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UCF vs. LSU: Fiesta Bowl time, TV channel, preview, prediction | NCAA Football

No. Eight UCF meets No. 11 LSU within the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1. It is a matchup between a standard SEC energy and the two-time defending American Athletic Convention champion.

UCF (12-0) takes its FBS-best 25-game win streak into this matchup. The Knights will not have star quarterback McKenzie Milton, however first-year coach Josh Heupel has the Group of 5 college getting ready to a second straight undefeated season. Would UCF declare one other nationwide championship with a victory in opposition to the Tigers?

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LSU (9-3) enters the sport after an up-and-down season that featured matchups in opposition to seven opponents that have been ranked on the time. The Tigers completed 4-Three in these video games, and Ed Orgeron is off the recent seat. Star cornerback Grasping Williams will not play within the bowl sport, however the Tigers have greater than sufficient expertise to win in Tempe.

Will the Knights money in on the disrespect card? Or will LSU finish the nation’s longest profitable streak? This must be a enjoyable matchup. With that in thoughts, here’s a have a look at how these groups stack up:

Learn how to watch UCF-LSU  

The Fiesta Bowl could be seen on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1. The sport can be televised nationally however can streamed on WatchESPN.com.

UCF-LSU betting tendencies  

— LSU opened as an 8-point favourite, however the line has dropped to 7.5. That is the primary assembly between the 2 faculties.

— The Tigers have been 6-6 in opposition to the unfold this season, however have been 2-5 ATS as a favourite. The 2 victories have been in opposition to Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

— The Knights have been favorites in each sport this season and completed 9-Four in opposition to the unfold. The Knights have been 10-point underdogs within the Peach Bowl final 12 months earlier than beating Auburn 34-27.

Three keys for UCF-LSU   

Darriel Mack Jr. Milton is out, however Mack stepped in with six complete touchdowns in a 56-41 victory in opposition to Memphis within the AAC championship sport. Mack have to be a risk within the operating sport in opposition to a Tigers protection that options All-American linebacker Devin White and allowed simply 3.Eight yards per carry this 12 months. UCF averaged 5.9 yards per carry within the common season.

— UCF turnovers. The Knights rank third within the FBS with a plus-14 turnover margin. UCF had 13 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries this season. It is an opportunistic protection. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow threw simply 4 interceptions all season, and he completed the 12 months sizzling with a 68.9 completion proportion, six touchdowns and no interceptions within the Tigers’ final three video games.  

— LSU engagement. The Tigers ended the season with a 74-72 seven-overtime loss in opposition to Texas A&M. They are going to be up in opposition to a UCF crew that may look to stroll the stroll once more. Keep watch over the primary half. Auburn led UCF 3-Zero after one quarter in final 12 months’s Peach Bowl, and the Knights took benefit by constructing a 13-6 lead at halftime. LSU, in the meantime, outscored opponents 97-22 within the first quarter this season. Can the Tigers get out in entrance early?

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UCF-LSU stat that issues 

Which operating again will get out to a very good begin? UCF’s Greg McCrae (1,101 yards, 9 TDs) averaged 9.Zero yards per carry for the Knights, and he’ll check the center of LSU’s protection along with his pace. Nick Brossette (922 yards, 14 TDs) began the season with a pair of 100-yard video games earlier than having modest success the remainder of the season. The operating sport will make an enormous distinction in a sport the place the quarterbacks will decide their spots within the down-field passing sport.  

UCF-LSU prediction 

That engagement can be key, particularly early. The Tigers have extra expertise, and they’ll have movie on Mack, who has two begins this season. LSU doesn’t wish to be in the identical spot Auburn was in final 12 months, and this can be a sport the place Orgeron can flip Burrow free in preparation for subsequent season. LSU will get all they will deal with, however they snap the Knights’ streak with a late fourth-quarter landing to seal the victory.

UCF-LSU ultimate rating 

LSU 31, UCF 24 

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