The CFF sports staff weighs in: What should fans look forward to in 2012-2013?
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 17:04
With the likes of Mackenzie Audas, another standout freshman, and Ali Schmidt carrying the team with lights-out pitching, a UCF team struggling to score can only rely so heavily on its defense.
During the Knights’ only televised game of the season, and with an opportunity to showcase her clutch abilities, Sullivan doubled in the only two runs of the win against the Gators.
It is hard to imagine a box score without the offensive firepower of Sullivan.
Sullivan is already the supplier of the majority of runs, and it remains to be seen how she can possibly become a bigger presence in the middle of UCF’s lineup.
--Miranda Burgan, Women's Basketball Beat Writer
It’s all about the ‘D,’ football will improve
The UCF football team’s defense appears back to its dominant form.
Coming off of a rough season in 2011, these guys dominated all spring and were exceptional in the Spring Game.
Troy Davis, Jonathon Davis and Victor Gray return to form a dominating front seven and a core for the defensive unit.
The Knights’ defense is typically known for a good pass rush and forcing turnovers. Both Davises and the rotation of Cam Henderson and Toby Jackson at defensive end look to form an intimidating pass rush.
The linebackers are much more athletic this season.
Ray Shipman, an ex-Florida Gator basketball player, has stepped in at outside linebacker and is one of the team’s top athletes.
Terrance Plummer is also an exciting young player. The sophomore is taking over the middle linebacker spot and is around the ball a lot.
A.J. Bouye and Kemal Ishmael are back for the Knights as the senior leaders in the secondary.
The guy to watch this season is Clayton Geathers. Geathers is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound safety with big time potential. Geathers is now a redshirt sophomore and is due to make a big jump in his play. Sophomore Brandon Alexander is likely who will take the place of NFL-bound Josh Robinson.
The 2011 season was an apparition for the Knights.
But 2012 is a new year, and I think that this team will at least double the 2011 win total.
The Knights will have a chance to make a statement early in the season, traveling to “The Big House,” to play Ohio State.
-- Ryan Gillespie, Football Beat Writer
Final year in Conference USA should be about banners
The Conference USA farewell tour is sure to be a yearlong event full of vengeful officials, final showdowns and the tears of East Carolina fans.
UCF will be looking towards the Promised Land – aka the Big East – but will have to face all of its C-USA foes one more time, promising an entertaining year for fans.
Will the Blake Bortles-led Knights be able to have the last laugh over ECU, Marshall and Southern Miss?
What type of injury will Tom Herrion fake to give his Marshall squad the upper hand? Possibly appendicitis?
Will the high school in Texas finally figure out that Rice has been using its gymnasium for the past 50 years?
These questions are just part of the reason why I’m so excited for next year, and the fans should be, too.
Fans should take the upcoming athletic year as a chance to relish in the moments C-USA has provided the school.
The conference may have been used as a stepping stone to the Big East historically, but some of the school’s greatest moments have come as a member of C-USA.
And for that, the school owes its C-USA brethren proper goodbyes – and by goodbyes, I mean multiple beatings.
I can’t think of any better way for the Knights to leave the conference than by winning a conference championship in every sport possible, and that’s what next year will be all about.
But the year will be all about how UCF leaves C-USA.
The Knights will have only one chance to leave a last impression, and here’s to hoping it’s one that involves championship banners.
--Andy Zunz, Baseball Beat Writer