Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Monday, September 7, 2015

Knights Fall to FIU in Season Opener; Make Yahoo Losers List

Filed under: UCF Sports — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:36


The UCF Knights (0-1; 0-0 AAC) fell to the Panthers of Florida International Thursday in an embarrassing loss that marks just the second time UCF has lost a home opener since the opening of their on-campus Bright House Networks Stadium in 2007. The Thursday night, 6pm game, was televised live on CBS Sports Network and was attended by close to 40,000 spectators. Says Shannon Greene of the Orlando Sentinel:

The Knights rushed for just 46 yards compared to the Panthers’ 131 and were largely unable to move the ball in the second half, during which starter Dontravious Wilson was sidelined due to a leg injury. Last season’s leading rusher, Will Stanback, rushed for just 12 yards  and averaged less than a yard per carry.

Despite the earlier adversity, UCF relied on the run during its final drive with the hope it could help the Knights overcome a 15-14 deficit with less than a minute to play. A personal foul by FIU helped advance UCF into scoring range on the 23-yard line, but a stalled rushing attack and ill-timed penalty left the game in the hands of freshman kicker Matt Wright. His 47-yard field goal attempt was blocked and the Knights lost.

Unfortunately, the national media has climbed on the bandwagon criticizing the loss. Yahoo Sports listed UCF as its #2 loser of the week, saying, “”UCF: What the heck, Knights? This isn’t how coach George O’Leary’s tenure as interim athletic director was supposed to start. Central Florida lost at home to Florida International 15-14 on Thursday night. Yes, a program just two years removed from a Fiesta Bowl win lost at home to a team that has two winning seasons in its history. FIU got the win as Matthew Wright’s late field goal attempt was blocked. Next up for UCF is a trip to Stanford, which will be looking to regroup from an embarrassing performance against Northwestern — 0-2 seems more likely than not.”

UCF travels to Stanford, California to face the Cardinal on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 10:30pm (Eastern Time) and the game will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 Network. The UCF Alumni Association is hosting a tailgating event prior to the game on the Stanford campus. More information regarding tickets to the UCF @ Stanford Tailgate can be found at: UCF Tailgate @ Stanford.

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