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In a month, UCF players, coaches and fans could all look back at Saturday's loss to UConn, and see that the results loom larger than the eight points on the scoreboard indicated.

The Knights have spent much of the season looking up at East Carolina in both the conference standings and the national polls. Because both teams lost last week, the status quo remains the same. However, UCF finds itself now clumped together in a five-way tie with one loss. Had UCF pulled out the win, as most of America expected, it would be alone in first place.

The good news for UCF is that of the five-way tie, much of it will cannibalize itself over the next month. For example, next Thursday, ECU travels to face Cincinnati, another one-loss team. Cincinnati also still faces one-loss Houston.

As UCF begins its preparation to face Tulsa next week, the players will be informed of the importance of the final four conference games.

Related: UConn pulls off the upset over UCF

"[I'll] make sure they thoroughly understand where we are in the conference and what we have to do to get where our goal is — to reach the conference championship," UCF head coach George O'Leary said.

Saturday marked UCF's first loss in the American Athletic Conference, and faces three of the bottom five teams in the conference before it takes on East Carolina. Unless either team slips up in November, that game still could decide the conference.

"I don't think I have to tell [the players] anything; they know exactly what transpired on Saturday," O'Leary said. "I think we could have been sitting very pretty, not just in the conference, but a possible access bowl."

UCF still is as dangerous as any team in the conference — despite the loss to UConn who is just 2-6 overall. The UCF defense still is No. 10 in total defense, and sports an offense that albeit inconsistent, has a bevy of big-play receivers that have proven to produce weekly.

Through eight games, the only thing that is clear for the Knights is that their work has only just begun.

"I'm in this game to win championships, that's what [my] job is," O'Leary said. "We just made it tougher for ourselves, that's all."

American Athletic Conference Standings

East Carolina

Conference record:3-1

Overall record: 6-2

Cincinnati

Conference record: 3-1

Overall record: 5-3

Houston

Conference record: 3-1

Overall record: 5-3

Memphis

Conference record: 3-1

Overall record: 5-3

UCF

Conference record: 3-1

Overall record: 5-3

Temple

Conference record: 3-2

Overall record: 5-3

USF

Conference record: 2-3

Overall record: 3-6

Tulane

Conference record: 1-3

Overall record: 2-6

Tulsa

Conference record: 1-3

Overall record: 1-7

UConn

Conference record: 1-4

Overall record: 2-6

SMU

Conference record: 0-3

Overall record: 0-7

UCF statistical profile

Total offense

National rank: 112

Totals: 330.1 yards per game

Rushing offense

National rank: 114

Total: 105.3 yards per game

Passing offense

National rank: 71

Total: 224.9 yards per game

Scoring offense

National rank: 87

Total: 25.8 points per game

Total defense

National rank: 10

Total: 308.3 yards per game

Rushing defense

National rank: 19

Total: 119.4 yards per game

Passing yards allowed

National rank: 17

Total: 188.9 yards per game

Scoring defense

National rank: 27

Total: 21.4 points per game

Red zone offense

National rank: 82

Total: .806

Red zone defense

National rank: 11

Total: .714

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