Road Trip Made Easier

UCF's trip to Hattiesburg may not be as challenging as expected. The high-scoring Golden Eagles will be a big obstacle for the Knights, but Southern Miss might be without its most explosive player come September.

As a coach, you never want to get a win because the opposing team's best player is sitting out. I'd have to guess though that UCF's coaching staff wasn't crying or pouting when the news came out today that Southern Miss wide receiver DeAndre Brown re-injured his leg playing basketball.

As many of you might remember, Brown had a horrendous break during the New Orleans Bowl last year, putting a damper on a tremendous first-year campaign in which he brought down 67 balls for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns.

One player that certainly won't forget Brown is former UCF corner and current Pittsburgh Steeler, Joe Burnett. One of the best players in UCF history was burned by the freshman for 89 yards and also gave up a touchdown. He also had a long gain to Brown called back, so the numbers could have been even worse.

It looks like UCF may not have to worry about the exceptionally gifted 6'6", 228 lb. receiver when the teams meet up in Hattiesburg. The ESPN report stated that Brown will be in a boot for 10 days and that he will likely miss the team's opener against Alcorn State. It's also being reported that the team is hopeful that he'll be back for the second game against the Knights.

UCF had its own basketball headache earlier this offseason when upcoming sophomore Latavius Murray tore his ACL playing basketball. Personally, I am baffled why a guy like Brown, who is coming back from such a bad break, would play a sport like basketball that causes your joints to take a pounding. That just doesn't seem smart.

While it's a bad break for Southern Miss, UCF might relish the opportunity to play a Brownless squad. The Golden Eagles still have some offensive firepower, but for a team that will be breaking in some young defensive backs, not having one of the best receivers in the nation lined up across from them may not be such a bad thing.

You obviously want to beat a team at its best, but the Knights must shed themselves completely from last year's 4-8 campaign and all the ill will that was around before and after the season. I previously wrote that a fast start is critical to this team's success and I still whole-heartedly believe that. I didn't think Brown would be at full-health for the September meeting and now it appears even more likely that he'll be limping against the Knights, if he's even on field.

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