of the MAC, on the other hand, is practicing what UCF is preaching, with three
upset victories in out-of-conference play last weekend. Marshall stunned #6
Kansas State; Toledo came from behind to squeeze #11 Pittsburgh and Miami over
powered Colorado State.
doesn't shock me. I've been saying all along how good this conference is and
how good to a team they can be. I'm proud to be a member of this conference,
Coach Mike Kruczek said.
cliché goes, “a team learns more from a loss than a win.” After Syracuse’s
exploitation of UCF, this should make Kruczek’s squad well aware of its
weaknesses heading into the first week of conference play at Kent State.
the kids prepare differently for a conference game. Having been in the
conference for a year, I think the kids understand how critical each and every
week is when you play a member of the conference. I hope that the difference in
attitude and focus will be clear on the practice field,” Kruczek said.
Golden Knights and Golden Flashes have only clashed twice in the past. Last
year’s meeting in Orlando ended in a 32-6 UCF victory. Defense kept the game
close until UCF rallied to take the lead with 10 points in the final four
minutes of the first half. The 10-3 advantage slowly extended itself throughout
the second half.
the arm of Daunte Culpepper, in 1997 UCF was also victorious 59-43. Culpepper
threw for 322 yards and four touchdowns while Kent State quarterback Jose Davis
passed for 551 yards and six TD’s during the offensive display.
State Coach Dean Pees has expanded his role to the team by naming himself
defensive coordinator, which gives Kruczek an idea of what should be expected.
"Their defense is more active than before,” Kruczek said. “They blitz a
little more and attack the ball. "We love the opportunity to defend the blitz.
We know how to handle that and how to get the ball to people. The blitz does
not bother us."
offense, the Golden Flashes will bring a style of attack not seen this year by
UCF. They are just one of eight teams to be ranked in the top 15 in rushing the
past two seasons. Last year they averaged 214.9 yards per contest on the ground
with 5.32 yards per carry.
State will bring a slight advantage when comparing the two lines. Kent State’s
offensive line averages 6’4” 290 pounds while UCF’s defensive line is only
averaging 6’3” 275 pounds.
have a few schemes that should slow down Kent State’s running game and make the
differences seem miniscule.
are certain things that we can do to defend their option attack. We'll try and
blitz a little and disrupt their rhythm. We have to get people filling gaps to
shut down their running attack. Preparation is critical, Kruczek said.
A win is
also critical. It would equal one win in one attempt in the always-tough MAC
schedule. It would make the other three out-of-conference games feel obsolete.
Finally, it would give the fans a glimpse of hope that their football team can
do it “Right here, Right now.”
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