ORLANDO, Fla. – With campus closing on Thursday morning and the rapid approach of Hurricane Irma, it can be tough to remember that on Friday night UCF will open up conference play against a very talented Memphis team; a true test of progression under Head Coach Scott Frost.
The game was originally scheduled for 8:00 PM on Saturday evening but was moved on Tuesday afternoon in advanced preparations for the coming storm. Practice items normally checked off the box on in three days were reduced to just Wednesday and Thursday preparation.
“It changed our preparation mid-stream, but I think we addressed it well, and I think the team handled it really well. I feel like we’re prepared,” insisted Frost. “This was a curveball thrown at them. I almost think they responded and increased their focus when we threw the curveball at them.”
Hurricane Irma’s curveball wasn’t a meaningless pitch thrown on a hot summer afternoon, either. The pitch comes in with a rising UCF program chomping at the bit to prove to the nation that their 61-17 massacre of FIU wasn’t a product of easy prey.
“The message is that we’re ready to take the next big step as a program. We’re going to get several opportunities this year to make that jump and be one of the better teams in our league,” said Frost. This is just the first of several opportunities that we have, but I want our guys to be excited about an opportunity, to knock off one of the best teams in our league.”
Memphis sloughed it out in awful weather in week one for a difficult win. They are not intimidated by circumstance, and the measure was repeated by the staff all week. Frost demanded that his team be ready to play anytime, anywhere against anybody – a statement from a program no longer focused on incremental growth of any size, but from a program that is ready to take control.