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College Football Bowl Previews

Jeff Shain, OFN CFB writer
01/01/2018 11:09AM ET

UCF (12-0) VS. AUBURN (10-3)
 

Site: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta.

Kickoff: Monday, 12:30 p.m. TV: ESPN.

Line: Auburn by 10.

All-time series: Auburn leads 3-0.

Last meeting: Auburn 28, UCF 10 (1999).

UCF

Coach: Scott Frost (2nd season, 18-7).

All-time postseason: 3-5.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to Arkansas State 31-13 in 2016 Cure Bowl.

Draft spotlight: DT Jamiyus Pittman. Shorter than ideal for the position at 6-0, he wins off the ball with a quick swim move and is a player who makes play after play on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Pittman is violent with his hands and is one of the most active players in the UCF front seven.

Other Knights to watch: *WR Tre’Quan Smith, DE Tony Guerad, LB Chequan Burkett, LB Shaquem Griffin.

Knight Moves: Frost is coaching his final game for UCF before stepping fully into the Nebraska job. He’s the only coach moving to another job that remained behind for the bowl. … The Knights were 0-12 just two years ago before Frost was hired to replace the retiring George O’Leary. … UCF leads the nation in scoring at 49.4 points per game, topping 30 points in every contest.

AUBURN

Coach: Gus Malzahn (5th season, 45-21; overall 6th season, 54-24).

All-time postseason: 23-16-2.

Last postseason appearance: Lost to Oklahoma 35-19 in 2016 Sugar Bowl.

Draft spotlight: RB Kerryon Johnson. Took the bull by the horns in 2017 after waiting his turn, taking offensive MVP honors after rushing for 1,320 yards and 17 TDs. Johnson sees the whole field and can manipulate the defense with hesitation and patience. A big downside: He likes to run high. Read full report here.

Other Tigers to watch: G Braden Smith, OT Darius James, *CB Carlton Davis, FS Tray Matthews.

Tiger Tales: Auburn is making its 6th Peach Bowl visit and 104th game in Atlanta since its very first contest in 1892 vs. Georgia. AU is 48-47-8 in Atlanta. … UCF is the third straight team to face Auburn already boasting double-digit wins wins. Alabama and Georgia were the others. … The Tigers are one of just four FBS teams averaging more than 225 yards rushing and 225 passing.

* underclass draft prospect