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UCF Knights v. UConn Huskies: Preview, TV, Radio, Betting Line, Start Time

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The 0-5 Knights are just so bad. Good news is: UConn also stinks. With Junior QB Justin Holman back (we think), it's as good of an opportunity as any for the Knights to get back on track.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the first official installment of the "Civil ConFLiCT." (Get it? The capital "FL" is for Florida and the capital "CT" is for Connecticut and the "o" is for OHGODWHY).

This summer, UConn Head Coach unilaterally declared a rivalry with UCF, dubbing it the "Civil Conflict" The notion to capitalize the state abbreviations would only materialize later during AAC media day, when Bob Diaco was on fire during the coaches forum.

I don't think anyone can credibly suggest that this match-up is a rivalry, though thanks to Diaco, it is a (very weird) trophy game. This year it's all about two teams desperate for wins. Or in the Knights' case, a win.

And with Junior QB Justin Holman back instead of the Bo Schneider dumpster fire, maybe it will even happen this week.

Start time: October 10, 2015 at 3:45 PM EST.

Location: Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, FL.

TV: ESPNews.

Radio: 96.9 FM and 740-AM - Orlando, Sirius 119, XM 203.

Betting Line: UCF is a 2.5 point favorite.

The Series: We're tied at 1-1. In 2013, UCF destroyed UConn 62-17. The Huskies beat the Knights in Holman's turnover-plagued game last year 37-29. Bob Diaco only listed this second score on the "Civil Conflict" trophy he created.

The 2014 loss at UConn was also the Knights' only AAC loss until last week's disaster at Tulane.

The Opponent: Good news Knights fans: we are playing another terrible offense. UConn is averaging 15.8 points per game on offense. The 2-3 Huskies are a bad team. The Huskies opened the season with wins over Villanova and Army and then promptly dropped three in a row to Mizzou, Navy, and BYU.

QB Bryant Sheriffs has been pretty decent, but doesn't always take care of the football (BYU scored tend points off two Sheriffs picks to allow BYU to pull away last week).

UConn sports a solid run defense thanks to guys like DT Julian Campenni and LB Luke Carrezola. They have an opportunity to do a lot of damage against an anemic UCF rushing attack - the Knights turned in negative thirty-five yards rushing last week. And while it feels like it just can't be that bad again, Knights fans should be rightly nervous.

UCF Outlook: Folks, we are 0-5. The outlook for the Knights is never going to be "good" this season. But last week against Tulane may have been the rock bottom and established a new standard for utter futility - perfectly encapsulated by the following three play sequence:

1.      Bo Schneider completes a 62 yard pass to WR Chris Johnson. Johnson is somehow caught from behind by two Tulane players, one of whom punches the ball out directly into the other's arms.

2.      Tulane QB Tanner Lee throws a 49 yard touchdown pass and Tulane hits the extra point.

3.      Bo Schneider throws a pick.

I can't promise a win against the Huskies. But I am going to make a bold prediction: you will not see a sequence of three plays that awful on Saturday against the Huskies. Junior QB Justin Holman is back, according to head coach/interim athletic director/we-get-to-blame-you-for-everything-now-right George O'Leary (of course, Dontravious Wilson was supposed to be back last week,[1] but that didn't pan out, so . . . ). Holman had been cleared last week for the Tulane game, but did not travel because he apparently wasn't yet comfortable throwing with sufficient speed or accuracy.

O'Leary also announced that WR Taylor Oldham, who has been out since getting injured in the Spring game, will be back. He will be added to a wide receiver corps that is basically playing anyone healthy at this point.

Holman's return ought to give the Knights a bit of a punch this week. But remember, Holman's not a panacea. UCF can't run the ball. The offensive line is terrible, not only in run blocking, but in protecting the QB. Last week, for example, Schneider was sacked seven times.

This game is as good as any left on the schedule for the Knights to finally cobble together their first win of the season. But when you're this bad, it's hard to be too hopeful.



[1] This week, O'Leary said: "I'm waiting to see if Wilson can run full speed. I was told last week he was ready to go, but not from me watching. I didn't think he could cut like he needed to cut in a game, so that's why he didn't play. This week, he has to get ready to play and stuff and go from there."