7 things to know about UCF's Space Game against Temple

News 6 sports anchor Ryan Welch tells you what to look for

Courtesy: UCF Athletics
Courtesy: UCF Athletics

ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida Knights will take on Temple University at Spectrum Stadium on Thursday, marking UCF’s second annual Space Game.

The gates at Spectrum open at 6 p.m. and kickoff is at 7:31 p.m. Knights fan colors are black and white for the Space Game.

No1. Will QB McKenzie Milton play?

UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton's status for Thursday's tilt with Temple remains in question. The junior QB is dealing with an injury that forced him to miss the Knights' last win, a 37-10 triumph at East Carolina on Oct. 20. There are reports out of UCF, however, that Milton has worked with the offensive starters during practice this week.

No2. This is one to watch

If Milton cannot go, Darriel Mack will make his second consecutive start behind center. After struggling early in the Oct. 20 win at ECU, Mack settled down and ran for 120 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Pirates. 

No3. UCF's ranking may change

Though unbeaten, UCF checks in at No. 12 in the season's first playoff rankings, but there is room to move up. Beginning with the matchup with Temple, the Knights' late-season slate is filled with conference heavyweights.  Following the visit by the Owls, the Knights still have a home showdown with Cincinnati and a road game at the University of South Florida to close out the regular season. Including Temple, all three of those opponents are in contention in the American Athletic Conference's east division. 

No4. Temple's head coach has a Florida connection

Temple is coached by Geoff Collins, a former defensive coordinator at Florida under Jim McElwain.  Prior to his stint in Gainesville, Collins at one time worked as an assistant at UCF in 2008 and 2009.  

No5. Owls running back rushing yards

The Owls are led offensively by running back Ryquell Armstead, who has rushed for 626 yards and six touchdowns so far this season. The senior had a breakout performance earlier this year in a close loss to Boston College. Armstead ran for 171 yards and four touchdowns in the 10-point loss at BC. 

No. 6: The last Temple-Knights match up began undefeated streak for the Knights

The last time UCF and Temple met, a Knights win set a program record.  In the 2017 matchup in Philadelphia, the Knights' 45-19 win was the team's 10th in a row, establishing a school record.  A win against the Owls on Thursday would be UCF's 21st consecutive victory, and would extend the longest streak in the nation.

No. 7: Those uniforms are out of this world

The Knights will be wearing jerseys honoring UCF's ties to NASA's Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The special-edition uniforms feature the color Canaveral blue, constellations and tributes to the  Arecibo Observatory, which UCF recently took over managing. See close-up photos and read more about the inspiration behind the uniforms here.

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