When the Missouri Tigers come to Orlando Saturday, it will mark the first time UCF will host a Southeastern Conference opponent at Bright House Networks Stadium. A win against the Tigers would go down in UCF history.
"You've got to win those games if you want to get any notoriety," UCF head coach George O'Leary said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. "It's an important game. I think any time you can bring the SEC into your house it should be a big deal with your fan base and everybody else concerned with the game."
The Tigers (2-2, 0-2) are coming off a 31-10 loss against the South Carolina Gamecocks.
"Looking at them, they looked a little bit out of sync against South Carolina," O'Leary said. "But they're a very, very good defense. They got a bunch of guys back that play a lot of ball for them. I think they've got some outstanding players on defense."
The Knights have had success against SEC schools in the past. Back in 2000 UCF defeated Alabama 40-38 in Tuscaloosa and in 2010 the Knights defeated Georgia 10-6 in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
O'Leary knows how physical SEC teams can be and he expects the Tigers to to be just that.
"They are a talented football team," O'Leary said. "They have everything that's supposed to happen - athleticism, size and speed. So we are going to have our work cut out for us."
Saturday's contest will also be UCF's final non-conference game of the season. A victory against Missouri would give the Knights a lot of momentum heading into Conference USA play.
"It is important because we start our conference right after in four days with East Carolina on Thursday," O'Leary said. "So it's always a better Sunday when you get a win on Saturday, especially with a short week."