Nice way to end the season especially for the seniors playing their last home game. But, before we get all warm and fuzzy about ending on a positive note, remember that two C-USA Teams are getting ready to play a pretty big game next week, and neither of them is UCF. And that’s OK. Nobody wins their division every year. But what is not ok is there will be five or six C-USA teams getting ready to go play in a bowl game. And NONE of those is UCF. If this didn’t happen 50% of the time, I could look past this. But the fact is, under George O’Leary, it DOES happen half the time. In a world where 6-6 makes you bowl eligible, even when one of those six is against a 1-AA opponent, there is no excuse for a school with the resources that UCF has to not be bowl eligible.
Let’s look back on the reasons UCF is not going to a bowl shall we? Reason #1. WE lose our first game of the season to FIU. FIU?? How do we lose it? We literally fumble it away. We give up the winning TD on a punt muff inside the ten. Not to be outdone, we put a new punt return man in there the next week against BYU and he does the exact same thing. Now, does the coach not bear some responsibility for this? Maybe I can see it happening once, but did you NOT make it clear to the next guy that he had better not do it? How do you lose two games this way, six days apart? Then we get hammered by SMU. Not TCU, not Texas, but SMU.
Then there was the UAB debacle. We lose to a team that was 0-6. Unbelievable.
Then we lose to Tulsa at home. Tulsa has about 450 students and $1.29 athletic budget. Yet every year they seem to be bowl eligible. And every time they play us without Kevin Smith, they whip our ass. In 2005 they whipped it WITH 24k. This time we can’t cover a guy in the red zone and then can’t tackle him. Then we can’t punch it in with a first and goal at the 2 yard line.
Then there was the Southern Miss game. George gets a gift on a spectacular play by Bortles and Worton to tie the game, no wait, we’re not going to take it, We’re going for two. WHAT?? Have you ever heard one in the hand is worth two in the bush? You extend the game when you can. You DON”T put your team in another do or die play when they just survived a do or die play! If you keep rolling 7s and don’t know when to take your winnings and go home, eventually you are going to roll snake eyes.
And to top it all off, there was the ECU game, which was the last shot at a bowl game, and again we cannot punch it in from inside the ten to tie the game in the last minute.
So now we have taken a quarterback situation that was rock solid this time a year ago and turned it into a mess. Last year Godfrey looked as if he was on his way to stardom. Now we are left to wonder if he’s on his way out the door. Or will he be the starter next spring? Nobody knows. How does this happen? I don’t know. But under O’Leary’s watch, it seems to happen a lot.
Our running hero from the Liberty Bowl last year didn’t get going until the last couple of games this year. And the defense was awesome one week and pitiful the next. And it had little to do with the competition. There were games when for some reason we would forget how to tackle. These issues have got to be coaching. Because players have come and gone. But it keeps happening.