The last New Year’s Six bowl game before the College Football Playoff is the 2018 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Undefeated UCF and battle-tested Auburn will go head to head. Here is the 2018 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl preview:
12 UCF Golden Knights (12-0)
UCF completed an undefeated season, but was unable to get anywhere close to the CFP. They had their game against Georgia Tech cancelled, but that wouldn’t have done much to help their resume. The Golden Knights beat six bowl eligible teams, including Memphis twice to get to their twelve wins.
The offense scores 49.4 points per game with the running game averaging over 200 yards per game. Adrian Killins Jr. averages 6.8 yards per carry with 762 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. His backup, Otis Anderson, has 456 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback McKenzie Milton is a threat with his legs too, with 497 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
Milton also operates a good passing offense with 3,795 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 69.2% completion. He has generated a lot of offense this season for the Golden Knights. His leading receiver is Tre’Quan Smith, who has 1,082 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
They have an average scoring defense that allows 25.2 points per game. UCF ranks 68th against the run and 110th against the pass. Linebacker Shaquem Griffin has been a star for the Golden Knights with 62 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks this season.
7 Auburn Tigers (10-3)
The Tigers would’ve been in the CFP had they won the SEC Championship Game, but lost to Georgia. Their other losses were to Clemson and LSU. They beat five bowl eligible teams, which includes their big wins over Alabama and Georgia.
Offensively, Auburn scores 34.4 points per game and does a lot of damage on the ground. Kerryon Johnson was the SEC’s leading rusher with 1,320 yards and 17 touchdowns. Kam Martin and Kamryn Pettway also get some work, but Johnson gets the bulk of it with 236 carries.
Jarrett Stidham has been efficient at quarterback for Auburn, completing 66.7% of his passes. They don’t throw the most, but he has 2,827 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Ryan Davis is the leading receiver with 76 receptions for 768 yards and five touchdowns.
The defense ranks 10th in the country, allowing 17.3 points per game. They rank 31st against the run and 15th against the pass. Corner Carlton Davis has shut down opposing receivers this season. He has 34 total tackles, one interception and 10 passes defended.
UCF’s defense is going to be gashed by the Auburn running game. Johnson will have a big game, which will set up Stidham in the passing game. While the UCF offense is good, Auburn’s defense will get enough stops to in the game.
Auburn Tigers 48 UCF Golden Knights 27