How to watch UCF vs. SMU: Preview, TV time, odds and more

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Here's all the information you'll need to catch the game between the Knights and Mustangs.

Since UCF has already clinched a trip to the BCS (likely to the Fiesta Bowl), Saturday's road trip to Southern Methodist functions as a tuneup. The Knights will be expected to win this game, especially with SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert banged up. But UCF has been a little shaky over the last few weeks, beating Temple and USF by a combined six points. Temple and USF have won four games between them.

With Gilbert either limited or out of action, the Mustangs are going to have to step up defensively. SMU is allowing 5.6 yards per play this season, which ranks seventh in the conference. UCF's offense, meanwhile, is second in the league in yards per play.

The numbers

Rankings and records: UCF is 10-1 (7-0) and on top of the AAC standings. The Knights are No. 15 in the AP Poll, No. 16 in the BCS standings and No. 17 in the Coaches' Poll. SMU is 5-6 (4-3). UCF has won four of the five meetings between these teams.

Vegas: As of Wednesday there was no line on the game, thanks to Gilbert's continuing questionable status. UCF is a likely favorite either way.

Weather: The high is expected to reach 40 in Dallas, and there's a 30 percent chance of precipitation.

Three names to know

Blake Bortles -- Bortles keys a UCF offense that is averaging 6.6 yards per play. He is completing 68 percent of his throws while averaging an outstanding 9.4 yards per attempt. He's second in the AAC in passer rating behind Teddy Bridgewater, and there's certainly no shame in that.

Jeremy Johnson -- SMU throws the ball more than 50 times per game, which has given Johnson the opportunity to pile up a ton of catches. He is third nationally with 108 receptions, and he has 1,082 receiving yards.

Storm Johnson -- Johnson has a career-high 978 rushing yards and should have no trouble getting himself past the 1,000-yard mark against the Mustangs. He's gone over 100 yards in a game four times this season.

Two things at stake

Central Florida clinched the AAC title and a BCS bowl berth when Louisville beat Cincinnati on Thursday. It will be the first BCS appearance in program history. The Knights have won 10+ several times under O'Leary, but they have a chance this year to reach 12 wins, which would be a new school record. So, yeah, there's not much at stake for UCF.

SMU should be playing with a sense of urgency, since this game will decide whether or not the Mustangs become bowl eligible. A loss would end a four-year bowl streak.

How to witness

TV: ESPN, noon ET

Radio: UCF's affiliates are listed here. SMU's broadcast can bee heard locally on 104.1 FM and 1310 AM.

Online streaming: WatchESPN. Xfinity customers can watch here.

Further reading

Head over to our college football hub for updates on this game and the rest of the action on Saturday.

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