UCF looking for fifth straight spot over USF in ‘War on I-4’
The UCF will score its fifth straight win over its fellow neighbor in the American Athletic Conference on Friday afternoon when they host South Florida in Orlando in what the sports divisions are calling the “War on I-4.”
A win over their struggling opponent would give the Knights (7-4, 4-3 AAC) the longest winning streak for either team in the series that began in 2005 and secure a conference record over 0.500 for the fourth consecutive season.
USF (2-9, 1-6) lost four consecutive games.
UCF rebounded from loss at SMU with a 49-17 defeat to Connecticut State last week. This was the Knights’ fourth victory in their last five games, and now they are looking to continue building momentum with a ball game.
They are 5-3 since freshman Mickey Kane took charge at quarterback when Dillon Gabriel broke his collarbone late in the loss to Louisville on Sept. . He also scored a 30-yard run.
“If you look at Mickey, this will be his ninth game,” UCF coach Jos Malzan said. “He played his best matches, I think, last week and he is improving every game.
‘I saw with landing on the ground. This is really a game changer for us going forward. I think he’s doing a great job leading us.”
USF, meanwhile, is coming off a 45-14 defeat at Tulane. The Bulls have not won in more than a month, since their lone conference win, 34-24 over Temple on October 23.
Their performance against the green wave was particularly disappointing as they showed some positive signs to start November in a home loss to the seeded teams Houston 54-42 and Cincinnati 45-28.
Coach Jeff Scott sacked defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer after losing to the Green Wave, which was the sixth time this season that the Bulls allowed more than 40 points.
“I made the decision Sunday morning that we really need to make a change in our position as defensive coordinator,” Scott said at his weekly media briefing. “It wasn’t something I really wanted to do before the end of the season, but I felt like after the last game it was the right time.”
Ernie Sims (Back Back) and Daniel Da Prato (Special Teams) will act as coordinators this week.
Teams split 12 matches in the series. The winning team earns the right to a huge trophy from Interstate-4, which connects Tampa and Orlando, 100 miles away.
–Field Media Level