Reeling from 2-10 record last season, Tigers shouldn’t pose huge threat for UCF
Published: Sunday, July 8, 2012
Updated: Sunday, July 8, 2012 15:07
The UCF Knights are in for one of their few “cupcake” games on the schedule when they travel to Memphis to face the Tigers. At 2-10 last season, Memphis was beat down repeatedly, including a 41-0 shellacking by UCF in Orlando.
What to look for
Memphis does have a few signs of hope, though, such as its returning starting quarterback Taylor Reed, who was a freshman starter last season. Reed completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and only threw four interceptions.
The Tigers’ leading rusher last season, Billy Foster, has switched to wide receiver, opening the door for Artaves Gibson, a rising sophomore, to take over the reins in the backfield.
Defensively, the Tigers were just plain bad last season, allowing an appalling average of 35.1 points per game throughout the campaign.
Look for the Knights to strike early and often and have the starters out of the game by the middle of the third quarter.
This is a chance for quarterback Blake Bortles and his offensive unit to light up the scoreboard on the road and really develop, or build upon, some momentum at the halfway point of the season.
In last year’s matchup UCF outgained Memphis 505-134 in total yards, including Jeff Godfrey completing 14 of 17 passes for 200 yards and a pair of scores. Godfrey also added 97 yards rushing and another score to his name. Bortles made an appearance in last season’s contest too, completing six of 10 passes for 44 yards.
The Knights have an opportunity in this game to get a lot of different players into the action. A lot of freshmen and other inexperienced roster members could find themselves getting some extended action with a chance to flash some of their ability to the coaches.
In a game like this, Bortles should come out aggressive and look down the field for big gains, as in the second half if all goes well, the backs will be getting their carries in a blowout game.
Expect to see more Brynn Harvey and less Storm Johnson and Latavius Murray.
Despite all of that, it has to be mentioned that the Knights can’t fall asleep at the wheel in this game, either, with big conference games coming up against a solid Marshall team and a good Southern Methodist squad looming in the future. Memphis may be a pushover for the time being, but the program is furiously trying to turn things around as it, too, will be making the jump to the Big East in 2013.