Looking forward: Previewing the 2012 season Week Twelve — vs UAB Blazers
Published: Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 15:07
If the UCF Knights were hoping for a game to gain momentum with the regular season drawing to a close and the Knights hopefully heading into bowl season, UAB was definitely a good choice.
A season ago, the lackluster Blazers were 108th in points for and 110th in points against.
An abysmal 3-9 record.
The bad news?
One of those wins was against UCF.
What to look for
The Knights clearly overlooked the Blazers last year, as UAB amassed 501 yards against UCF’s then-No. 3 rated defense. In the last game of the 2012 regular season, the Knights cannot afford to overlook anyone. The key in this final stretch is to gain positive momentum, follow the game plan and get out both with a win and as healthy as possible.
To do this, UCF will need to get ahead early.
Jeff Godfrey struggled under center against UAB last year, with 133 yards and one interception in the game. Godfrey could not make up for his lackluster passing performance on the ground, as he only gained 13 yards rushing. Blake Bortles saw some action after Godfrey was pulled and helped UCF regain momentum and get back into the contest late.
UAB had no true standout offensive weapons last season. The Blazers severely struggled to pass the ball, which had a lot to do with their struggle to score. UAB’s quarterback, Jonathan Perry, is now a year older, and after enduring such a rough season, he may be ready to make a jump in his production. Look for him to be better in 2012 and against the Knights — but will that be enough?
It’s unlikely. UCF is a good enough team offensively to build a respectable lead and is good enough on defense to keep the UAB scoring to a minimum.
Something to keep in mind is that good teams beat the teams that they are supposed to beat and also put themselves in good situations against quality teams. This will be the major storyline for the Knights in 2012. If they are going to have a good season, as is expected with the Knights being picked to finish first in the Eastern Division of Conference USA by a poll the Houston Chronicle conducted, then these type of games are must-wins. The same sense of urgency used against Ohio State should be utilized against UAB.
If UCF proves to be able to play with the same sense of urgency every week, then it will be in a good position once the regular season is over. But if the Knights slip up against a beatable team, then their last game of the season will be against the Blazers, and they will not be bowling — again.