Momentum for UCF

The Knights didn't leave Bright House Networks Stadium with a win two weeks ago, but the team found excellent offensive rhythm for the first time this season in the game against USF and now UCF hopes to carry that momentum into the Boston College game and through the rest of the season.

Prior to UCF's improbable fourth quarter comeback against the Bulls, the Knights' offense had struggled. Before the final quarter began, UCF had score only one touchdown and that was from a Joe Burnett kick return. With just over three minutes remaining in the game, Michael Greco led the Knights on a 38-yard drive into the end-zone, finding tight end Corey Rabazinski for the score. After a long Burnett punt return, Greco again led the Knights for a score, hitting Rocky Ross on a 31-yard touchdown pass.

After struggling to put points on the board against S.C. State, Greco's emergence late in the USF game is being embraced by teammates, as his fellow Knights feel that those final three minutes can be a turning point for Greco and the entire offense.

"I think it helped him. Every time you score everyone gets a little more confident," said center Mike Lavoie during Tuesday's press conference.

"As a defensive back facing Greco this week, I can attest to that he has a lot more confidence, even going against us than he did in the preseason," added Jason Venson. "Like Mike said, when you start making plays you get more confidence and we can see that as the secondary this week, we talked about it yesterday, that Mike (Greco) is showing more confidence in practice and I think that's going to help him this week during the game."

Coach George O'Leary also saw an improvement in Greco and in the entire passing game through the game and especially in the fourth quarter.

"I think you always look at it from the first game to the second game and I do think Michael progressed. Is he where you want him to be yet? No. But I think like every other quarterback you see, they're going to make some good plays and they're going to make some mistakes. I did see him make a lot of progress as far as his vision, his confidence in delivering the ball. Again the big thing we have to do is protect him a little better in certain situations."

O'Leary said he saw Greco grow in the first two games, and expects for him and the offense to keep progressing.

"I think basically the two series that we can grow on is the last two (of regulation). We did what we were supposed to from a protection standpoint, from a route standpoint, from a QB delivery standpoint. I think we've always been 60-40, and we're not going to change."

Where O'Leary would like to see more improvement is the running game, which was anemic against USF, as starting running back Ronnie Weaver averaged just over a yard per carry.

"I think the linemen are doing a better job putting their hats on people than last year, and the biggest difference is the running backs have to find some lanes," said O'Leary. "I think there were some poor cuts made by them and some cuts that were there that they didn't make."

O'Leary said that he would continue to rotate running backs but how many is not known—

"It all depends on the players that week, we're rolling three this week. It really depends on Tim Salem, who makes that call. Right now the kid who's running the best is actually Weaver. Brandon Davis is also having a good week. You'll definitely see two in there, rolling in."

UCF will have a difficult time finding room against a very strong Boston College front seven, but O'Leary and his Knights are persistent in keeping the offense balanced. With Greco becoming more poised, the running backs just need to find their groove until UCF's offense is clicking on all cylinders.


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