UCF is aiming for its fifth straight victory on Saturday when it travels to Greenville, N.C., to face East Carolina.
The Knights (5-1, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) are coming off their highest-scoring showing of the season, a 70-13 thrashing of Temple.
UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee completed 18 of 22 passes for 373 yards and four touchdowns, and also ran for 37 yards and three scores. His seven total touchdowns tied a program record, and the performance earned him AAC Offensive Player of the Week and a Manning Award Star of the Week.
On the season, Plumlee — who transferred to UCF from Ole Miss — has 1,516 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 468 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns. His 157.5 passer rating is the second-best in the conference.
Plumlee is the key to an offensive unit that is putting up 41.3 points per game, which is 13th best in FBS.
“The offense is starting to get into rhythm,” second-year UCF coach Gus Malzahn said. “It’s all coming together. We have a chance to be a really good offense.”
East Carolina (4-3, 2-2) has a talented quarterback of its own in Holton Ahlers.
The fifth-year senior has thrown for 2,124 yards and 17 touchdowns, while rushing for 108 yards and two scores. Ahlers owns career records in the American for completions and passing yards, and he needs just four more touchdowns through the air to tie former Memphis quarterback Brady White for the all-time lead in passing scores.
Ahlers is coming off a quadruple-overtime win over Memphis, in which he passed for 304 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score.
“Short memory, though, because we’ve got another very challenging game coming up against a very talented UCF team who is off to a great start this year,” ECU coach Mike Houston said this week. “UCF’s offense is explosive with Plumlee and his surrounding cast there. It’s probably our biggest challenge of the year so far.”
UCF and ECU are tied 10-10 in the head-to-head series, but the Knights have six straight wins over the Pirates in a streak that dates back to 2016.
–Field Level Media