If there’s anything UCF is talented in…it’s consistency
But not the consistency fans were hoping for. The Knights are 0-4 this year and it’s unclear if they’ll even win a game. After the offense and defense disappointed the first three weeks, they went up against a tough South Carolina team on Saturday.
South Carolina is a fierce SEC team lead by the ole’ ball coach himself, Steve Spurrier. Spurrier has maintained a tough Gamecocks team for years, and this year is no different. Coming off an embarrassing loss to #7 Georgia last week, this team had something to prove. They defeated the Knights in Columbia 31-14.
Freshman quarterback Lorenzo Nunez made his much anticipated debut against a struggling UCF defense. He delivered, to say to least. Nunez finished the game with 184 yards on 12/22 passing with two touchdowns. He’s a dual-threat quarterback who also had 123 yards on the ground.
UCF’s defense held the Gamecocks to eight points in the first half but couldn’t hold them off the entire game- giving up 23 unanswered points in the second half. Wide receiver Pharoh Cooper had himself a game with a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown in this one. After running all over the “D” on his 29-yard touchdown run, he embarrassed the secondary for a 35-yard TD catch.
UCF’s offense stayed consistent, as well- throwing two picks against the Gamecocks with linebacker T.J. Holloman responsible for both. Quarterback Bo Schneider beat out Tyler Harris in practice throughout the week and showed signs that he can carry the offense. Schneider went 20/35 with 189 yards and a touchdown. The turnovers continue to kill UCF, however.
In my opinion, the team improved greatly. They held the lead at halftime but couldn’t finish the game. The biggest concern is the defense after giving up 31 points and allowing Lorenzo Nunez to control them through the air and on the ground.
UCF is in danger, to say the least. The Knights haven’t started 0-4 since George O’Leary’s debut season in 2004 when they went 0-11. The seat is getting a little warmer every week for O’Leary and his staff. He will need to find a spark somewhere to motivate this team.
The Knights kick off conference play next week against Tulane in New Orleans.
Prediction for UCF @ Tulane: Despite Tulane’s impressive performance against Maine two weeks ago, UCF proved a lot in the game against South Carolina. One more week of practice should get Bo Schneider and the offense ready to win a game. They had an overall well played first half against the Gamecocks and Schneider should keep the turnovers to a minimum next week. It all comes down to the defense, however. If they tighten up, UCF shouldn’t have a problem defeating Tulane.
Final score: UCF 20 TUL 12