UCF vs Southern Miss: Final Preview

Final preview for the matchup between Southern Miss and UCF including the most important things and what to watch.

Southern Miss. Golden Eagles vs. UCF Knights
Saturday, November 8th, 2008 3:30pm EST
Bright House Networks Stadium - Orlando, FL

UCF 2-6, USM 3-6

Series History:
USM 2-1, last meeting: UCF won 34-17

Five most important things for UCF:

1. Pick up the blitz. There is no way Southern Miss doesn't catch on that UCF can't pick up a blitz on film, so when they do blitz, someone has to at least slow it down.

2. Catch the football. Sounds a little basic, but drops continue to hurt the Knights at this point in the season. They will also have to hold on to the football if they get a chance at an interception.

3. Throw the football accurately. The bounce pass may be the most fundamental play in basketball, but it really doesn't work in football. UCF QB's must throw the ball more accurately if they are going to have a chance at success.

4. Avoid putting the defense in a worse situation than the previous drive. UCF needs to make solid, fundamental plays in the punting game, avoid turnovers, and when they take sacks try to keep the sack yards in single digits.

5. Show up for the second half. It is easy to find flaws with the nation's worst offense, but the biggest one by far is the Knights inability to do anything in the second half.

What to look for:

1. Look for the Knights to find a way to lose. That's what they seem to do best of late, although they are a much better team at home. It should be a bit easier this week as a talented Southern Miss team looks like they found there stride by putting up 70 last week.

2. Look for multiple RB's to play. O'Leary told offensive coordinator Tim Salem not to play Harvey in every snap, so it is pretty safe to assume this prediction will be right.

3. Look for sacks galore. UCF's pass rush has really improved since moving Bruce Miller inside, and UCF can't block anyone, so look for double digit sacks between the two teams.

4. Look for the Knights to come out hot. They still have a minute chance of the Conference title, and moral seems to still be good considering all the misfortune. They want to win, and should get off to a quick start on homecoming.

5. Look for a better crowd this week. Last weeks' attendance was announced at over 40k, but that was with the Halloween crowd of several thousand fans dressed remarkably similar to empty bleachers. This is homecoming week and a more family friendly Saturday game, the actual attendance should be over 40k this week.

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