Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Knights Lose Heartbreaker to #23 Southern Miss

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:30


The UCF Knights (4-6; 2-4 C-USA) lost to a very good ranked (#23) Southern Miss (9-1; 5-1 C-USA) team Saturday night in a showdown at “The Rock” in Hattiesburg, MS. The Knights brought the game down to the wire, mostly by racking up yardage on the backs of backup quarterback Blake Bortles and wide receiver Lativius Murray. The Knights marched down the field in the last final seconds of the game and scored a touchdown that brought the game to 29-30. Instead of tying the game up and bringing it into overtime, UCF went for a two-point conversion, that unfortunately, fell short and gave the Golden Eagles the win. This was also the away-game I chose to attend this season with my dad. We made plans to attend Southern Miss before the start of the season, believing the Conference USA East Division Title would be on the line at this game. UCF now needs to win-out its remaining two games at East Carolina (4-5; 3-2 C-USA) and at home against UTEP (5-4; 2-3 C-USA) to become bowl eligible. Most college football experts predict the Knights will do that and land in the St. Petersburg (Beef O’Brady’s Bowl) against a Big East (UCF’s future conference) team on December 20th. UCF vs. East Carolina is being broadcasted on Fox Sports Network this Saturday. Kickoff is at 7:00pm. See below for my reflections from Southern Miss. (Photo Courtesy Orlando Sentinel).

1. Pre-Game Dinner at Leatha’s BBQ: Ridiculously good BBQ! Dad and I both remarked it could be the best BBQ we ever had, even better than Memphis! Neat atmosphere and very friendly wait staff who welcomed the UCF fans that were there.

2. Southern Miss Campus/ Tailgate/ Fans: Very nice campus that consists of older style brick buildings. Lots of tailgaters. Every Southern Miss fan we interacted with at the game was incredibly friendly and welcoming. The fans (with the exception of a few who’ve come to this Board) are very classy folks. 

3. The Game: I think we saw an amazing comeback performance from our boys that brought it down to the wire. Obviously Bortles was much more effective than Godfrey (he should be our starter period) and Murray/ Worton were great. I have some great feelings about our offense and entire 2012 team after this game. The two-pointer was a gutsy call that would’ve made one hell of a statement had it worked. Hindsight is always 20/20. So going for the tie for OT looks much more attractive now. But I give O’Leary some credit for the ballsy call. 

4. Attendance: My dad and I were shocked to hear the announced crowd at just 32,000! A ranked top-25 football team that seems to be destined for their Conference Championship game and a nice post-season bowl only had 32K people attend their game and that is sad to me. And the very friendly, welcoming, and cordial Southern Miss fans around us told us that the attendance last night was actually slightly better than average and that “The Rock” has NEVER hosted one sell-out game in its entire history! Seeing such poor attendance for a team that is having such an incredible season was disappointing for sure. Overall, we really enjoyed the Southern Miss experience. I would definitely go back again. 

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