First, let me say to the Missouri fans, you’re welcome. Second, Mizzou fans are among the best visiting fans we’ve seen at Bright House Stadium. A very classy bunch of folks, which is not surprising since most of them are St. Louis Cardinal fans, always reported to be among the best fans in sports.
How hot was it yesterday? Noon kickoffs in Central Florida should be against the rules.
Now about the game. The team played well on defense except for two plays where they didn’t wrap up. The punt return was a result of the punter getting off a booming kick (out-kicking his coverage) and the guy who’s job it was to contain on the right side slipping and falling. The result was a long touchdown. Just bad luck. So you can make the argument that we played well enough to win and were a victim of some bad luck out there.
BUT, you’d be wrong. You have to account for a lucky break or two going against you. That is why you cannot afford to waste scoring opportunities. UCF completely dominated the first half of the game. It seemed like ever couple of play we were doing the “and that’s good enough for another UCF…FIRST DOWN!!” thing. We were killing them on the ground. The passing game was working. And we went to the locker room up by…3 points. What the bloody hell was that garbage at the end of the half?? Are we kicking a field goal with :11 left? No wait, let’s run one more play. WHICH I had no problem with. There was a timeout called by Mizzou, so we had time to run a quick play and still kick a field goal. BUT, did nobody tell our quarterback that he absolutely cannot afford a sack on the play? And if not, should they really have to? He is a D-I quarterback. Does he not know the situation?
To make things worse, he had an open receiver at the goal line. If he would have thrown the ball, it was an easy touchdown.
So then we come out in the second half and do what? We totally abandon the run game that was chewing them up in the first half. We decide to run the same screen pass in every third and long, which had no prayer. Here’s a hint George. Screen passes work against the blitz. They do not work if the defense is in pass coverage to prevent a third and ten play. If a team is blitzing you a lot because they can’t get pressure on your QB in their base package, then you screen them to death. Mizzou didn’t need to blitz because we couldn’t block their normal pass rush. Why would they blitz? And so why did you keep calling screens? Did you hear the crowd booing George? They weren’t booing the payers. They were booing your sorry play calling!
Unfortunately there is still no outrage among the fan base. Apathy has set in. We’ve been doing this same dance since the mid 1990s. We were playing SEC teams close in the days of Duante Culpepper. That was 15 years ago. It seems like every year since then has been the same story. We play four non-conference teams. Two will be BCS AQ teams and two will be easy wins. And we’ll go 2-2. In those two losses we’ll hang in there. But we can’t close the deal. O’Leary has been playing this same song for nine years now. He’s a game under .500 over a nine year period. What school that takes its football seriously has a coach around for that long who can’t win more than half his games?
We have an SEC team come in to our house house for the first time ever and we half a half full stadium. Why? Probably because we have a coach who’s 52-53. A half-ass coach creates a half-ass fan base. We can’t get anybody to raise enough hell to put pressure on a mediocre coach because we’ve accepted this mediocrity. Our facebook page has less then 600 likes on it. That’s pretty sad for a fan base of over 50,000 which is how many have liked UCF Nation’s page. We have a team that’s been playing .500 ball for nine years in a mid-major conference and we barely have over 1% of the fan base pissed off about it? That is why we are where we are. That’s why we play in a half empty stadium and lose games we should be winning, year after year after year. When is enough, ENOUGH?!?