UCF head coach George O'Leary wasn't all that surprised when reviewing the film from Saturday's 38-10 drubbing at the hands of Missouri.
What he saw from the sideline — turnovers, penalties, missed tackles and missed blocks — proved to be a reality in the film room.
And it didn't take long for O'Leary to get to work on correcting those shortcomings. While preparing for its next opponent — the Bethune Cookman Wildcats — UCF got back to basics.
UCF hopes to have those things corrected when it squares off against Bethune-Cookman at 6 p.m. Saturday. The Wildcats are ranked No. 13 in the Football Championship Series and won their conference last season.
Despite being an FCS program, Bethune-Cookman knocked off Florida International to open the season, and followed it up by defeating Grambling State.
With a solid collection of athletes offensively, securing tackling will be crucial.
"Some of the things we needed to work on was tackling," senior linebacker Troy Gray said. "We had a lot of missed tackles. Normally when you miss tackles, that's when big plays happen."
Missed tackles also contributed to Missouri running for more than 175 yards and converting on 10 of 14 third downs. Even missed tackles in the backfield proved to be momentum killers, as Maty Mauk routinely made plays with his feet, some of which resulted in touchdown passes.
For a UCF defense that returns much of its starting unit from last season, poor angles and a lack of attacking ball carriers have been the focus this week defensively. The week started Monday with tackling segments in practice in order to stop the bleeding.
"You can only form tackle so much, even the pros are starting to show it," O'Leary said. "It's like teaching blocking — you have to do it live."
Due to rule changes, spring practices are limited and contact is also limited — and tackling has suffered.
Offensively, the line parted like the Red Sea which resulted in Justin Holman being sacked six times, and also falling victim to numerous hits within the pocket.
UCF experimented with various alterations to the offensive line during the game, including playing freshman Chavis Dickey, and moving Michael Campbell to left guard.
"I think later in the game we didn't sustain [blocks] and get off blocks," O'Leary said. "Some of our better, more experienced players have to start playing to their potential."
The Missouri defensive line was able to beat UCF's offensive line across the board, which handicapped the offense's ability to move the ball. Left tackle Torrian Wilson, a four-year starter, was among the players who was beaten consistently.
But the basics could make all the difference Saturday.