UCF, Villanova aim to stay unbeaten

UCF and visiting Villanova both will look for their third consecutive victory to open the season when they meet Saturday evening in Orlando, Fla.

Following a 56-6 win over Kent State, the Knights traveled to Boise State and earned an 18-16 victory. The Broncos hadn’t lost their home opener in 22 years.

Colton Boomer connected on a 40-yard field goal as time expired for his fourth field goal of the game and the stunning win. Boomer’s field goals tied a program record for the most FGs in a game, and he was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week.

The news wasn’t all good for UCF, however, as quarterback John Rhys Plumlee will be sidelined for “a few weeks” following a leg injury he suffered on the final drive, according to coach Gus Malzahn.

Timmy McClain is expected to earn the start at quarterback against the Wildcats. McClain drove the Knights to two scores in the opener against Kent State.

“Timmy’s a guy that we think highly of,” Malzahn said. “He’s had a really good fall camp. In practice, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, he’s gotten nearly equal reps to John Rhys. We’ve got a lot of confidence in him.”

Villanova, meanwhile, is 2-0 after beating Lehigh 38-10 in the season opener and Colgate 42-19 last week.

Wildcats quarterback Connor Watkins completed 8 of 11 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores.

Villanova has been especially dangerous in the first half, outscoring Lehigh and Colgate by a combined total of 59-13.

The task will be more difficult against the Knights.

“They’re big, fast and physical,” Villanova coach Mark Ferrante said. “What more can you say about them? They play a high-tempo offense and a physical defense. … We’ve got to go down there and perform well to have a chance to go 1-0 this week.”

Villanova has some firepower, too. Wide receivers Rayjuon Pringle and Jaylan Sanchez each surpassed 100 yards receiving against Colgate.

–Field Level Media