Godfrey leads offense in 27-6 spring game win
Published: Sunday, April 17, 2011
Updated: Sunday, April 17, 2011 16:04
As a jittery true freshman a few months removed from high school, Jeff Godfrey, in his first spring game, was competing with Rob Calabrese for the Knights' starting quarterback job.
Things are different this year.
It was made evident Saturday that Godfrey doesn't have those jitters any more.
Godfrey's spring performance solidified his role as UCF's franchise quarterback for the next three years, as if it wasn't already clear.
In the 27-6 offensive team's victory over the defensive team, the sophomore's highlight of the day was a 38-yard touchdown scamper where the shifty signal-caller was nearly untouched by the defenders.
"He's showing more poise in the pocket and he's reading coverage better and obviously he can take a bad play and make a good play out of it," said head coach George O'Leary. "He's improved his poise in the pocket and his decision making throwing the ball."
Godfrey completed 18 of 23 passes for 163 yards and rushed for 59 yards.
Godfrey's cousin Ray Shipman, an ex-basketball player who transferred from Florida, stood out at the linebacker position. Shipman, who is expected to start at outside linebacker, stood out to O'Leary after recording five tackles with two for losses.
"I'm making strides and improving every day," Shipman said. "Going into the spring I knew I was going to be kind of rusty and have some bad practices, but I didn't want to ever play backward."
Shipman also nearly had an interception off backup quarterback Blake Bortles, but dropped it.
"I thought that Shipman showed up a lot," O'Leary said. "I'll have to look over tape. The eye in the sky doesn't lie."
O'Leary had questioned his players on defense earlier in the spring on whether any leaders would step up during the spring to replace Bruce Miller. Miller's replacement at defensive end, Troy Davis, did just that.
Davis, a junior, registered five sacks and six tackles and proved to O'Leary and defensive coordinator John Skladany that he is ready to take on the role.
"He can make plays, he's got speed off the edge," O'Leary said. "What you saw today is what's he's been doing for most of the spring and I've been very pleased with that."
Coming off the most successful season in program history, Davis and Godfrey have lofty goals this year of running the table to become a BCS-buster program among the likes of TCU and Boise State.
"We have that [BCS-buster] belief," Godfrey said. "We had it last year, you see, when we went to the bowl game and won our first bowl game. I think we got it this year, we just need to come together as a team."