Keys to the Game for the Knights
1. Develop momentum on offense early- That was a big key and the Knights didn't follow through here and it cost them. Rob Calabrese fumbled the ball twice in the team's first four series and Southern Miss took advantage, taking one of the turnovers back for a touchdown. Trailing 14-0 early, the Knights ultimately dug themselves in a hole they couldn't climb out get of.
2. Get pressure with the front four- For the second consecutive game, the Knights didn't apply pressure consistently. They got a hold of Austin Davis a few times, but brought him down just once. Too often did the quarterback just sit in the pocket and pick the Knights apart on third and long.
3. Take advantage of good field position- The Knights had their backs against the wall through the game, as they started in Southern Miss territory just twice through the entire game. In fact, they only started the ball from outside their own 30 three times, so it's hard to see the team took advantage of good field position because they never had it.
4. Keep Southern Miss in second and long situations- Actually UCF did a great job here, but they couldn't wrap up and make plays on second and long or third and long. The Golden Eagles managed to get out of a lot of bad situations and were actually 7-of-16 on third downs.
5.) Brynn be Brynn- Averaging just 2.6 yards per carry, Harvey was far from impressive. Granted, he didn't have much room to run so you can't blame him completely for an anemic run game.
What to Look For
1. Look for a more fluid UCF team- The defense looked great early on and the offense got in a rhythm once Brett Hodges came in. But because of a slow start, the Knights weren't able to dictate the pace of a game and that prevented the team from being able to play loose.
2. Look for dueling quarterbacks…again- It was a case of dueling quarterbacks…for one quarter. Calabrese was putrid and Hodges was sharp, so it looks like this might be the last week we see more than one quarterback appear for the Knights.
3. Look for more Moose- Robinson saw the field more often but he wasn't able to make much of an impact along with the rest of the offensive line, as the Knights were thrashed up front.
4. Look for Southern Miss to test UCF's depth- They tested it and the Knights didn't pass. The defense became fatigued late in the game and the offense sputtered in the second half. Most teams will struggle against the Golden Eagles and you have to wonder if the Knights would have fared better if they established themselves early.
5. Look for DeAndre Brown- With seven receptions for 75 yards, he was Southern Miss' leading receiver. He made some crucial third-down receptions and was equally effective as a decoy.
1. UCF will cover the spread- Favored to lose by 15 points, the Knights finished within seven and were an onside kick away from making the game much closer than Southern Miss would have liked.
2. The Knights will force a turnover- The Golden Eagles botched a punt return in the second half in rainy conditions, giving the Knights their first fumble recovery of the year.
3. Rob Calabrese quiets his doubters- We missed here. Calabrese was given another chance and he blew it beyond belief, almost single handedly taking the Knights out of the game early on.
4. UCF gets to the quarterback- Jarvis Geathers was productive early on and Bruce Miller got a sack and also pressured the quarterback but an inability to regularly get to Davis hurt the team, as the Golden Eagles regularly picked up on second and longs and third and longs.
5. UCF is outgained on offense by at least 100 yards- 409 to 192 is atrocious. The Knights couldn't get the running game going at all and the Eagles were able to hold UCF to their side of the field through the game. Going down 14-0 early really forced the Knights to change their game plan and the way they attack Southern Miss.
What We Learned
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