UCF-BC Preview: Knights Take on Eagles in Statement GameFootball, Sports — By Allen Levin on September 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm Tweet
George O’Leary might be saying that the Knights non-conference game against Boston College tomorrow night is simply just a matchup between two Division I schools, but let’s be clear about one thing: It’s a statement game.
After UCF enjoyed its most successful season in program history, capped off by beating an SEC school in a bowl game, the only way the Knights can continue to progress is by beating name schools like BC that are in automatic qualifying conferences.
So, tomorrow’s matchup against the Eagles at Bright House Networks Stadium at 8 p.m. will be a game where the Knights can show just how far they’ve come.
It will be no easy feat, but if the Knights execute similar to the way they did in their 62-0 thrashing of Charleston Southern last week, they will have an excellent shot of beating their ACC foes.
Scouting Report- Boston College
The Eagles are coming off a close loss to Northwestern in the team’s season opener last week. Boston College trailed by 14 points in the 4th quarter, but came within a touchdown with six minutes to play.
BC had a chance to even the score in the final two minutes, but the Wildcats defense stepped up to the plate and made the necessary stops for a 24-17 victory.
The Boston College defense had trouble containing a fast-paced Northwestern offense that racked up 227 yards on the ground.
The Eagles will again be without their star senior runningback Montel Harris, who rushed for over 1,200 yards last season. Freshman back Andre Williams did a good job filling in for Harris, with 106 yards and two TD’s against Northwestern.
BC, who boasted one of the top defenses in the nation last year, allowed an uncharacteristic 424 total yards in the defeat.
Scouting Report- UCF
The Knights are coming off one of their most complete games in recent history. They recorded their first shutout since 2009, as well as posted 62 points on the scoreboard.
The offense was powerful, the defense was suffocating and the special teams was pretty good as well- although it was against an FCS school.
Nonetheless, the Knights dominating performance over Charleston Southern last Saturday showcases just how effective this team can be.
UCF’s three-headed rushing attack of Ronnie Weaver, Latavius Murray and Brynn Harvey accounted for 204 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey also contributed three rushing touchdowns, giving the Knights a school record eight rushing touchdowns in a game.
The Knights also got to see a preview of freshman QB Blake Bortals and red-shirt freshman receiver Joshua Reese, who hooked up on a 42-yard pass.
On defense, UCF allowed a mere 119 yards and six first downs, and standout cornerback Josh Robinson returned a 32-yard interception for a TD.
Keys to Victory
Last time these two squads met, BC used a strong second half to come away with a 34-7 win in Boston. UCF led the game at half 7-3, but collapsed on defense in the final half. The Knights have come a long way since 2008 and their defense is much improved.
For the Knights to win this game, they are going to have utilize their strong running game against BC’s linebacker duo of Luke Kuechly and Kevin Pierre-Louis. UCF will need Murray, Weaver and Harvey to run effectively to give the Knights a good shot at winning.
As always, UCF’s defense will have to be stout for the team to come away with a victory. The Knights have had one of the top defenses in Conference-USA over the last four seasons and showcased their defense is still top notch in last week’s shutout over Charleston Southern.
This game may very well come down to a defensive battle, as both teams pride themselves on defense. The defensive line will need to be at its best with Williams coming off a solid game for BC last week.
- The Knights currently have a five-game winning streak dating back to last season.
- The Knights are seeking their first 2-0 start since 1998 and need to win this game to show that they are potential BCS busters. UCF has the talent on both sides of the ball to take this one in front of a rowdy, sold-out crowd in Orlando.
- UCF is favored by a touchdown, but hopefully can win in a more impressive fashion.
Prediction- The Knights win a close defensive battle 24-14 and avenge their loss to BC in 2008 in front of a loud home crowd.