Bowl game is not possible after 38-31 loss to ECU
Published: Saturday, November 19, 2011
Updated: Sunday, November 20, 2011 16:11
After failing to find consistency offensively and defensively, the football team suffered a heartbreaking 38-31 loss to ECU on Saturday in Greenville, N.C.
The loss moved the Knights to 4-7 on the season and 2-5 in Conference USA. Just a year after winning the C-USA championship and defeating Georgia in the Liberty Bowl, the Knights' chances at appearing in a bowl game have come to an end.
"I'm hurt. I'm disappointed in myself, and I'm disappointed in the whole season," UCF senior defensive end Darius Nall said in a release. "I didn't expect this at all. I'm just not feeling good about this at all."
The Knights had several chances to score and win the game late. The offense was able to tie the game at 24-24 late in the third quarter and again at 31 with four minutes left in the fourth quarter but the defense let ECU strike another big play, a 56-yard touchdown for the winning points. The offense had a chance to tie in the closing minutes but could not find the end zone from inside the 15-yard line.
The loss summed up the Knights' disappointing season and guaranteed the team would not have a postseason this year.
"We didn't make plays and had too many missed tackles," head coach George O'Leary said of his defense. "Obviously, I've got to look at that side of the ball and see what we're doing. It's just very disappointing"
In order to be eligible to appear in a bowl at the end of the season, the Knights needed to win against ECU and their final game this Saturday. Instead of playing for an opportunity to compete for a consecutive postseason appearance, the Knights will be playing for pride on Friday night against UTEP.
"It's very sad what's happened because we had high expectations," quarterback Jeff Godfrey said. "We failed as a team and obviously made a lot of mistakes this season. We've got to finish this last game. The young guys need to help the seniors get a [win]."
The Knights take on the UTEP Miners on Friday at 7 p.m. at home. The game, which will be televised on CBS Sports network, will be UCF's final matchup of the season.