Talking UCF, Part II: The Irish Bowl


About a month ago we started talking about the Wolfpack’s opening game against Central Florida in this entry that you may enjoy.

Although you can summarize UCF as follows…

Seventeen starters return to a team that went 4-8 a year ago, 3-5 in Conference USA. Senior quarterback Kyle Israel closed last season playing well, and coach George O’Leary expects him to pick up where he left off. Junior tailback Kevin Smith has run for more than 2,000 yards in his career. UCF gave up 40 or more points four times last season.

…we thought that we would start a new entry to capture recent information that will prep you for the game. So, please use our comments section to post articles that you find and whatever UCF-comments that you would like to share.

Today’s N&O had a piece about UCF’s resurgence that I thought covered a lot of information that fans would like to know. Additionally, Pack Pride has posted their UCF Notebook.

In addition to previous analyses of UCF’s offensive and defensive units, our friends at Section Six have provided some more detailed bullet points that are both interesting and relevant:

— They have a group of linebackers who are light on talent, speed, and experience. We will be running the football at them a lot.

— They have an alarming number of true freshman wide receivers on the two-deep (PDF). Javid James was unimpressive during camp, while Willie Thornton has been banged up, which leaves Rocky Ross as the lone returning wide receiver guaranteed to see significant time on Saturday. That’s rather less than ideal. They may sort these WR issues out as the season progresses, but I think as far as the opener goes, this is going to be the death of them.

— Most recently, there have been questions regarding the kicking game.

— While the fact that several mainstream media folk think we’re going to be a “surprise” team this season makes me a little uncomfortable, the statistical indicators do agree with them. There’s the turnover margin and close losses. Our expected record last year based on points scored and allowed, 5-7. CAPP and SDPI. The last time our record didn’t accurately reflect our performance (2004), we bounced back with a winning season. So the moral is, and I write this really for my benefit as much as anyone else’s: don’t worry. We are not doomed to bad luck. And that will be immediately apparent.


O’Leary vs O’Brien

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