clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 Baylor Football Opponent Quick-Hitter: UCF

Baylor faces its first Big 12 newcomer in a road battle with UCF!

NCAA Football: Central Florida at South Florida Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Opponent: UCF

Nickname: Knights

Kickoff: September 30th

Location: FBC Mortgage Stadium (Orlando, FL)

Conference: Big 12

Head Coach: Gus Malzahn (entering 3rd season)

Last Year’s Record: 9-5

Notable Outcomes: Lost to Louisville, 20-14; beat Cincinnati, 25-21; Lost to Duke, 30-13

Key Losses: Isaiah Bowser, RB; Koby Perry, S; Ryan O’Keefe, WR

Key Returners: John Rhys Plumlee, QB; Javon Baker, WR; Jason Johnson, LB

Strength: Wide receiver. UCF returns two of its top three receiving targets, including former Alabama receiver Javon Baker. There’s a little room for concern beyond the top two targets, but Baker and Kobe Hudson are a dangerous one-two punch on the perimeter.

Weakness: Defensive backs. UCF returns only one starter amongst their defensive backs, and only two starters if you include the linebackers. So there’s very likely going to be some growing pains, especially as this unit works to transition to the next level of play in the Big 12.

Way Too Early Prediction: So as with probably all of the new Big 12 additions, there’s going to be some difficulties when adjusting to a schedule lined with Power 5 talent. This will be UCF’s second taste of that talent, after playing a road game at Kansas State the week prior. However, this will be the first home Big 12 conference game UCF plays. That’s some bad luck for Baylor, since the stadium will be packed and the crowd will be rowdy. Nevertheless, I think Baylor has better nuts and bolts entering this game. So if they can navigate the away crowd, I see Baylor gutting out a close win.

31-28 Baylor