The Knights are up against their biggest opponent of the season so far as they head to BYU (1-2) on Friday, Sept. 23. Coming off a tough loss against FIU, the Knights will be looking for a rebound to catapult them into conference play.
They’ll have a tough game ahead of them though, facing the most prolific quarterback they’ve seen this season. Though the Knights have versatility in quarterback Jeff Godfrey, who has proven capable in the air and on the ground, BYU’s Jake Heaps has gained 722 yards passing in three games this season. The Knights could capitalize on his inconsistency though, as Heaps has also thrown four interceptions to go with his three touchdown passes.
Godfrey, who has 156 yards on the ground, has only thrown for 468 yards so far — not bad by UCF standards — which places him well behind Heaps’ total.
The Knights will be looking to mobilize more offense this week after only entering the end zone once last week.
In that game, a promising trip to face an up-and-coming team turned into a nightmare for the Knights, who crumbled under the weight of penalties and botched plays in a 17-10 loss to FIU on Sept. 17.
The Knights had entered the game on a roll, 2-0 on the season after wins to start off 2011. But they faced an FIU team with an identical record that was bent on derailing the Knights.
They did so by pressuring Godfrey into making costly errors that would turn the tide of the game, which never was fully out of reach for the Knights, but never in their hands.
More than 70 yards of penalties and two lost fumbles turned what looked like a win on paper into a narrow loss for the Knights, who led until 6 seconds left in the first half of the game. In those final seconds, they watched in horror as a fumble was returned 51 yards for a touchdown that tied the game.
On offense, the Knights ruled the field, out-gaining FIU 300 yards to 238. The Knights had more first downs, held onto the ball much longer, and converted more third downs. FIU led in nearly no offensive categories.
But on defense, the Panthers kept the Knights, particularly Godfrey, on their toes. They would sack Godfrey six times on the night, with those sacks adding up to nearly all of the 42 yards the Knights would lose on the ground.
Both of the fumbles that the Panthers recovered turned into touchdowns. Those touchdowns would spell the difference between victory and defeat for the Knights.
Though the Knights enter their game against BYU with a perfect 16-of-16 record in the red zone, they’ll need to find their way there to win. That game starts at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 on ESPN.