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UCF - The Day After

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Some thoughts the day after from someone who was in Orlando last night.

Overall thoughts: UCF is a good team, not SEC good, but good. However, they are not as good as last year though. If they face serious competition they will lose. We showed some sparks of life last night, but penalties, poor defense, and anemic offense (not counting Motor's contributions) are killing us. I am begining to think our coaching is suspect. What the hell is going on with defense? With the amount of people we returned we should be playing better than we are. That points to a coaching issue IMHO. We are where we expected to be at this point in the season record wise, but the Oklahoma game should not have been as bad as it was, and UCF should have been closer (even not counting the final 5 minutes or so for the game).

Offense:

QB - Poor performance. It was very clear that our entire offense was our running game. Even running was side to side instead of down field in the first quarter and part of the second. We tried to dress the offense up and throw some, but nearly all passing was poor. Multiple throws into double coverage when the receiver was clearly beat; hurried throws leading to interceptions; throws that endangered the receiver; etc. Do we not have anyone who can pass reliably? I think the starting QB spot needs to be reevaluated as I am sure the other guys can hand the ball off as well. I think they can run better as well which would improve the QB keepers we tried and didn't get much on last night. We need at least some form of a somewhat reliable passing game so we can make big plays and take the pressure off the running game.

Running Game - Motor continues to carry this team on his back. He got some help from Whyte last night which is good, but he was still essentially our entire offense and everyone knows this. You don't have to be a defensive genius to make our lives complicated if you only have to worry about the run game. I also worry about Motor getting injured at the rate he is getting used and abused.

Special Teams - Creativity born out of necessity. Glad nothing got blocked, but still does not inspire confidence. I like the "Let's go for it on 4th down!" mentality, but let's face it, a lot of times that is not the best call when facing a good team. Are we even working on improving this? The only positive thing I can say was our kickoff return seemed to be executed well.

Defense:

Is anyone coaching them? Again, I think the coaching staff needs to do a serious self-evaluation and evaluation of what they have in place and make some changes.

Going forward:

Again, props to UCF. Good team. Wish them the best and hope they have a good run. We played better last night, probably the best so far this season, but we have real problems and we do not seem to be addressing them. As people have mentioned in another thread, this is not last season and with how we are playing we are going to face teams that we are going to have trouble with in conference play if we do not steady the ship. I am hoping we calm down and continue improving, but that improvement will not happen without changes being made.
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Lago said

Some thoughts the day after from someone who was in Orlando last night.
Posted On: Sep 22nd 2018, 1:18 PM #381158

Agree 100%. You basically hit on every point I would have hit on. Nothing really to add on my end.
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In hindsight I wish Kiffin would have just settled for the extra point instead of missing the two points twice. For appearances only it looks better to lose by less than 20 points. 

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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In a somewhat related story, our next at home conference rival, Old Dominion, just beat #13 Virginia Tech.

Throw in North Texas beating a bad Arkansas team last week and it just goes to show an 0-3 Conference USA team can beat the big boys.

No reason why we couldn't have coached up a win at UCF.
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Hoot_N_Holler said

In a somewhat related story, our next at home conference rival, Old Dominion, just beat #13 Virginia Tech.

Throw in North Texas beating a bad Arkansas team last week and it just goes to show an 0-3 Conference USA team can beat the big boys.

No reason why we couldn't have coached up a win at UCF.
Posted On: Sep 22nd 2018, 8:11 PM #381190

Agreed. On top of that, "mighty OU" who looked like the greatest team in the past 50 years against us needed OT at home to squeak by Army and certainly didn't look like world beaters against a subpar Iowa State team. No reason that game had to be a complete embarrassment either.
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It was OU's home opener, always an advantage to the home team - more emotions, but subpar QB play that day along with new lines first game together made that tough, NOT holding the ball! Army had 45 min of possession by CONTROLLING THE BALL! Murray can't hurt you on the sidelines!

And 3 pics yest. sealed our fate for sure. QB played great one of four games so far but now we are back to CUSA play, so we shall see. Still scored 36 with 3 pics though! The D is the issue guys, very weak, CHASING people, NOT CONTROLLING people as a good D must try to do!!!
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GeorgiaOwl said

It was OU's home opener, always an advantage to the home team - more emotions, but subpar QB play that day along with new lines first game together made that tough, NOT holding the ball! Army had 45 min of possession by CONTROLLING THE BALL! Murray can't hurt you on the sidelines!

And 3 pics yest. sealed our fate for sure. QB played great one of four games so far but now we are back to CUSA play, so we shall see. Still scored 36 with 3 pics though! The D is the issue guys, very weak, CHASING people, NOT CONTROLLING people as a good D must try to do!!!
Posted On: Sep 23rd 2018, 9:23 AM #381282
That to me is all the more reason we could have caught OU off guard if we were prepared. They broke in a new QB, broke in a bunch of new players and were known to have a somewhat suspect D, which looked like the 85 Bears against our "high powered O". Just saying it didn't have to be a body bag game, and I think OU's subsequent performances demonstrate that.
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🤔

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If they had Motor, the really might be top-10!!!
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Observations from my trip to UCF …

I don't understand why Johnson and/or Peavey have not received more playing time - especially Johnson, who could have done some damage with his feet Friday night. Why is Robison is doing so much running when Johnson is the better runner?

Does every new coordinator bring his own system? Why change what wasn't broken, and in fact was a strength?

FAU has so much more talent than the offensive performance shows. Singletary made the offense look better than it was.

UCF fans were, well, UCF fans. None were particularly friendly, and toward the end of the game, they got nasty toward Kiffin and Co.

The UCF campus has grown up a lot and the Knights Plaza, arena and stadium really gives the tailgating and pre-game festivities a big college feel. That "main street" sort of look and feel - with outdoor seating areas, bars and restaurants and even Barnes & Noble - leading from the parking areas past the arena to the stadium struck me as a sort of Abacoa or Downtown Disney, mixed with modern college campus.

Tailgating and pre-game entertainment options were good - on par with what FAU offers. FAU really should get the students back into the stadium area, instead of flushed to the far backyard as if they are unwelcome.


The stadium was pretty much full into the first quarter and loud. It showed me how FAU can be once crowds start filling its stadium regularly. Built by the same people as FAU Stadium, the facility is familiar. But FAU Stadium is nicer and better looking. UCF has a much larger video board (FAU needs one like it), but UCF doesn't have chairback seats. UCF doesn't have the nice club level FAU has. Its stadium club is literally where the under-stands walkway is in front of the press box building. UCF blocked off that area, set up chairs and bars and food stations and called it the "Stadium Club". There might be some sort of type of outdoor club area on side facing the press box building.

There is an odd, warehouse-like building right next to the stadium. Could it be an indoor practice facility? It is oddly placed and not attractive. It also seems a bit low in height.

Media facilities and rules at UCF were lacking. Parking was a long walk (with equipment) from the stadium. Photo credentials only gave me access to the FAU side of the field (I have never seen that before in stadiums from Nebraska to Troy). There are two photographer work rooms (one is the interview room). FAU also has two, but the rooms are larger with more space to work. Many photographers Friday night did not even have desk space for their laptops. The visiting media interview room did not have any sort of amplification and the coaches and players could barely be heard above the external noise. An inadequate amount of hydration was provided. I saw no food and there were no rest rooms dedicated to media (a problem FAU also has this year, thanks to stadium renovations).

But, it could have been worse (FIU).

Finally, the traffic jams, parking confusion and lack of knowledge about where to go and directions by officers and attendants caused a Nightmare in the two hours before the game. Even the UCF fans ripped the school in it's own social media.
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