UCF-FIU Preview: Knights Looking to Win Home OpenerFootball, News, Sports, UCF Administration — By Jake Rakoci on September 14, 2012 at 8:16 pm Tweet
Coming off a a 16-31 loss to the #12 Ohio State Buckeyes(2-0), the Knights(1-1) are looking to shake off the early season loss, and win their first home game of the season against FIU(1-1) which will be played at Brighthouse Stadium at 4pm on Saturday.
Last season, the Knights were caught off guard by the FIU Panthers in Miami, where two costly fumbles put the dagger in the Knights promising season.
This season, however, the Knights have an entirely new look. The man who was once behind center, Jeff Godfrey, is now lining up in a wide receiver slot, as Blake Bortles has taken the reigns at quarterback. Bortles, who threw three costly interceptions that seemed to change the momentum in the Ohio State, will need to move forward as he gets to start for the first time at Brighthouse Networks Stadium.
The Knights have had lots hype surrounding their program this season, as they were picked as the favorites to win the C-USA East Division receiving 13 out of 15 votes for first place. This game is no exception, UCF fans are looking for a big win tomorrow.
Scouting Report UCF:
Bortles will need to regain his swagger against FIU if the Knights want to win this one. After throwing three interceptions and being noticeably shaken up about it after the Ohio State game, Bortles is in a great position to restore his confidence. A solid first quarter touchdown pass in front of a huge cheering crowd and against a defense that has given up over 600 pass yards in two games should have Bortles back into prime form.
UCF star running back Latavius Murray will be inactive for his second straight game. Coach George O’Leary told the Orlando Sentinel, “ ”He’s out…He’s not in this game plan and is week-to-week.”
The loss of Murray is substantial, but from a glass half-full perspective, running back is the Knight’s deepest position. Miami transfer Storm Johnson has transitioned nicely putting up quality numbers in both the Akron and Ohio State game. Behind Johnson, veteran running back Brynn Harvey will provide stability to the rushing attack with freshman Cedric Thompson rounding out the rotation. Look for Johnson and Harvey to share carries, with Harvey used primarily as a short yardage back.
The Knights defense shouldn’t be anything to be worried about, but if they can stay level-headed and not allow the Panthers to capitalize on mistakes, they should have no problem containing the FIU offense.
Scouting Report FIU:
Miami Herald sources report that senior linebacker Alex Robinson could be out for the game. This could be big, a defensive leader for the Panthers out of the game could open up lots of opportunities for UCF to score.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jake Medlock will start for the Panthers as they hope for the spread offense to work against the UCF defense. Medlock has been quite impressive this season, as he has thrown for 557 yard and three touchdowns(0 INTS) in two games.
The FIU defense gave up 46 points against Duke and 38 points against Akron. The FIU defense will need to improve exponentially in order to keep in close with UCF.
-Some would consider the Ohio State game a “moral victory”, but moral victories are still loses. UCF needs to set the tone early in order to keep this season’s high expectations alive.
-If Bortles can shake off the interceptions from the Ohio State loss, look for him to have a career day against the sub-par FIU defense.
-The student ticket demand was near an all-time high for this game, look for the FIU offense struggle to hear play calls. The FIU stadium had a home attendance of roughly 15,000 versus Akron. A 50,000 person Brighthouse Stadium with aluminum bleachers will sure to cause trouble for the FIU offense.
Despite the Ohio State loss, overall the Knights have looked poised for a great season in their two away games. A struggling FIU defense, the first home game of the season, and FIU missing a piece of their defense will allow UCF to dominate the game. The UCF Knights will win this one with ease. UCF Knights 42, FIU Panthers 14.