No. 4: UCF @ Texas Tech
While there is no history between Texas Tech and Central Florida, the regular-season home finale on November 18 could be a sneaky-good game. That’s because Tech might be in the Big 12 Championship Game hunt and also because the Knights are going to be a pesky squad this fall.
Going 18-9 over the past two years under head coach Gus Malzhan (who won a National Championship at Auburn), UCF has long believed that it has a program worthy of Power 5 recognition. Now, they get an opportunity to prove that and they will likely enter the season with something to prove.
Dynamic dual-threat QB John Rhys Plumlee should thrive under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw, whose offenses at Kentucky and UAB put up big numbers through the air. What’s more, the Knights will have a three-headed RB attack featuring RJ Harvey who had nearly 800 yards last year, and former 5-star recruit Demarkcus Bowman who has also spent time at Clemson and Florida State.
However, a rebuilt defense, which also features a new coordinator, could be UCF’s downfall. Also, the rigors of a Big 12 schedule could take a toll on the conference newcomers.
However, there is a chance for the Knights to have some momentum built up as they head to Lubbock. Their three games prior to that are all winnable with a home game against West Virginia, a road trip to Cincy, and a home game against Oklahoma State.
Still, this is one of the home games that looks most winnable for Tech this year. UCF is talented and will give Tech some problems but if the Red Raiders are truly going to be a Big 12 contender, they had better find a way to win this Senior Day contest.