ECU Pirates vs. UCF Knights - Final Preview

(Stan Gilliland/AP)

Our final game preview of ECU vs UCF with the most important things and what to watch.

ECU Pirates vs. UCF Knights
Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 8pm EST
Bright House Networks Stadium - Orlando, FL

Records: UCF 2-5, ECU 4-3

Series History: ECU 6-1, last meeting: ECU won 52-38


Five most important things for UCF:

1. Don't hold the ball. To put it simply, freshman quarterback Rob Calabrese needs to release the ball sooner. Just about all of the nine sacks UCF suffered during last week's loss to Tulsa were on Calabrese for hanging on to the ball too long. If Brian Watters is not open, he can't be afraid to check it down to a TE, or RB.

2. Joe Burnett needs to step up. He had by far the worst game of his season last week. Opponents may not have to kick to him, but he needs to find a way to get involved in this game and show off the play making ability that he has.

3. Score off turnovers. You cannot receive the ball on your opponents side of the 50, come up with nothing and expect to win games. The Knights will more than likely force multiple turnovers and they need to capitalize off those if they want to beat a good ECU team.

4. Hang onto the ball. Blake Clingan should not have another bad game and UCF should be able to stop the Pirates as long as they don't cough up the rock and give ECU good field position.

5. Enjoy the home cooking. UCF is a much different team at home; a much better one. The Knights are undefeated versus conference foe at Bright House Networks Stadium and they need to thrive off the energy in the stadium for this Sunday night game.


What to look for:

1. Look for the weather to impact the game. It is going to be cold by Florida standards and is expected to rain. UCF would like to run the ball anyways, but may be forced to.

2. Look for Brynn Harvey and Calabrese to get the majority of the snaps. O'Leary has been impressed with their improvement and performances in practice. Unless they stumble, they will take most of the snaps.

3. Look for special teams to make a big difference. Blake Clingan had a terrible game in a windy environment at Tulsa, and will look to rebound when he is called upon. Joe Burnett was not kicked to into the Tulsa game, and ECU will likely follow suit, so someone else will have to step up.

4. Look for Brynn Harvey to have a big day. The Knights want to run and he is starting to develop patience and vision, to go along with his great speed and agility. As a true freshman he is improving every week and should be able to get the ground game going.

5. Look for field goal kicking to play a role. This game will most likely be a defensive struggle and it could come down to which kicker is more accurate. You never know what you're going to get with any of the UCF kickers.

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