Here is the letter meant to ease the pain, released by the @UCF_Problems twitter account to our editors:
“I think we can all agree that we should have been more aggressive with 1st and 10 on the FIU 23, with 1:30 remaining and one timeout. Actually, we should have just been aggressive period. What we didn’t want to do was give FIU the ball back with all of their timeouts and some clock remaining. I get that. But the offense had been moving well. If we had decided to throw, we could have either ended up scoring getting a first down, or at least move a bit closer while forcing FIU to burn some timeouts. Worst case (barring a pick) is 3 incompletions we have a 40 yard FG attempt and FIU has all 3 timeouts. Instead, we decide to play conservative, fully expecting not to move the ball forward at all (we averaged 1.5 yards per carry). We ran for -2 yards on 3 carries, and the false start on the first FG attempt (I didn’t see anybody move) gave our ROOKIE kicker a 47 yard attempt on the first field goal attempt of his life in college. Obviously hindsight is 20/20 but I know I wasn’t the only one that was absolutely shocked when Holman handed it off on 1st down.
Back to the issue we were all ranting about after the game, playcalling and George O’Leary. I think we all overreacted last night, but many of us thought the playcalling was an exemplification of a much larger problem that us fans have noticed over the years. Very questionable playcalling. I can’t even remember how many times since I started at UCF that I’ve been watching a game and thought to myself, or yelled, “what the fuck were we thinking?!”. Obviously coaches know a lot more about football than I do, but as a huge football fan for my entire life I have a pretty good idea of what should be done in certain situations. Many people on the internet were already calling for George to be fired, which led to me the question, “What has George actually done for this program?”
The first thing that comes to mind is obviously the 2013 season, our signature season. The season that put UCF on the map and really garnered us national attention. Everybody kind of forgets about the insane finishes we had in most of the regular season games, against some really bad opponents. Let’s take a look at some of the key wins in 2013:
- Trailed 17-10 in the fourth quarter to a Memphis team that finished 3-9 (won 24-17)
- Took a miraculous TD catch by JJ Worton down 7 with 1:06 left and a last second field goal to win by 3 against a Temple team that finished 2-10
- Almost lost to USF, our biggest rival, at home. A late 4th quarter FG and last second pick sealed it. USF also finished 2-10
These were some of the most stressful, but exciting and unforgettable games I’ve ever watched. However, these are not the makings of a championship caliber team. I saw people last questioning the entire 2013 season on social media and calling it lucky, etc. We’ve all witnessed a lot of inconsistency over the years, especially us older Knights. However, let me remind you of a few other things that happened in the 2013 season:
- Our 21-point second half comeback vs. #8 Louisville. This was not luck.
- Absolutely fucking destroying #6 Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl on primetime national TV. This was NOT luck.
- 3rd conference championship in 6 years. And 2014 makes 4 in the last 7 seasons. THIS WAS NOT LUCK. Plain and simple. We’ve been doing things right and headed in the right direction.
Now for some thoughts on this season:
- We lost 17 starters on offense and defense from 2014 to this season. That means only 5 starters returned. We also have brand new offensive and defensive coordinators. Defense is George’s specialty. WE WILL GET BETTER
- Our last recruiting class was the BEST EVER, and it will keep getting better! We have so much more to offer over other schools.
- Our offense showed signs of greatness last night, and besides that first almost pick-6 by Holman and a couple errant throws deep over the middle (which are dangerous), Holman really looked improved from last year. He protected the ball well and most of his throws were safe and accurate.
- Jordan Akins is a superstar. Built like a tight end with the speed of a receiver. Tre’Quan Smith also looked great. Both had the exact same production last night, 9 catches for 104 yards (except Akins had a pair of TDs also)
- We didn’t turn the ball over once! In 2014 we ranked 121 out of 128 FBS teams, averaging of 2.4 turnovers per game
- Also, shoutout to the student section for an outstanding turnout. We need this every game. A lot of alumni couldn’t come because it was a weekday game, and it was early.
We have two tough road games coming up, at Stanford and South Carolina, that will really test us. Coming into conference play, our new starters will have 4 games under their belt, and we’ll be ready to take on the rest of the AAC. The Patriots won the Super Bowl last year, but everybody forgets their embarrassing 33-20 loss at Miami in week 1. Now I’m not saying I think we can win a National Championship, but I really do believe we have a shot at a 3rd straight conference title. Don’t forget, we started last season 0-2 and still won the conference. Last night was ugly. There’s no excuse for being so conservative. George, let’s just forget about last night (if I had a dollar for every…. nevermind) and be a bit more aggressive next time. Charge the fuck on.”
Photo Credit: Nick Russett