The UCF football season began on Aug. 30, but the way the Knights have played, fans may want to wish the 0-2 start was just an exhibition-game record.
I can give them a pass on Penn State. It's your first game of the season with a redshirt freshman playing quarterback overseas. Then, midway through and a couple scores down, he has to be switched out for his backup who fought hard to get the win but the defense couldn't hold on. The first game is a game of adjustments, so dropping that one is acceptable.
Although Missouri is a top 25 ranked SEC team, UCF beat itself for a huge chunk of that game. The defense seemed to be the problem in the beginning. Maty Mauk was out there running a muck on the Knights. He had plenty of time to do practically whatever he wanted. Mauk ultimately finished with 144 yards and four touchdown passes in the 35-10 Tigers victory. UCF's defense only forced one turnover from Mauk, which didn't even lead to a touchdown.
The Knights recorded six penalties for 58 yards in the game. From where I was watching, it looked like a lot more than that. Sloppy and uninspired play racked up a few of those in my opinion.
Then the offensive line opened up a world of issues. Holman looked good in this game … when he wasn't face down in the turf. He was sacked six times in the contest. Even when he wasn't sacked, he took hit after hit, mainly in the second half, right as he released the ball. The offensive line did a mediocre job at protecting him and for the effort he showed, he didn't deserve that. I'm sure he needed a big ice bath after all of that. We saw some pretty nice catches when Holman was able to connect with receivers, but Breshad Perriman dropped three passes that could have given UCF a great lift.
I'm not sure what the players are feeling in the locker room. Maybe they've been away from home too long and they'll turn it around on Saturday. Before the season started, the team released season ticket commercial highlighting what people said they couldn't do in the past and prompting people to "come see what they can't do next." Can they change the course of this rocky weather? One can only hope.