UCF, Arkansas State meet in Cure Bowl
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) UCF (6-6, American Athletic Conference) vs. Arkansas State (7-5, Sun Belt Conference), 5:30 p.m., CBSSN
Line: UCF by 6 +.
Series Record: UCF leads 1-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The Knights and the Red Wolves are both on the rebound from adversity. UCF is coming off a 0-12 campaign in 2015, while the Red Wolves turned their season around after starting out 0-4. Both teams are looking for wins to further signify their respective programs are on the right track.
Arkansas State's defense vs. UCF QB McKenzie Milton. The Red Wolves have an aggressive defensive front that gets after the quarter, led by linebacker Chris Odom and defensive end Ja'Von Rolland-Jones. The two have combined for 24 of the team's 37 sacks on the season. That could spell trouble for Milton, who is sometimes prone to freshmen mistakes when facing great pressure. Milton will need time from his offensive line to be effective in the passing game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCF: CB Shaquill Griffin. The senior has been the strongest and most consistent presence in the Knights' secondary this season. Griffin has four interceptions on the season and his 12 pass breakups rank 12th in the nation and led the AAC. He ranks fifth in UCF history with 33 career pass breakups.
Arkansas State: TE Blake Mack. The junior made the transition this season from wide receiver and the result has been his most productive campaign yet. Mack has been Justice Hansen's top target this season, catching 33 passes for 585 yards and three touchdowns. He is averaging 17.7 yards per reception.
FACTS & FIGURES
Arkansas State is appearing in its sixth consecutive bowl and has recorded seven or more victories in each of the last six seasons. ...After creating just 12 turnovers in 2015, UCF has 25 takeaways this season to rank 10th in the nation. ...Red Wolves sophomore running back Warren Wand has rushed for 867 yards this season and has now ran for a two-year total of 1,567 yards. ...Knights linebacker Shaquem Griffin has 11 sacks on the season, which ranks him No. 12 in the nation.
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org