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Memphis looks to maintain the good vibes of last week’s much-needed win against Navy as they travel down to the Bounce House in Orlando to take on the crippled UCF Knights. They head down in hopes of winning in Orlando for the first time in the history of the series.

Winning in Orlando could at least partially eradicate the demons of 2017 and 2018 as Memphis lost two consecutive AAC Championship Games to the Knights.

“My previous trips down there as a member of Memphis have not been ones to remember, so we’re hungry. We’re ready. We’re excited about the challenges ahead,” said Head Coach Ryan Silverfield.

The Tigers catch UCF while they are limping along. The injury-stricken Knights have lost three of their last four, including a 56-21 drubbing against the then #4 ranked Cincinnati last week. The team is without their star quarterback Dillon Gabriel, as he has been out since week 3 with a fractured clavicle. They are now led by freshman quarterback Mike Keene, making this a battle of freshman QBs.

Speaking of freshman QBs, Memphis’ Seth Henigan looks to continue his great play from last week into this week as Henigan had 215 yards and two touchdowns on only 12 attempts. Even with a banged up roster, UCF’s offense is still very explosive and capable of putting up a ton of yards and points. Under Head Coach Gus Malzahn, the Knights average 34.2 points per game, which shows how potent their offense is even despite all the injuries.

“He’s an offensive guru, there’s some elements of this offense that are based off of what he has created,” Coach Silverfield said talking about Coach Malzahn.

Memphis has had their concerns with injury though. Last week saw three key players sit out due to injury: Rodrigues Clark, Gabriel Rogers, and Thomas Pickens. All three have been classified as day-to-day, but all three showed up on the depth chart given out by the Tigers for Friday’s game.

While non-Saturday games might be a challenge for some teams, Memphis has a recent track record of being weeknight warriors. Since 2014, the Tigers are 20-1 on non-Saturday games, including a 14-1 mark for Friday night games.

“I talked to you guys about not sleeping much probably, rolled out of bed when the rooster crowed,” Silverfield said of planning a short week.

While it technically is a short week, Memphis has had a full week’s rest after their victory over Navy thursday night. The defense also looks to maintain momentum as they arguably played their best game of the season against Navy's triple option. Linebacker JJ Russell now ranks third in the nation in total tackles with 77, and Defensive Back Greg Rubin is second in the nation in pass deflections with 11.

The offense is still led by standouts Calvin Austin and Sean Dykes. The dynamic duo look to continue their monstrous senior seasons. Both of them have been here for the devastating back-to-back conference championship losses against UCF. Expect fireworks and big plays as Memphis look to inch their way closer to bowl eligibility.

Kickoff in Orlando is set for 6:30 central time Friday night.

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