It seems that class is in session for UCF football and it's definitely getting its chemistry going.
Before the season began, a sort of "Keep calm: UCF will be fine" message was given out, as much was made of the Knights having nine returning starters, practically the same defense and 20 seniors. So an 0-2 start made some fans anything but relaxed. But now we're finally starting to see UCF play complete games, for the most part, and coming up with big — and for lack of a better term, clutch — plays throughout.
Terrance Plummer recorded a career-high 17 tackles at home against BYU. Thomas Niles became the first player in UCF history to record at least one sack in six straight games. The defense held BYU to at least three three-and-outs in the first half. In fact, the Cougars didn't convert on third down until the second quarter. Although the defense allowed BYU to put up 24 unanswered points, it showed its growth by not allowing the Cougars to score any more after about the nine-minute mark of the third quarter.
The offense, which easily had the most adjustments to make, is proving to be not only resilient, but more talented than some may have expected. Being down two touchdowns with nine minutes left in the third quarter is something that could easily shake up a young quarterback. Justin Holman actually threw an interception, which gave BYU great position to score its final touchdown off a 14-yard pass. But he also didn't quit. He kept his composure and helped will the team to score two more times and ultimately force overtime. Down the stretch, Holman completed some nice passes to Breshad Perriman, Josh Reese and even the game-winningtouchdown pass to William Stanback. After the game, Holman credited his teammates for keeping him encouraged and his head in the game.
Now having won three straight games, UCF is getting things flowing and learning how to grind a win out in less-than-ideal situations. They may not be the 2013 Knights, but they don't have to be. In my eyes, they sure look to have the resiliency of that squad and any successful group before them.