No. 15 Oklahoma State (7-2, 5-1 Big 12, No. 15 CFP) vs. UCF (4-5, 1-5), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Oklahoma State by 2 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook
Series record: First Meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Oklahoma State put itself in the driver’s seat to reach the Big 12 championship game with a win in their final scheduled Bedlam game against rival Oklahoma last week. The Cowboys can build on a five-game win streak by defeating UCF. The Knights are looking for their second Big 12 win since joining the conference after defeating Cincinnati last week. The Knights have not lost three straight home games since a winless 2015 season.
Oklahoma State’s running attack vs. UCF’s run defense: Ollie Gordon has been steamrolling the Big 12 this season, averaging 136.1 yards rushing and 1,225 total rush yards. That ranks him first in the nation. It will be a tall task for a Knights’ run defense that is the fourth-worst in the entire nation, giving up 211.8 yards rushing per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma State: LB Xavier Benson. He had a big game last week in Oklahoma State’s win over Oklahoma, recording seven tackles, three tackles for a loss, a sack, and a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Benson is fifth on the team with 42 tackles, adding 6.5 tackles for a loss and four quarterback hits this season.
UCF: RB R.J. Harvey. Gordon is taking the headlines around the Big 12, but Harvey continues to put in a solid season for the Knights as he shared Big 12 offensive player of the week honors with Gordon. Harvey has rushed for 876 total yards and 97.3 rush yards per game this season. He has four straight 100-yard rushing games becoming the first Knight to do that since Latavious Murray in 2012.
FACTS & FIGURES
Saturday is UCF’s annual Space Game where the team wears a jersey inspired by the university’s connection to the space program at Kennedy Space Center roughly an hour away from campus. The Knights will be wearing a special blue jersey for the game. ... UCF’s win over Cinncinati marked the Knights’ first conference win since joining the Big 12. However, it has not been a smooth ride for the four newcomers to the conference. UCF, BYU, Cincinnati, and Houston have combined for just two wins over legacy Big 12 teams – both Houston wins over Baylor and West Virginia.
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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football