Knights fans…I wouldn’t suggest watching the video above, but if you’re a glutton for punishment then go ahead.
It was ugly…especially in the end.
The Knights hung tough throughout the first half as they trailed the Cardinal by just 10 at the break, but with the early injury to QB Justin Holman UCF just couldn’t get the offense rolling. Tyler Harris and Bo Schneider combined to be just 14 of 34 for 142 yards in relief and the running game once again failed to produce with freshman Taj McGowan gaining 67 yards on 20 carries.
This isn’t the start that George O’Leary and the Knights hoped to have.
UCF is 0-2 as they return home to face the Furman Paladins this Saturday night at the Bounce House and will be without a couple of key players as they search for their first victory of 2015.
Redshirt senior lineman Joey Grant has been ruled out for the season, and his UCF career, with his 3rd shoulder injury and QB Justin Holman will apparently miss 2-4 weeks with his injured hand, though I have heard it could be longer.
This is devastating for the Knights as they have still yet to begin their AAC schedule and have another tough road game against the South Carolina Gamecocks in just one week. A big blowout win over Furman is the only thing that UCF fans can hope for right now and may be the only way to bring any hope back for the 2015 season.
As one alum said to me, this may be one of those “just beat USF” type of seasons for the Knights…but is no reason to bail on the program as they continue to make their way up the college football ladder towards the Power-5.
That being said, I’ve started to lose hope for 2015…but it’s not George O’Leary, Brent Key or anybody else’s fault.
Injuries happen, and inexperience is difficult to overcome. The youth on this UCF team will be on display even more now for the rest of 2015 with the injuries mounting and the disappointing play from some of the upper classmen. Look for a lot more of Taj McGowan in the backfield and a rotating door of both Schneider and Harris, regardless of what Coach O’Leary is saying this week.
The key right now for UCF is to get real game experience for every single talented young man on the roster for the rest of the year.
The two years leading up to 2013 weren’t spectacular to say the least…but they did one big thing in my opinion. Those two season gave guys like Blake Bortles, Rannell Hall, Breshad Perriman and JJ Worton some experience on offense.
I maintain that this defense isn’t THAT bad. Yes, they gave up a ton of yards and points to Stanford, but I don’t really count much of the second half against them as they had been on the field for the majority of the game and it was 1 am in their heads when it was all said and done. To me, this defense has shown a ton of promise and will only get better with each passing game.
The offense is the problem, but that problem is just an issue of inexperience and nothing else.
Yes, there has been questionable play-calling and horrible execution. That could make any fan turn their frustrations on the coaching staff, but I think it’s a time for Knights fans everywhere to have patience and to look at 2016 as the place to stash their high hopes and ride out 2015 as the support this young team needs.
So once again, I beg every single member of Knights Nation to show up, be loud and support these kids. They need you just as much as you need them.
Show them you care in the bad times and they work harder to return to the good times.
My prediction for this weekend….UCF rolls and gains some confidence before heading up to Columbia to take on a sub-par South Carolina team next week.
Any and all feedback welcomed! Get me on Twitter (@Ditti33) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!