UCF-Houston What to Look For

What should you expect to see in Saturday's game versus Houston? Find out Inside Knights' predictions and keys to victory in our weekly What to Look for.

Keys to the Game for the Knights

1.) Avoid short drives- UCF has gotten away with not dominating the time of possession at times this season but the Knights must avoid three and outs here. The defense will be gassed with Houston's up-tempo offense and the offense must give them a chance to rest and be sharp.

2.) Convert in the red zone- Settling for field goals has been a problem for the Knights this year and there's no way they can get away with that against the number one offense in the nation. If UCF gets the ball deep into Houston territory there needs to be sixes on popping up on the scoreboard, not threes.

3.) Win first down on offense- UCF's offense isn't at the level yet that it consistently dig itself out of a hole, so the Knights will be well served to avoid second and long.

4.) Make Keenum uncomfortable- You can't stop Keenum, you can only hope to contain him. With that being said, I don't want to say shut him down (if the Knights do, they will win) but what I will say is that Bruce Miller and Jarvis Geathers must consistently pressure Keenum and then more importantly, they can't let him scramble because he can beat you with his feet as well.

5.) Don't let Houston run the ball- They are one of the very best at chucking it around, but the Cougars have also been able to run the ball effectively as well. Bryce Bell and Charles Sims have been consistent this year so UCF will have to find away to force Houston into third and longs to make them one dimensional.

What to Look For:

Look for the Knights in black. I actually got a sneak peek of the black uniforms and they look sharp. Rest easy fans, you finally get to see the black unis.

Look for a big crowd. I thought fans would get up for the game on national TV against Marshall and I was dead wrong. This weekend should be different though. It's homecoming in a must-win matchup against the nation's best offense. If the Knights can't sellout the stadium for a game against the 15th rated team in the nation then I don't know what to say about the state of the program.

Look for more Jonathan Davis. The Knights have finally found a backup to Brynn Harvey and the extra depth at tailback should help the Knights get more bang for their buck in the run game.

Look for plenty of points on the scoreboard. The most combined points in a game this season for UCF has been 56 points (which came in the massacre at Rice) and that total will be pushed with these two teams. Houston can flat out score and they give up a lot of points so you might see a total score somewhere in 50s, maybe even higher.

Look for someone's C-USA title hopes to be thrashed. If the Knights lose, they are all but eliminated from contention for the division crown. If Houston loses they will have to rely on SMU to drop a game down the road.

Predictions:

1.) Case Keenum furthers his argument to win the Heisman- The Knights might play Houston tough but they will give up plenty of big plays against Keenum. He will pick a young secondary apart all game long and will definitely put up gaudy numbers.

2.) James Cleveland finds the end zone multiple times- He has 11 touchdown receptions this season and he will benefit from Keenum's big day.

3.) Whoever wins the first half wins the game- With two contrasting styles of offense, both teams will want to establish themselves early on. Whoever sets the tone in the first half should be able to build on that in the second half.

4.) Brett Hodges has a big day- Hodges had a big day two weeks ago against Marshall as he threw for a quiet 342 yards. I expect the run game to be established to a certain degree and thus Hodges will have some opportunities in the play action passing game.

5.) UCF doesn't beat the spread- The Knights have been good against the spread this year (6-2) and they will keep the game tight but I don't see them being able to keep up offensively with the 4.5 point favorites. The Knights have the ability to pull off the upset but they will have to have nearly a flawless game on offense for it to happen.


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