Conference Title Vanished

AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli

Broken down, battered and embarrassed by Kent State, Ohio, and Akron, UCF's players are ready to play inspired football once again. UCF coming off a 31-13 win over Central Michigan last Saturday. Last Wednesday, the Mountaineers earned their biggest win in school history with a 28-7 rout of #3 Virginia Tech in Morgantown. The win was the highest-ranked team West Virginia has ever defeated. The Mountaineers welcome UCF for their Homecoming game this weekend.

UCF win over Central Michigan surely helps the Knights to build their confidence going into this Saturday game against West Virginia. Standing in their way to a two-game winning streak are the Mountaineers. The battle the Knights will face this weekend is a test for this young football team.

There is some doubt surrounding this team who is yet to really click on the offensive side of the ball. The talent is there but the chemistry is still falling into place. Defensively, the Knights are still inconsistence and not aggressive enough. Younger players are making an impact immediately but still need to learn the game at D-IA level while the veterans are holding their own as expected.

Still, UCF is finding ways to win and has delivered in every appearance of 2003. MAC championship dream was erased after each lost to a conference opponent. The ol' saying "on any given Saturday" applies more this season than ever. Slip up or one game and your season is over. Obviously the season is not over yet, but in so many ways it's over. No conference title to play for, UCF is playing for pride from now on.

The October 25th contest at home was an impressive. A 31-13 win over Central Michigan can never be taken for granted. Still, the offensive woes continued. Quarterback Ryan Schneider was accurate at times. Other occasions he was way off and threw some ill advice passes that result in interceptions. At tailback, Alex Haynes was consistent, but still is yet to explode and take over a game as occasionally expected of him. Special teams have helped set the tone on so many occasions this season. UCF will have to continue relying on the special teams as the offense continues to gel. Everyone is fully aware there is a game Saturday afternoon in the Mountaineers Stadium, but all thoughts are on Citrus Bowl on November 19th.

A narrow loss to Cincinnati and a beating at the hands of Maryland didn't seem to have this Mountaineer team demoralized. West Virginia's bounced back from a slow start by upsetting Virginia Tech. The huge upset victory last week of Virginia Tech is the biggest win in school history for the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers also came close to pull out an upset against Miami.

Hard to expect all that much out of a team that returned only five starters on offense, but the Mountaineers make believe out of doubters. WVU's rushing attack is the nation's 13th ranked unit. Leading the way for West Virginia is senior running back Quincy Wilson. Wilson is the nation's 12th leading rusher, averaging 115.7 yards per game. Last week in the 28-7 win over Virginia Tech, Wilson carried the ball 33 times and cracked for 178 yards and a touchdown. West Virginia is averaging 207 yards per game on the ground. Recommended Stories

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