East Carolina Pirates (3-3, 0-2) Saturday night in Orlando.

UCF and ECU have played 17 times, dating back to 1991 when the Pirates won 47-25 in Orlando. ECU won the first four meetings between the two teams, before UCF earned a 30-20 victory in Greenville in 2005.

UCF fell at Pittsburgh, 35-34 on Sept. 21, and then at Cincinnati, 27-24 on Oct. 4, a combined four points in the two defeats. It marks the first time since 2016 UCF has lost multiple games in a season.

Still, since the start of the 2017 season, UCF has won 29 of its last 32 games overall.

The Knights no longer control their own destiny for a chance at a third straight American Athletic Conference Championship, needing help in the way of a loss for currently 2-0 Cincinnati to secure an East Division title and a trip to the championship game.

The Knights get their shot at another undefeated team in the East next weekend, when they travel to Philadelphia to take on 2-0 Temple.

UCF has won back-to-back AAC Championships in 2017 and 2018, and has six conference championships since joining a conference in 2002. The Knights’ four conference titles since 2013 make them one of just four programs in FBS to achieve the feat (Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma).

UCF is in its second season under head coach Josh Heupel, who led the Knights to a 12-1 record in his first season in Orlando and now has a career mark of 16-3.

Heupel was named FWAA First-Year Coach of the Year after becoming just the third FBS coach in history to record an undefeated regular season in his first year as a head coach (Larry Coker – Miami, 2001; Chris Peterson – Boise State, 2006). 8 UCF played in the 2019 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl last season.

The Knights’ men’s and women’s basketball teams both played in the NCAA Tournament last season. UCF and Michigan were the only schools in the nation in 2018-19 to have their football team in a New Year’s Six Bowl and both basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament.

For the last two full seasons, every sport that plays a head-to-head schedule at UCF has finished with a winning record.

The Knights are the only FBS athletics program in the nation to do so in 2017-18 and 2018-19. CBS Sports ranked UCF as the 17th best athletics department in the nation for the past year.

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