Final Game Preview: UCF vs SMU

A final preview of the UCF Knights as they host the SMU Mustangs

SMU Mustangs vs UCF Knights
Saturday, October 4th, 2008, 3:30 p.m.
Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, Fl.


2008 records: UCF - 1-3, SMU- 1-3
Series history: UCF leads 1-0; Last meeting: UCF defeated SMU 49-20

Five most important things for UCF:

1. Do something on offense. The Knights need to show some sign of life on offense, whether it be in the air or on the ground. SMU has one of the worst defenses in the nation, if they can't get that offense going this week, they may never

2. Johnell Neal needs to step up. Joe Burnett has been brilliant as expected and has caused teams to attack Neal's side instead. Neal must step up this week as June Jones' offense is sure to air it out.

3. Big Plays. Avoid giving them up and make some of their own. The last two losses have occurred in large part due to the inability to prevent big plays, and none were made by the Knights.

4. Hang on to the ball. It doesn't matter who you play, if you turn it over you will lose. Stop calling the fumble-six play and the Knights should be OK.

5. Get the crowd into the game. It is Family Week, so a large crowd is expected to be in attendance, the Knights need to get them in the game early, and keep them in the game.

What to look for:

1. Look for Knights to be more balanced. Calabrese showed off a strong arm last week and with a healthy Aiken back and Jackson is getting more familiar with the offense. The Knights should be able to get an air attack going against a soft SMU defense.

2. Look for the Knights to play two QB's. True freshman Rob Calabrese will likely start, but Michael Greco will likely see the field in certain packages. Joe Weatherford will likely not see the field again.

3. Look for special teams to make a big difference.  They made a huge difference in a bad way last week, and the Knights don't have a strong enough offense to go 80 yards on a routine basis, so they will need a short field. They will also need to sure up the punting and field goal units.

4. Look for the Knights to enjoy some Home Cooking. UCF is undefeated at home vs conference foes, and have historically enjoyed an advantage at Bright House Networks Stadium. This is a different team at home.

5. Look for some tricks and a good coaching duel. Both George O'Leary and June Jones are experienced coaches who are desperate for a win. Look for them both to throw the kitchen sink out to bring home a W.

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