we’re going to come in here and attack like we’re playing the No. 1 team in the nation.”
Marshall has won six of its last seven games thanks, in part, to top Conference USA running back Brendon Knox. The sophomore was named the conference MVP after leading the league in rushing with 1,284 yards and 11 touchdowns.
“He’s a big guy, one of the biggest backs that we’ve faced,” UCF junior linebacker Eric Mitchell said. “It’s a challenge for us and something we like to see.”
The Knights rank second in the country in tackles for loss (113), averaging 9.42 per game, which can present a challenge.
“They’re fast, athletic, and disciplined,” Marshall offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey said. “They’re a very good defense. Their offense gets a lot of the credit, but their defense is very good.”
The challenge for the Thundering Herd is slowing down a UCF offense that ranks sixth in the country in scoring (43 points per game) and that has recorded 105 explosive plays of at least 20 yards this season.
“Speed, and the personnel. How they operate,” said Marshall linebacker Tavante Beckett, who leads C-USA with 114 tackles. “You’ve got to get the call and get set. There is no time, and that’s where they capitalize. Once you’re out of your position, they have the people and the speed to make the plays.
“We just got to get the call and be in our gap and play Marshall football. We’ll be fine.”
UCF could be without two of their top offensive threats when the Knights take the field.
Receiver Gabriel Davis, who led the American Athletic Conference with 1,241 yards, declared he was leaving school early to enter the NFL draft. Senior running back Adrian Killins (629 yards) posted a thank you to fans on social media, stating it was time to focus on his future and his NFL dreams.
UCF coach Josh Heupel declined to comment on the status of both players or any others who might be unavailable for the game.