For this week’s views from enemy lines we travel down south to Florida… No we didn’t ask Mike Bianchi any questions. We did stay with the Orlando Sentinel though, and their UCF writer Iliana Limon. Check out Iliana’s answers as she gives us some insight on UCF’s program, and take a listen to her visit with our BBN bros at The Empire.
1. How does George O’Leary like to attack his opponents offensively? Is he primarily a ground guy, air guy, or is he more flexible depending on the defense?
UCF coach George O’Leary definitely prefers to use a tough rushing attack to establish pass plays. He believes in ball-control offense, which tends to set up his defense for success when his offense performs well.
2. We’ve seen UCF oscillate between good seasons and mediocre/bad ones on about a three year cycle since O’Leary arrived. Do you see that continuing into the future? How do you envision the future of the program under O’Leary?
Like all coaches, O’Leary aspires to win on a consistent basis. The key to his success is sustaining depth. He has struggled to string together back-to-back strong senior classes, who are expected to be the leaders of his program. When reserves don’t see early playing time and have other options, they tend to leave UCF and erase key components of what will one day be a senior class. It appears the program is finally starting to turn a corner with some well spaced out classes that could provide consistent leadership year after year.
3. What type of defense does UCF employ? Do you think it will be up to the task of facing Urban Meyer’s offense, albeit imperfectly run?
UCF runs a multiple or 4-3 defense. The Knights prefer to get pressure on the quarterback without blitzing. The emphasis is on playing assignment-sound football and being as disruptive as possible. It’s hard to say how successful UCF’s defense will be against Ohio State. The Knights have great depth and talent, but some fundamental mistakes — including poor tackling form — popped up last week against Akron and could be a much bigger headache for the Knights at Ohio State.
4. With Latavius Murray possibly out for the game, do you think the Knights change their offensive philosophy at all? Read More
In his weekly press conference on Monday, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer called the Buckeyes’ week two opponent a “different animal.”
Ohio State played three tremendous quarters against the Miami RedHawks, but the Central Florida Golden Knights will present a much more difficult task, and Meyer is well aware.
The Knights and Buckeyes have one thing in common so far in this 2012 campaign. Both schools hung 56 points against a MAC opponent in week one. UCF defeated Akron 56-14, while the Buckeyes handled Miami 56-10.
The numbers in the UCF-Akron game weren’t staggering—the Knights only outgained the Zips by 66 total yards—but there was one thing that leaped out at me. UCF got into the red zone seven times against Akron, and scored touchdowns on all seven possessions.
Running back Latavius Murray led the way for the Knights, carrying the ball 14 times for 109 yards and a touchdown. Murray suffered a shoulder injury, though, in the Knights’ win against Akron, and will not play against the Buckeyes on Saturday.
Since Murray cannot go, the Knights will likely turn to Cedric Thompson and Storm Johnson to carry the load. Against the Zips, Thompson had 11 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown and Johnson had 12 carries for 36 yards and two touchdowns.
Ohio State fans saw an offense they haven’t seen before from their Buckeyes against Miami. Things will not come as easy against UCF, though.
Quarterback Braxton Miller was unleashed, throwing for 207 yards and two touchdowns and running for 161 yards and a touchdown.
If OSU plays its game, and there is no reason to believe it won’t, the Buckeyes should come away with a win against UCF. But, one of the most famous quotes in sports is “that’s why they play the game.”
Coming off an impressive debut, it would be very easy for OSU to have a letdown against a team it should beat.
This isn’t your normal Ohio State football team, though. And something tells me Urban will have the boys ready for this one.