UCF defeated FAU 48-14. The game never felt close. In the first quarter it was apparent that the Owls would follow the same script they produced against Ohio State.
Start slow, put up a fight, then get worn down and overwhelmed by UCF’s athleticism and speed toward the end. The Knights scored the game’s first 21 points with true freshman Dillon Gabriel starting at QB. Their game plan was pretty conservative, but with the amount of depth UCF has at running back they could have had you at QB and would have been fine.
The Knights rushed for 312 yards. Greg McCrae, Bentavious Thompson, and Otis Anderson averaged 10.7 yards per carry.
Although the stats suggest FAU’s defense didn’t offer much of a fight, they did. I have to give credit to that unit for keeping FAU in the game for as long as they did. The offense had ample opportunities to reach the end zone and failed each time to finish a drive.
By the time FAU’s offense was able to generate any sort of momentum it was too late. UCF led 28-6 at halftime and it was apparent that any sort of comeback would need to be aided by miscues by UCF.
Unlike last week where there was a few silver linings to take away from a blowout loss, there were none last night. It’s hard to believe that UCF is that much better than FAU but they are. Both programs recruit largely from the same talent pool in Florida.
The difference is the foundation UCF has solidified, while FAU is still working out the kinks. But still, the Knights played their “C” game with a conservative approach and won with ease.
The most frustrating result from last night is how anemic the offense looked. The offense gained 314 yards but those yards were not easy. Harrison Bryant and John Raine are clearly the most consistent offensive players FAU has. But neither are explosive playmakers. The running backs are fine, but not game-breakers by any means. The biggest problem with the offense is the play of the offensive line.
The Knights lived in the backfield all night, with 16 TFLs and 5 QB hurries. Chris Robison was practically running for his life every time he dropped back to pass. Any slow developing plays were quickly snuffed out due to the penetration of the d-line.
Lane Kiffin has made it this far in his coaching career due to his rep as an offensive genius. Two games in to Year 3 and I’m not convinced the offense will be the strength of the team. Game-by-game, I can’t help but wonder if Kiffin’s first season was successful due to former offensive coordinator Kendall Briles.
At 0-2, FAU will head to Indiana next week to take on the 1-1 Ball State Cardinals of the MAC.