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UCF football vs. Tulane: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Knights battle Green Wave

Dillon Gabriel #11 of the UCF Knights hands the ball off to Greg McCrae #30 the first half against the Florida Atlantic Owls at FAU Stadium on September 07, 2019 in Boca Raton, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS – It's been a step back for Central Florida this season, though it will still finish up as one of the top teams in the American Athletic Conference. The Knights will try to bounce back from a rare loss when they visit Tulane on Saturday.

TV: Noon, ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: UCF -6

UCF totaled one loss in 2017 and 2018 - none in AAC play - but fell for the third time in 2019 when it went scoreless in the fourth quarter and gave up the lead in a 34-31 setback at Tulsa last week. "If I look back on this season, there were some times when we got a little bit lost and were too focused and too serious on what we had to do this season," senior wide receiver Jacob Harris told the Orlando Sentinel. "We had a lot to accomplish. Looking back at it, we just need to get back to having fun on the field and doing what we do, that’s when we see all the success." The Green Wave let a promising season and a chance at a spot in the AAC championship slip away with losses in three of the last four games and are coming off a 27-21 setback at Temple last week. "We have to play well all four quarters," Tulane coach Willie Fritz told reporters. "We cannot roll the ball out. We are not even close to being able to do that. For us to win a bunch of games, we have to play well."

ABOUT CENTRAL FLORIDA (7-3, 4-2 AAC)

The Knights committed 15 penalties leading to 120 lost yards in the loss to Tulsa, and eliminating mistakes was a focus of practice this week. “There are too many good football teams out there, especially when you’re coaching defense when these offenses are so explosive,” assistant coach Willie Martinez told the Orlando Sentinel. “You can’t give people second chances and that happened to us Friday night and you’re not going to come on the right side of the outcome.” The penalties don’t seem to be doing too much damage to the offense, which is averaging 44.8 points over the last four contests.

ABOUT TULANE (6-4, 3-3)

Quarterback Justin McMillan owns five touchdown passes and eight interceptions in the last four games and struggled with his accuracy at Temple, completing 11-of-27 passes for 103 yards in the loss. “A lot of it was protection issues and routes,” Fritz told reporters of McMillan’s struggles. “Like I said before, the depth not being the proper amount or coming off too early played a role. Sometimes it was the throw. There were a lot of factors involved.” McMillan threw eight TD passes and two interceptions during Tulane’s 5-1 start.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Tulane is trying to finish undefeated at home for the first time since 1998.

2. UCF RB Bentavious Thompson totaled seven TDs in the last five games.

3. The Knights earned a 37-6 win over the Green Wave in the most recent meeting on Nov. 5, 2016.

PREDICTION: UCF 42, Tulane 31