What UCF Learned Against UTEP

UCF went into El Paso, a struggling team searching for an identity. They left thoroughly embarrassed and wounded.

Five most important things for UCF:

1. Prove they can run. Freshman quarterback Rob Calabrese did this, he hit the hole and ran hard. He impressed with his toughness, if nothing else. Seemingly all other UCF ball carriers had trouble either finding the hole, or seemed to suffer from the disease acute fumblitis.

2.Contain on D. On a scale of 1-10, the UCF containment would receive a -6. Way too many big plays, atrocious tackling, and terrible angles taken.

3. Finish drives. It is easier to finish drives when you start them. And when they did get something going the 3-14 third down conversion rate didn't help.

4. Make some big plays. They did, two fumble-sixes, allowing a blocked punt, two picks, four fumbles in all. The Knights made numerous big plays, but they were all negative and allowed UTEP to score easily en route to the demolishing of UCF.

5. Quiet the crowd. Not as big as a crowd as UTEP is accustomed to (due to limited success lately), but those that did show had plenty to cheer about, and they were relatively quiet by the 4th quarter, some people left early to beat traffic, and others were all cheered out.

What to look for:

1. Look for the winning team to have over 200 yards rushing. UCF actually out rushed 175 to 119, when you can score on turnovers and airing it out, why run, it will just take longer, unless of course you can break off 55-yard TD runs.

2. Look for the Knights to play two QB's. We were right on this one, but definitely not the two we expected. Rob Calabrese showed a lot of flashes as he did better than his numbers would indicate, but did make some freshman mistakes. Joe Weatherford struggled in his NCAA debut, as he accounted for a fumble-six, -6 yards passing, and -10 yards rushing.

3. Look for special teams to make a big difference. Joe Burnett is and was amazing. A missed PAT, did not effect the outcome, but just another thing that failed to go as planned.

4. Look for the Knights to score 3 or more TD's on offense. Two TD's was the number tonight, although wide receiver Kamar Aiken looked good for his first game back.

5. Look for a much cleaner game by the Knights. Wow, was I wrong. No further explanations necessary.


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