The 2022 Military Bowl features the 9-4 UCF Knights against the 8-4 Duke Blue Devils. Here is the 2022 Military Bowl preview.
UCF Knights (9-4)
UCF won nine games to make their seventh-straight bowl game. They have wins over UCF, Cincinnati, Memphis and SMU, who are all playing in bowl games. Their only loss to a team that was not bowl-eligible was to Navy.
The Knights score 34.4 points per game, ranking them 26th in the country. They pass for 244.5 yards (ranked 55th) and rush for 236.1 yards per game (ranked 8th).
John Rhys Plumlee got the nod as starting quarterback this year. He has 2,404 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 63.1 percent completion. Plumlee has been injured over the last several weeks of the season and to make things worse backup Mickey Keene is in the transfer portal. Four players had over 250 receiving yards, but second-leading receiver Ryan O’Keefe is in the transfer portal. Javon Baker has the team high with 747 yards on 54 catches for five touchdowns.
Four players have at least 300 rushing yards this season. Plumlee is the leading rusher from the quarterback positon with 841 yards and 11 touchdowns. RJ Harvey and Isaiah Bowser each have had solid seasons at the running back position with 767 and 760 rushing yards respectively.
Defensively, the Knights allow 23.2 points per game, which is 39th in the FBS. They give up 226.1 passing yards (ranked 73rd) and 156.2 rushing yards per game (ranked 76th). Jason Johnson has led the team with 122 total tackles this season. Tre’mon Morris-Brash has a team-high six sacks. Corey Thornton has made plays in the secondary with seven passes defended.
Duke Blue Devils (8-4)
Duke won eight games to make their first bowl game since 2018. They have one win over a bowl-eligible team: Wake Forest. Their only loss of the season to a team who didn’t qualify for a bowl was to Georgia Tech.
The Blue Devils score 33.1 points per game, which ranks 34th in the country. They average 236.4 passing yards (ranked 60th) and 184.8 rushing yards per game (ranked 40th).
Riley Leonard has emerged as a solid quarterback for the Blue Devils. He has passed for 2,794 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions on 63.6 percent completion. Four receivers have at least 300 receiving yards on the season. Jalon Calhoun has been the best receiver on the team with 56 catches for 811 yards and four touchdowns.
Leonard leads the team in rushing as a quarterback with 636 yards and 11 touchdowns. Jordan Waters, Jaquez Moore and Jaylen Coleman have all been productive backs this season with 561, 465 and 421 rushing yards respectively.
On defense, they concede 22.8 points per game, tying them for 37th in FBS. They give up 262.2 passing yards (ranked 109th) and 121.1 rushing yards per game (ranked 25th). Linebacker Shaka Heyward has a team-high 93 tackles. DeWayne Carter and Brandon Johnson are tied for the team lead with 5.5 sacks. Johnson also has seven passes defended and two interceptions this season.
With UCF’s transfers and opt-outs, Duke is favored in this game. They should be able to get the win, especially if UCF has top play their third-string quarterback.
Duke Blue Devils 33 UCF Knights 27
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