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Can UCF stop Quinton Flowers and other USF-UCF questions

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Five questions to ponder about the USF-UCF game:

Can freshman McKenzie Milton play well enough to keep up with the Bulls?

Doesn’t everyone? As marvelous as USF’s offense has been all season, their defense has struggled. The Bulls are ranked No. 120 (out of 128) teams at stopping their opponent this year. Yes, they’ve made game-saving plays the last two weeks against Memphis and SMU, but don’t confuse that with solid defense. USF is tied for 85th in scoring defesne.

Milton has been hurt, and his play has fallen off some for the Knights. But UCF has the country’s 35th-best defense, which gives the team a shot. The only better defense the Bulls have played this year is Temple’s.

Can USF’s Quinton Flowers get to 4,000 yards of total offense?

If he does, USF will run away with the game. But Flowers is averaging 333.8 yards per game, and he’s 328 away from the magical figure. Flowers is ninth in the country in total offense, less than three yards behind Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.

Can Marlon Mack crack 1,000 yards again?

He should do more than that. He has 982 yards going into the UCF game.

If you’ve watched the USF games, you’ve seen good offense-bad defense all season. Why should it change now?

Should USF be worried that another school will snap up coach Willie Taggart?

Maybe. Taggart has been very good for two straight seasons now, and a lot of teams are going to notice. At this point, however, Taggart’s resume probably isn’t enough to get a job like, say, Texas. So where would he go? Taggart is better off at USF than he would be at, say, Purdue or Iowa State.

It’s always a tricky thing as coaches move up. You want to make sure you have a chance to compete. Taggart likes it here. He’s got a good thing going, and he’s near his hometown. The guess is he’s here for another year.

How about UCF’s Scott Frost?

That’s a trickier proposition. Frost was loved at Oregon, which has struggled mightily. That could be a fit, even though Frost has had only one year with the Knights.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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