Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl
Central Florida (12-0) vs. Auburn (10-3)
12:30 p.m. ET Jan. 1, Atlanta (ESPN)
Auburn -10, O/U: 67.5
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Central Florida: By not losing a game. Ha. But seriously, UCF is in this game because it’s undefeated and the top team from outside the Power Five conferences. The Knights won the AAC title over Memphis to finish 12-0.
The division title was made possible thanks to a dramatic win over South Florida in the last week of the regular season. The War on I-4 was the most entertaining game of the final weekend of college football and kept UCF’s undefeated season alive.
Auburn: The Tigers beat Alabama in the final week of the regular season to win the SEC West. That division title meant Auburn headed to the SEC Championship Game and lost to Georgia. A win would have put the Tigers in the College Football Playoff. Instead they’re just eating a lot of Chick-Fil-A.
Auburn’s three losses came to Clemson, LSU and Georgia. The LSU loss was an odd one as Auburn had a lead but lost the game late.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Adrian Killins, RB, UCF: We had to go with Killins after his comments regarding SEC speed. Killins has 112 carries for 762 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He’s the team’s leading rusher and also leads the team in rushing touchdowns.
Killins hasn’t had more than 15 carries in a single game, so it’s unlikely he’ll see 20 carries on Monday. But it’s imperative that he’s productive, lest he become known as yet another player who trash talked and couldn’t back it up.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn: Will Johnson be fully healthy? He’s been dealing with a shoulder injury and Auburn could use his talents for the offense to be fully functional. Johnson has 263 carries for 1,320 yards and 17 scores in 2017. He also has 23 catches for 188 yards and two scores.
Johnson will be Auburn’s featured back and could get as many as 30 carries like he did against Alabama. Kamryn Pettway will miss the game against the Knights, leaving Johnson and Kam Martin as the team’s top two running backs.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH
Because it should be an entertaining game between two innovative offensive minds in UCF’s Scott Frost and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn. How will Auburn’s defense fare against UCF’s explosive offense? The Knights offense is one of the best in the country, but it’s also fair to say it hasn’t faced anything like Auburn’s defense.
WHAT’S ON THE LINE
A UCF win would mean a second New Year’s Six Bowl win for the AAC after Houston’s Peach Bowl win against Florida State. Auburn is looking for its first win in a bowl game since the Birmingham Bowl and its first game in a meaningful bowl game (no offense Birmingham) since the 2011 Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
Nick: Auburn 34, UCF 26
Sam: Auburn 37, UCF 28
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