That is the only way to describe that second half. After imposing their gameplan in the first half and only trailing 14-10 to Missouri. After that first half UCF fans had hope. After all Justin Holman had looked impressive again in the first half. He was 9/12 for 93 yards and a touchdown. He also had 38 yards on the ground.
Holman showcased why he is the future of UCF's offense, he made good reads and somehow managed to extend drives. That pass to Josh Resse in the second quarter to get the ball inside the Missouri redone was impressive. His throws were tight and usually on the mark. It was his play that kept UCF in that first half.
Now to the bad. One of the key factors to UCF's loss today was the conservative play calling of Charlie Taaffe. It was déjà vu for UCF fans.
In 2012 it was Taaffe's conservative play calling with a sophomore qb in 2012 that cost UCF against Missouri. Rinse and Repeat. Instead of taking advantage of Missouri's inexperienced secondary, Taaffe called it conservative. Instead of going up tempo with Holman, Taaffe would use a full house set and run the ball. Instead of using the bubble screens to counter Missouri's pass rush, Taaffe would play it safe and run it. It was like the coach forgot what was so successful last year.
But there was a bigger problem for UCF on the day. That was the total lack of preparation by the offensive line. Offensive line coach Brent Key had two weeks to get the line ready for the Missouri pass rush. Two weeks to scheme and come up with a gameplan.
If the second half is any indication he did not use that time wisely. Justin Holman was battered and beaten behind the poor offensive line. The Missouri front was able to stifle the explosive Holman and running back William Stanback in the second half. Key not getting into players faces when Justin Holman was battered in the second half was troubling.
Some UCF fans blame the graduation of 3 offensive lineman for how awful this line is. But here's a question for those fans: did you watch the USF, Temple, and SMU games last year? Even with those players the line was penetrated by mediocre fronts. Key is supposed to be the coach in waiting, if today's game is any indication Key should wait several more years before even be considered for a head coaching position be it at UCF or somewhere else.
The blame should go around for the way UCF played today. The coaches were outcoached and the players did not step up. UCF should win next week before playing BYU in 2 weeks. Changes need to be made if UCF wants to repeat as American Athletic Conference Champions. Open up the play book and let Holman throw the ball. The players and most importantly the coaches need to watch the tape and make sure a game like this never happens again.