The pivotal month of October has gotten off to a rocky start for UCF, with its first back-to-back losses of 2007. This Saturday's matchup with Tulsa (4-2, 2-1 Conference USA) is not only a chance to start the redemption process but would put the Knights back in the hunt for an East Division crown and conference title game berth.
After strong showings early in the year, the past two games the Knights have been ripped, giving up 116 points.
UCF (3-3, 1-1) gets little reprieve this week against the league's most potent offensive attack.
The Golden Hurricane not only rank among the tops in C-USA but also are among the nation's best.
Tulsa's total offense is the second-best in the nation with 572.9 yards per game, behind only Texas Tech's 582 average. Tulsa is fourth in passing offense with 379.7 yards per game (behind Texas Tech, Hawaii and Louisville). Its offense also ranks seventh in pass efficiency rating (164.5), 12th in scoring (39.0) and 28th in rushing (193.2).
QB Smith key
If the Knights are going to have a prayer of slowing down the Hurricane's explosive offense, they must contain Tulsa QB Paul Smith.
He is the engine behind Tulsa's spread no-huddle attack and has thrown for more than 300 yards in all six games this season and seven times in his career.
And though the Knights got some experience under their belt against Memphis' spread offense, it will be nothing compared to Tulsa.
While Memphis lacks quarterback consistency, Tulsa's Smith has thrown for three or more touchdowns in four games this season.
He also leads C-USA and ranks fourth in the NCAA in passing yards per game (369.0), behind only Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Hawaii's Colt Brennan and Louisville's Brian Brohm.