HOW THE OTHER HALF LIVES: A glimpse at UCF football

(Jasen Delgado/ The Beacon)

We got a chance to chat a bit with Andy Zunz, Sports Editor of the Central Florida Future. He gave us some insights  on what to expect from the Knights this weekend when FIU makes the trip up to Orlando. 

What kind of offense should we expect from the Knights this weekend? 

AZ: Head coach George O’Leary and offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe try to keep the offense as traditional as possible. If the opposing defense allows for it, O’Leary will run the ball down the middle every play, and with a strong offensive line and three potent running backs, UCF has the personnel to do so.
While the offense never gets too crazy, quarterback Blake Bortles will take snaps out of a pistol formation from time-to-time and wide receiver Rob Calabrese leads a “Wild-Knight” package on occasion.

The Panthers have been able to run the ball fairly well so far this season, how will the Knights be able to slow down the running attack?

AZ: The Knights pride themselves on their ability to rush the ball and stop the run, so don’t expect too much success with between-the-tackle runs.
If Jake Medlock is able to scramble and get outside of the pocket amid pressure, FIU may be able to find some success in the rushing game with its quarterback.

Jake Medlock is a young quarterback, do you think the hostile environment in Orlando could pose problems?

AZ: While there may not be a huge crowd on hand Saturday, Bright House Networks Stadium can get pretty loud and UCF’s strong, quick defense won’t help.
This is the Knights’ home opener, so expect the defense to feed off of the crowd in a big way, giving the young quarterback some trouble.  

The defense has struggled a lot for FIU, giving up 84 points so far. Do you expect this to be a bit of a shoot out?

AZ: Judging by the players’ comments in the team’s weekly press conference, UCF may be taking a bend, but not break strategy with the Panthers.
UCF will be able to put some points up on the board, leaving it up to FIU’s big-play ability to keep this game close.

What do you make of Storm Johnson so far?

AZ: Storm Johnson is going to be an excellent player as soon as he adjusts to game speed once again. When that happens is the big question. Johnson is incredibly skilled and may break out on Saturday, but if he doesn’t, senior Brynn Harvey can rush for his fair share of yards.

What’s the biggest concern going in for UCF?

AZ: UCF’s biggest concern is facing another dual-threat quarterback. The team was ripped to shreds by Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller a week ago, leaving questions about whether the defense is able to account for a quarterback with the ability to scramble.

What’s your prediction for the game (score and why)?

AZ: UCF takes its home opener 35-21, using its experience playing Miller a week ago to contain Medlock.

You can follow the Central Florida Future Sports on twitter @CFFsports  and follow us @FIUSMSports

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