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The War on I-4: Ranking Each Game From Worst to Best

South Florida leads the series 6-2 but there have been some nail-biters along the way

NCAA Football: Central Florida at South Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This may not be as historic of a matchup as Florida/Florida State but there have been some great matchups in this rivalry’s short history. As the Bulls and the Knights get ready for their biggest matchup to date, lets take a look at the series history from the worst games to the best.

8. November 26, 2015 (Orlando): South Florida 44, UCF 3

There were no surprises in this game as the Knights were coming into the final week of the season with an 0-11 record. Many thought that the Knights would treat this as their bowl game and show up to give the Bulls a run for their money. Those who thought that were seriously mistaken. Quinton Flowers accounted for 5 touchdowns as South Florida steamrolled UCF to end a miserable season for the Knights.

7. October 6, 2007 (Tampa): #5 South Florida 64, UCF 12

This was a one-sided performance by what was the hottest team in the country at that time. UCF turned the ball over three times and could only scape up 145 total yards as the Bulls absolutely embarrassed the Knights in front of a sold-out crowd. The Bulls would go on to lose their next three games in a row and UCF would go on a seven-game winning streak to close out the regular season.

6. November 28, 2014 (Orlando): UCF 16, South Florida 0

This was a defensive battle as neither team was able to find much success on offense. South Florida was having another tough year entering the game at 4-7 and only about half of the stadium was full. There was a lack of fireworks as the Knights went on to win for the second season in a row.

5. September 17, 2005 (Tampa): South Florida 31, UCF 14

This was the long-awaited inaugural meeting between UCF and South Florida in football. The game was dominated by the Bulls as the Knights struggled to find any success on the offensive side of the ball. Kevin Smith was just a freshman at the time and had two carries for zero yards while Andre Hall lead the Bulls offense in production. I doubt at the time these teams thought they’d be meeting 12 years later in a top-25 conference matchup to decide who wins their division.

4. November 26, 2016 (Tampa): South Florida 48, UCF 31

With Scott Frost at the helm in his first season and South Florida looking for their first ever 10+ win season, this was certain to be a great matchup. UCF had gone toe-to-toe with all of their opponents, losing some close games in the final minutes. They just weren’t ready to beat the best team in the conference at the time. The Knights were within a touchdown at the start of the 4th quarter but the Bulls pulled away, including a garbage time touchdown with 11 seconds left. At the end of the game, Frost told Taggart “he’d remember that last touchdown.”

3. September 16, 2006 (Orlando): South Florida 24, UCF 17

The second time UCF squared off with South Florida was a lot more entertaining. The Bulls took on the Knights in Orlando in their final season of playing at the Citrus Bowl. With 3:20 left in the game, the Bulls went up by a touchdown on a 27-yard pass play. UCF had a chance to tie but their 70-yard drive was cut short by a Steven Moffet fumble with 30 seconds left.

2. November 29, 2013 (Orlando): #19 UCF 23, South Florida 20

With UCF’s 10-1 record and South Florida’s 2-8 record, nobody saw this game being as close as it was. This was the first time each team played each other since South Florida chose not to continue the series after the 2008 season. Early in the 4th quarter, the Bulls took the lead 20-16. After a few punts, an interception thrown by Bortles, and a missed field goal by South Florida, Bortles was able to hit Perriman for a 52-yard touchdown to take a 23-20 lead. With a 1:20 left in the game, the Knights picked off Mike White to secure their first win against the Bulls.

1. September 6, 2008 (Orlando): #17 South Florida 31, UCF 24 OT

A ranked South Florida team came to Orlando and got a run for their money in this overtime win against the Knights. With 1:40 left in the 4th quarter, quarterback Michael Greco hit Rocky Ross for a 31-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. With 11 seconds left, South Florida missed the go-ahead field goal forcing the game into overtime. After the Bulls scored, UCF went for it on 4th down but was stopped short, giving South Florida their 4th consecutive win against UCF. After this thriller, South Florida administration chose not to continue the series.

2017 Score Prediction: UCF 55, South Florida 35