The Memphis Tigers are set to compete against conference juggernaut UCF.
For the Tigers' third game in 2020, they are given home-field advantage against the one team they had seemingly little luck against. The UCF Knights are getting to play their fourth game of the season. This is their third roadtrip of the season.
Memphis (1-1) is going to be at risk for dropping below .500 with a loss. The last time they were below .500 was when they opened their 2013 season with a loss against Duke. So far, Memphis opened the season with a win against Arkansas State and a loss to SMU.
Central Florida (2-1) has beaten Georgia Tech, East Carolina and lost to Tulsa. UCF has not been at a .500 win percentage since 2016 when they lost to Michigan and went 1-1.
What does this game mean for the season?
Any conference loss for either team makes the Championship game appearance look bleak. Cincinnati, Houston and SMU are all undefeated and a second AAC loss for UCF or Memphis cripples the hopes for a conference title.
The Tigers and the Knights return to competition after having both a bye week and a loss to an American Athletic opponent.
Whichever team loses will be on a two-game losing streak. That hasn't happened for Memphis since 2018. From Dec 1 to Dec. 22 the Tigers lost the AAC Championship game against UCF and then lost to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Jared Birmingham Bowl.
Central Florida has not lost two or more games in a row since 2016. The Knights were beaten by the South Florida Bulls on November 26 and then lost in the Autonation Cure Bowl against Arkansas State on Dec. 17.
The last away game UCF lost was in 2019 against Tulsa back on Nov. 8. The last home game the Tigers lost was in 2018 to Central Florida. Memphis has gone a two years without a loss at home since October 13, 2018. That game was put in the rearview mirror for Memphis and the Tigers have won 10 home games following that loss.
The most recent history
These two teams did not compete last season. The most game they played was in December of 2018. In the AAC Championship game in Orlando, the Knights beat Memphis by 15 points, 56-41. The last time they competed in Memphis resulted in a 31-30 contest that sent UCF home cheering.
Prior to that in 2017, both matches were held in Orlando and both saw the Knights go on to succeed. The first game was a 40-13 beating in the early season. The second was a close. record-breaking 62-55 double-overtime AAC Championship game for books and Central Florida prevailed.
From 2017-2018, both team played four times and all four games were wins for UCF.
The deeper history
Memphis has lost 13 straight games to UCF. The first matchup was a win for the Tigers, but Central Florida was a mere FCS program at the time. Since that game in 1990, the Knights have swept the UofM in all 13 games from 2005 to 2018.