Line: UCF -36
Kickoff: Saturday 7:00 P.M, Spectrum Stadium.
TV: CBS Sports
Radio: Radio: FM 96.9/ AM 740
Orlando, FLA.- UCF (4-0) will be at home this week taking on the ECU (1-5). UCF moved up 3 spots this week, and currently rank 22nd in the nation. As ECU’s record shows, they have struggled to win games thus far. They have played a tough schedule, facing teams such as Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and USF. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier this weekend.
The thing that stands out when you scout ECU is their defense, prolifically defining the Pirates every Saturday by giving up 47.8 points per game.
It ranks dead last in the nation.
“We’re going to have a fun time Saturday night,” predicted UCF wideout Dredrick Snelson. “We’re still not going to sleep on them, they’re still a good football team, we still prepare the same way. But 50 points? Yeah, we’re putting up 70.”
UCF is the number one ranked scoring offense and eighth in total offense per game, so expect a scoring barrage by the Knights. ECU made huge changes after week two, promoting Robert Prunty to defensive coordinator. Head Coach Scottie Montgomery believed this change could help spark a turnaround. Robert Prunty has rotated in younger guys, even taking a couple kids off their redshirt, trying anything to ignite a spark for this defense.
They certainly need it, so far, they have given up nearly 600 yards per game.
“I think that Coach [Robert] Prunty has done a good job of reducing what we do. I’ve never seen so many cornerbacks in position to make plays and now we’ve got to grow them to the point of where they actually make plays.,” Scottie Montgomery said about changes Prunty has made to ECU’s defense.
The bright spot of this struggling program has been the quarterback, Thomas Sirk. Sirk has taken over the starting job, and has looked solid. He has provided some excitement for ECU on that side of the ball with his arm and his legs. Provided 9 touchdowns for the school in his limited time under center.
“They have as good of a passing attack as anybody in our league. Our defense is going to have to be ready for that,” Coach Frost stated on defending the Pirates. “We’re going to have to get after the passer, the pass rush. We’re going to have to defend well on the back end”.
The receiving corps hasn’t skipped a beat since losing Zay Jones to the NFL draft last year. They have four receivers with over 200 yards, Senior Davon Greyson leads the way with 31 receptions, 535 yards and 5 touchdowns.
“This quarterback, last year I think he almost looked to Zay Jones in the passing game,” said Coach Chinander. “This guy is dealing the ball all around this year, so sometimes it’s a little easier when they have ‘the guy’. You eliminate ‘the guy’ and let everybody else beat you. Now, this guy is dealing around, I think he’s doing a great job.”
This game should have some extra excitement around it, even with ECU underperforming this year. It’s homecoming week, so expect Spectrum Stadium to live up to its proclaimed nickname “The Bounce House” on Saturday night. It is also a conference opponent, and at 1-2 they are still tied for 3rd place. Don’t expect this team to roll over on Saturday night. They have always been a solid program, and they will play a tough game.