Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Friday, October 5, 2012

UCF Knights Open C-USA Play With Big Win

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 03:12


The UCF Knights (3-2; 1-0 C-USA) kicked-off their last season in Conference USA with a crushing 40-20 defeat of the Pirates of East Carolina (3-3; 2-1 C-USA) Thursday evening in-front of a nationwide audience (the game was televised on CBS Sports Network) and about 33,000 Knights fans at Bright House Networks Stadium. The Knights will depart C-USA next season for the Big East; and winning the Eastern Division title and becoming Conference Champions one last time remains the Knights’ #1 priority. Paul Tenorio reports for the Orlando Sentinel:

The opening drive of Thursday night’s game appeared a notch past worrisome for UCF. East Carolina plink and plunked its way down the field. Quarterback Shane Carden completed 6 of 7 passes for 40 yards and the Pirates rushed six times for 35 yards – including a 7-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. It only got worse on the next drive – a one-play, 76-yard strike that made it 14-0.

While Quincy McDuffie’s 99-yard kickoff return undoubtedly turned the momentum of the game, a more subtle adjustment by the Knights’ defensive staff may also have altered the outcome. UCF went on to beat East Carolina 20-40.

The most obvious issue during those first two drives was a lack of push up front by UCF’s defensive line. That led to plenty of time in the pocket for Carden, who was patient and efficient in waiting for his receivers to get open, never more glaring than when Pirates receiver Justin Hardy sprinted by UCF cornerback Brandon Alexander on the long touchdown pass.

“It was mistakes on our half and not more so what they were doing,” said senior defensive lineman Troy Davis, who had six tackles and two quarterback hurries. “And we just needed to make corrections as far as the defensive scheme and we got it done.”

After those opening two drives, UCF allowed just six points. Of the Pirates 362 total yards, 141 came on those first two of ECU’s 11 drives. The pass rush undoubtedly was a factor. Carden rarely had time to sit in the pocket; he was sacked twice and hurried another six times.

UCF coach George O’Leary said it was simply a numbers game.

“They were keeping seven-man protection in there and we were rushing four guys,” O’Leary said. “So it was two-on-one right across the board. So we started sending an extra guy all the time and at least you get two guys with singles so you can hopefully beat someone. … I wish we would have contained the quarterback better, there would have been about eight or nine sacks out there.”

 Story and Photo Courtesy Orlando Sentinel.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress