ORLANDO, FL—This Saturday, two of the best power tailbacks in the FBS will descend on Bright House Networks Stadium. It's UCF's homecoming, so The Dungeon will be packed and bouncing.
All-conference back Zach Line has an impressive 173 carries for 844 yards and six TDs in eight games. He rushed for over 100 yards in five of those games. Line also has 25 receptions for 164 yards on the year showing his dual-threat ability.
Latavius Murray amassed 73 carries for 538 yards and eight TDs in five games. He rushed for over 100 yards in three games this year and was eight yards shy of a 200-yard performance against Memphis. Murray also has 11 receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown grab giving UCF another weapon in its arsenal.
Murray missed three games this year with a shoulder injury following the season opener at Akron. Two of those games account for the losses in UCF's 2012 schedule. Murray appears to be 100 percent—posting dominant performances in the past two weeks.
SMU (4-4, 3-1) is led by Jr. Garrett Gilbert who has completed 52.8 percent of his passes and connected for 12 touchdowns. He also has 13 picks on the season, five of them in the loss to TCU earlier this year. Gilbert's favorite target is Jeremy Johnson who has pulled in 52 receptions for 531 yards and three TDs on the year.
UCF (6-2, 4-0) leads the conference with a 66.8 percent completion rate led by Blake Bortles from Oviedo. Bortles has 14 TD receptions on the year and seven interceptions. Three of those picks came against No. 6 Ohio State. Bortles' favorite target is J.J. Worton, who has 33 receptions for 487 yards and two TDs.
This game will ultimately come down to defense and which team can stop the rushing attack. The post-game report should have plenty of defensive stats for the winning team. Excitement is in the air in Orlando as homecoming is underway with the annual spirit splash in the books.
Which team will come away with the win?