Thanks to Hurricane Florence, the University of Central Florida will not be playing today against the University of North Carolina. Though UNC is currently 0-2 on the season, the Knights needed this game against the Tar Heels in helping them with their chances to claim a spot in the College Football Playoff.

So far UCF has wins against UConn and South Carolina State, but neither victory was impressive to the fact that it wasn’t expected. A matchup against North Carolina, however, might’ve been an opportunity to show their grit versus a Atlantic Coast Conference team.

One of the many reasons that UCF was overlooked last season was because of the lack of viable out of conference opponents on the schedule. Now with the Knights not facing the Tar Heels, UCF will have to rely upon their remaining nine games and many will need to be wins in convincing fashion.

The only remaining non-conference matchups the Knights have now are against Florida Atlantic, which is apart of Conference USA, and Pittsburgh (ACC school). Amongst the solid AAC matchups that the Knights will have is against East Carolina, Cincinnati, Navy and rival USF. The four games of significance for the Knights will be apart of a run of strength of schedule contests that could catapult UCF into the CFP talk.

Another reason why losing today’s game against UNC hurts is towards quarterback McKenzie Milton’s darkhorse chances in winning the Heisman Trophy. Though last week’s three-interception performance against South Carolina State didn’t help his cause, a strong rest of the 2018 campaign could’ve create a solid argument.

Nonetheless, the loss of a key non-conference game for UCF wasn’t what they needed at this point in the season in hopes of clinching a spot in the College Football Playoff, the Knights can still aim for an 11-0 season and make a run to the AAC championship.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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