UCF’s comeback fell short, losing 28-21 against N.C. State. The knights couldn’t overcome turnovers, with their 5th and final coming on their last drive of the game. After being down 28-7, backup true freshman QB Jeff Godfrey came in and sparked the offensive with two touchdowns. The Knights were driving for a tying score when Quincy McDuffie fumbled, sealing the victory for the Wolfpack.
In my opinion neither team looked very impressive. The difference, as I predicted, was turnovers.
Fortunately for UCF this was an out of conference loss, and hopes are still hight for a conference championship. The question now is who will be the starting quarterback.
Rob Calabrese looked decent, but was not able to put points on the board. To his defense he did not have much help from his receivers and the running game was terrible.
UCF fans have heard for a while how Jeff Godfrey is electric and a playmaker, and they got to witness it on saturday night. Godfrey came in and made plays with his feet and arm, almost single-handedly putting UCF back in the game. It is clear that the extra time Godfrey had by enrolling early in January has paid off. He seems poised in the pocket and brings an excitement that UCF offenses have lacked. Godfrey should only get better with more experience, which is exciting for UCF.
Coach O’Leary has still not named a starter for this saturday’s game versus Buffalo. There is still the possibility of sticking with Calabrese, who has shown much improvement and knows the offense well. The complaint amongst the UCF nation, and understandably, would be that Godfrey seems to have the tools to compete now and is the future for the next 4 years–so the sooner he plays the faster he will improve.
The Knights have more concerns than figuring out who is lining up behind center. The offensive line was not impressive, which made for a non-existent running game. Even when Godfrey came in, he made most of the plays with his feet, after a play had broken down or there was pressure.
The Defense seemed to get better as the game went on. There were some holes against the run, primarily giving up a twenty-something yard touchdown run on 3rd and long, but the intensity picked up and the D came up with stops which gave UCF a chance to come back. If the defense we saw in the second half is what we can expect for the season, there isn’t much reason for concern.
UCF has their first road game this saturday, heading north to play Buffalo. It will be a homecoming for both Calabrese and O’Leary.
Check back later in the week for a game preview.
About the Author
Written by Marc Cerniglia