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PROVO -- Week 4 is already upon us and BYU is still a bit of a mystery. Usually, I like mysteries; but only reading books or going to movies, not in watching my favorite football team.
Week 4 also ends one third of the season, it goes so fast when we wait so long for it to get here. After three games coaches would like to know the personality of their team. We do know that BYU is a very hard hitting physical team. Opponents are going to put in some hot tub time after playing BYU.
A new opponent comes to town this week in the Central Florida Knights. Here is the scoop on UCF: They run the pistol offense with a good shifty quarterback and solid runners. UCF has scored 12 touchdowns this season and the QB has half of them. Of the 133 total runs so far this year, the QB has one third of those carries. He is also completing 69% of his passes. The first goal isn't hard to figure out.
BYU must contain the quarterback. It will be a good challenge. The kid is quick and makes players miss tackles. He isn't big like former Nevada and current San Francisco 49er quarterback Collin Kaepernick, but more elusive. The BYU defense cannot allow Jeff Godfrey to get out on the edges and must keep him funneled inside the ends. Godfrey likes to throw short passes to his wide receiver Quincy McDuffy, who has caught nearly one-third of all the team completions this year. So, if BYU can control the QB running, it will set up more third down situations that will require BYU to stop that short pass game. The UCF QB is the key to stopping Central Florida.
UCF has some really good defensive statistics. Opponents have only scored 20 points this year. The defense went 14 quarters without giving up a touchdown until Florida International scored last week. They give up just 93 yards per game in pass defense, 72 yards a game in rush defense, 22-percent third down defense, and only 6.67 points per game in scoring defense.
Those numbers should be a good challenge to BYU's offense.
The offense has to be eager to turn things around this week. BYU's offense will need to be consistent in this game to complete drives for touchdowns. I know that is always the goal on every drive, but someone needs to provide more leadership to get the offense going. That person can be a player or a coach. There certainly has been enough good play to encourage everyone that the skill is there, but the errors that keep popping up have been killers.
The confidence level needs to be bolstered. BYU needs to start like this is week 1, plan on running the ball successfully to set up the pass. A balanced offense is much harder to defend. Make first downs and score points. It is much easier to write that stuff down than to do it, but I believe it is going to happen.
BYU needs to make some game-changing plays this week. Defensive scores or a fake punt that sets up a score or a surprising play from the offense that provides an emotional lift will do wonders to help the team's attitude. The game has to be fun along with focus and execution. Right now there isn't much fun. Some momentum-changing plays will help the team have some fun again.
I've been around sports a long time and one thing I've learned is that winning is more fun than losing.
I'm eager to see how BYU responds this week, will they be tentative or exuberant? I'm ready for some Friday Night Lights and some fun.
- UCF is the largest university in America by undergraduate enrollment.
- UCF beat Georgia in the 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl to finish the season 11-3.
- The school was built to train personnel for the Kennedy Space Center.
- The school mascot is called Knightro and his girlfriend is Glycerin.