Military Bowl Preview: Duke vs. UCF Insights


Dec 28, 2022

Bowl season rolls on as the Military Bowl between the Duke Blue Devils and the UCF Knights is the first of four bowls on Wednesday.

Duke was one of the big surprises in the ACC as they went 8-4 in the regular season during head coach Mike Elko’s first season. Fittingly, they also went 8-4 ATS. The Blue Devils have won four of their last five games and are making their first postseason appearance since the 2018 Independence Bowl.

UCF finished 9-4, losing in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game against Tulane. However, the Knights may have overachieved as they went just 7-6 ATS in 2022 and 2-2 over their last four games. This is UCF’s 14th bowl appearance and sixth-straight season with a postseason appearance.

The Military Bowl provides another chance for a Group of Five program to knock off a Power Five team. As of publishing, the ACC has a 2-0 bowl record, while the AAC sits at 3-2. 

Key Military Bowl Presented by Peraton Matchup:
  • Duke is 4-1 (.800) when allowing less than 50% of third-down conversion opportunities
  • UCF is 7-1 (.778) when converting 55% or more of its red zone chances into touchdowns 
Duke Blue Devils Insights:
  • Duke is 7-2 (.636) when rushing at least four yards in a play ten or more times
  • Duke is 4-1 (.800) when allowing less than 50% of third-down conversion opportunities
  • Duke is undefeated (5-0) when committing less than 60 yards in penalties
  • Duke’s defense has allowed 21.0 receptions per game since the 2021 season, the worst among ACC defenses.
  • Duke’s defense has allowed seven rushing TDs this season which is the fewest among ACC defenses.
UCF Knights Insights:
  • Ryan O’Keefe (UCF) has 156 receptions in 25 games (6.2 per game) since the 2021 season, tied for ninth-best of Qualified Skill Players.
  • UCF’s QBs have 11 rushing touchdowns this season, tied for fifth-most among FBS teams.
  • John Rhys Plumlee (UCF) has ten rushing touchdowns this season which is tied for the fifth-most among Qualified Quarterbacks.
Thumbnail photo via Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

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