Missing pieces are finally in place for historic season
Published: Monday, September 5, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 10:09
One down, 11 to go.
Saturday's 62-0 whooping of Charleston Southern proved that the Knights did not overlook the Buccaneers of the Big South Conference and showed that Jeff Godfrey and the Knights are focused on a 12-0 season.
That's right, I said 12-0 season. Godfrey believes the Knights can accomplish this feat, and I do, too.
What, you haven't had any of the black and gold Kool-Aid yet?
I realize that Charleston Southern is a Football Championship Subdivision team – a very bad one. But when you're playing these types of schools, not only do you have to win, but you have to win convincingly. The Knights did just that.
The last time UCF played an awful FCS school was last season when they played South Dakota. The Knights won 38-7, but I wasn't entirely convinced. The offense showed some uncertainty at quarterback with Rob Calabrese under center. The defense still let up a touchdown, which to me is completely unacceptable against an FCS opponent. The Knights won, but it wasn't convincing.
This time, things were different.
Godfrey outran Charleston Southern's defensive backs. UCF's three-headed monster of a rushing attack was unstoppable, having fresh legs on every offensive series. The new-look John Skladany-led defense completely shut out Charleston Southern's offense, not letting them move the ball until UCF's third-stringers entered the game in the fourth quarter.
The Knights' offense did look a little bit one-dimensional, as Godfrey and his backup, Blake Bortles, only attempted 10 passes apiece. But was passing even necessary? Charleston Southern's linemen looked like they were still in high school, so the Knights could have won the game without even attempting a forward pass. I wouldn't be too worried about the lack of a vertical threat against the Buccaneers, though, because the Knights have even more weapons on offense for Godfrey to work with.
Even though the Knights lost Kamar Aiken and Jamar Newsome to graduation, the wide receivers looked crisp. A.J. Guyton, Quincy McDuffie, Josh Reese and J.J. Worton stood out, especially. Senior tight end Adam Nissley found himself wide open on many plays, has shown NFL potential and continues to have an increased role in the offense.
Things are going to be different this year. You thought the Knights were good last year with their 11-3 record, Conference USA title and Liberty Bowl win? They look even better this year.
The Knights lost three games last season, all of which were lost by only 10 points or fewer. Ten points. That's it.
It seems like UCF has the missing pieces to get over that 10-point hump.
Who says the Knights can't be a BCS buster?
With momentum carrying over from last season, a cakewalk schedule and their All-American quarterback in Godfrey, they can.