Don’t blame Godfrey; go back to the option
Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 16:10
You can blame turnovers or poor special teams play for the losses this season, but don't blame quarterback Jeff Godfrey. Blame the play calling.
Many like to blame Godfrey for the sputtering offense. Head coach George O'Leary has, too, having put in back-up quarterback Blake Bortles for the second half against UAB.
But O'Leary is trying to fix the problem with the wrong tool. A new quarterback is not the answer, and special teams and turnovers aren't the biggest problems.
The problem is this: Godfrey is not being allowed to do what he does best.
Run the option.
The lack of big plays, running game on the road and ultimately wins, can be solved by going back to the basics and running the option that Godfrey has such a great feel for.
Most of last season's big plays came off play action, faking the quarterback option read and throwing deep against single coverage. Godfrey also picked up big gains with his legs.
Going back to the option will give the Knights a fighting chance to stay alive in Conference USA. With five conference games left on the schedule, most notably the games on the road against Southern Miss and East Carolina, UCF could conceivably play for a conference championship if it wins out.
But the only way the Knights can do that is by doing what they do best. The Knights, as much as they don't want to be, are an option team.
This may not sit well with Old School O'Leary.
For a guy who took a step forward last season by putting his stubbornness to the side for what works best with his personnel, he has taken two steps back in trying to make the offense something it is not this season.
Like it or not, the option is what this team is. It may be a bit gimmicky or even fashionable, which certainly does not describe O'Leary, but it works.
The Knights can get more big plays from the option and take the lead early like they did last season, allowing the defensive line to pin its ears back and apply pressure to the pass-happy C-USA offenses that the Knights are about to face in the second half of their schedule.
Although this defense has struggled in games against SMU and UAB, there is no doubt it is the best defense in the conference.
The coaching staff needs to go back to what works and recommit to Godfrey and the option. The Knights have two weeks at home to figure it out before hitting the road again when they travel to Mississippi.
Going to the option is the only option.