This weekend's contest against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-2, 6-0) will be one of the most significant regular season games the UCF Knights (8-2, 6-0) will play this season and in program history. For the second week in a row, the Knights will travel west to a different time zone, will play for the C-USA East Division title and will play for home field advantage in the conference championship game.
On top of all of that, the Knights are facing the C-USA West Division leader and a team with the exact same record as them. This will also be the latest the two leaders in each division have faced each other since Conference USA went to divisional play in 2005.
"It's a big game for us," senior safety Kemal Ishmael said. "Just having home field advantage for the conference championship [game] is going to be huge. We'll be playing our part."
"We have a lot of seniors who all want to achieve the same goal, great coaches, the offense is playing well, the defense is playing well," Ishmael continued. "It's everybody doing their part and just getting the job done."
No team in the conference has been able to take down the Knights this season. UCF head coach George O'Leary said since C-USA play began the Knights have been a completely different team and have matured into a dominant squad since the beginning of October.
The Knights will have to use that maturity and experience against the Golden Hurricane this weekend in Tulsa. Both UCF and Tulsa are ranked in the top three in Conference USA in scoring offense, rushing offense, scoring defense, rushing defense and total defense.
"I love the challenge and the whole offense loves the challenge," senior running back Latavius Murray said. "We know how hard we have to work during the week to go out there and make the yards we need to make."
"We have our work cut out for us and we're working hard to improve," senior center Jordan Rae said.
One player UCF is going to rely on in this historic conference matchup is Murray. The New York native has played very well in the past four games, running for 620 yards and 10 total touchdowns. Murray's contribution -- as well as stopping Tulsa's trio of running backs -- will play a key role in the game, according to the seniors.
"We have to be able to run the ball, but that's every week and we definitely have to make sure we do it this week to open up the rest of the offense," Murray said.