No. 13 BYU (10-1) vs. UCF (6-3)
Boca Raton Bowl
- Kickoff: Tuesday, 5 p.m. MST
- Venue: FAU Stadium (6,000 fans will be allowed)
- Surface: Natural Turf
- TV: ESPN
- Livestream: WatchESPN
- Radio: KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM
- Series: Tied 1-1
- Weather: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the high 60s at kickoff.
For UCF … The Knights — whose three losses came by a combined 12 points — are looking for their first win over a ranked opponent this season, after falling by three to then-No. 7 Cincinnati earlier this year.
For BYU … The Cougars are seeking to finish a season ranked in the top 15 for the first time since 2009. That year, BYU ended the year ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press poll following an 11-2 season.
For UCF … The Knights will be trying for their third bowl victory in the past four seasons, including a Peach Bowl win in 2017 and a victory in last year’s Gasparilla Bowl.
For BYU … The Cougars are making their third straight bowl, with a win over Western Michigan in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and a loss to Hawaii in last year’s Hawaii Bowl.
THE CRYSTAL BALL
UCF will win if … the Knights can play keep away from BYU’s offense — like the Cougars’ last two opponents have done — and turn opportunities into points.
BYU will win if … the Cougars can be efficient offensively — like they have been much of the season, though the past two games the efficiency has waned — in what’s expected to be a high-scoring matchup.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Dillon Gabriel, UCF quarterback: The sophomore signal caller has thrown for 3,353 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions this year, and is among the nation’s best in several passing categories. That includes averaging 372.6 passing yards per game, second-best in the country. Gabriel has also rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns this season.
The defenses: Both BYU and UCF come into the game with top 10 offenses in both total offense and scoring offense. The Cougars, however, have the better defense statistically — BYU is giving up just 14.6 points per game, while the Knights are allowing 31.4 ppg. Who has the better night defensively could provide the difference.
“They play extremely hard. They’re big, strong, mature up front. … You’ve got your work cut out of you on both sides of the line of scrimmage. They play complementary football.”
— UCF coach Josh Heupel, on facing BYU
“Under Josh Heupel’s leadership, they’ve done a great job. (They’re an) explosive team on offense, defense and special teams, lots of athleticism and speed. It’s going to be a great matchup for us.”
— BYU coach Kalani Sitake, on facing UCF
End of season for both teams.
Sept. 7 — BYU 55, Navy 3
Sept. 19 — at Army (POSTPONED)
Sept. 26 — BYU 48, Troy 7
Oct. 2 — BYU 45, Louisiana Tech 14
Oct. 10 — BYU 27, UTSA 20
Oct. 16 — BYU 43, Houston 26
Oct. 24 — BYU 52, Texas State 14
Oct. 31 — BYU 41, Western Kentucky 10
Nov. 6 — BYU 51, Boise State 17
Nov. 21 — BYU 66, North Alabama 14
Dec. 5 — Coastal Carolina 22, BYU 17
Dec. 12 — BYU 28, San Diego State 14
Dec. 22 — BYU vs. UCF, Boca Raton Bowl (5 p.m., ESPN)
All times MST