Today's game will involve many different scenarios. Can the Knights overcome a plethora of injuries to key personnel? Can UCF freshman quarterback Mikey Keene be effective versus one of the nation's quickest and most diverse defenses? Which player(s) from UCF step up to make big plays?
As the game moves forward after the 12 p.m. kickoff, there will be updates all game long. If you have anything to add, reply on Twitter: @UCF_FanNation will be the place to look. One of your tweets could end up right here in this article.
Final: Cincinnati 56-21 over UCF.
Touchdown UCF: The Knights find the endzone with 1:48 remaining, as Mark Antony-Richards finds the goal line. 56-21 Cincinnati with the lead.
Reserves: The Bearcats called off the starters but that did not stop backup quarterback Evan Prater from faking out Big Kat Bryant and running into the endzone. Bearcats 56-14 over the Knights.
Yardage: Cincinnati 372 and UCF 249. 9:09 to play.
Again? It might be time to reconsider Johnny Richardson as the kickoff return man. He's explosive, but decision making must improve. He just picked up the ball, hesitated inside the five, and then was tackled at the six.
Another Special Teams Miscue: UCF special teams continue to underachieve. Amari Johnson attempted to catch a punt over his shoulder. The result: a recovery by Cincinnati and now the Bearcats are about to score another touchdown.
Sack for the Knights: Right up the middle, Quadric Bullard with the sack of Desmond Ridder. Next play, Landon Woodson destroyed Ridder after being untouched up the middle. Desmond Ridder looks a little shaken.
Touchdown UCF: Bowser runs into the endzone by way of the Wildcat formation. Great play design and UCF destroyed Cincinnati during a running play for the first time today. Update: Dingle was ejected for the hit on Richardson.
Missed Targeting Call...Now Being Reviewed: A run up the middle by UCF running back Johnny Richardson by Cincinnati defender Jacob Dingle.
Pick-Six for Coby Bryant of Cincinnati: As stated several times this week, if UCF did not challenge Cincinnati down the field the Bearcats would be almost impossible to move the football against. Keene just threw a pick-six when Bryant really sat on the short route.
The Knights need to be much better at balancing the short passes with the long passes for the rest of this game, as well as the games to be played for the rest of the 2021 season. Keene needs help, yes, but there are ways to create enviable passing situations for the freshman signal caller.
Bowser Looks Energized: He played tentative in the first half, but looks completely different in the second half. Bowser made a great cut on a fourth down and 1 to complete the conversion.
3rd Down and 1: Knights use Isaiah Bowser as part of the Wildcat package and create a big hole right up the middle.
Fumble Receovery Josh Celiscar: Knights take over.
Power Run Game: Bearcats are once again punishing UCF right up the middle. The injuries to Kalia Davis (out for year) and Ricky Barber (return unknown) really showing why injuries matter. Cincinnati has now rushed 27 times for 232 yards, a 8.6 average.....
3rd Quarter: Great play by Cincinnati linebacker Jaheim Thomas to tackle Johnny Richardson in space. Knights punt, Bearcats taking over deep in their own territory.
Second Half Adjustments? The Knights started being more aggressive at the end of the first half, and it helped. Cincinnati will certainly still make plays, but the way UCF plays a competitive second half begins with play calling that allows Keene to stretch the field, as well as screens and runs mixed in between down-the-field passes. Only need three, perhaps four passes that go 20-plus yards in the air, but that will change what Cincinnati does.
Halftime: Cincinnati 35-7 over UCF.
Yardage Totals: Even with the drive to score a touchdown, Cincinnati holds a 314 to 99 advantage in total yardage.
Reverse: Great play by Ryan O'Keefe on the reverse for a 51-yard gain.
Assessment: UCF is out matched. Fair enough. Congratulations to Cincinnati. With that stated, UCF’s body language has been poor, there’s nobody consistently winning battles, and the coaching has been really conservative.
The reason for the article about attacking Ahmad Gardner earlier this week was because everyone, the Bearcats included, expected UCF to throw short play after play. It’s just too easy to cover and rally to the football. Poor play calling and scheme ideas by the UCF coaching staff. Further, nobody is breaking tackles, and that’s on the UCF players.
As this is being typed, UCF finally throws deep, but it did not work out. Have to take those shots.
Bearcats Score Yet Again: Ford goes for his fourth score of the game. 35-0 Bearcats throttling UCF.
Touchdown Bearcats: Ford goes 79 yards and is barely touched. Cincinnati leads 28-0 over UCF.
Touchdown Bearcats: fade ball to Pierce, the Cincinnati wide receiver. Cincinnati 21-0 over UCF. It's just a matter of what the score will be now.
Disaster: UCF has a total bust in coverage as Ford catches and runs down to the 19.
Tremendous Play by #6: UCF had a screen blown up by a single Bearcat or it could have been a big play. Cincinnati taking over after a punt by UCF.
Moving the Pocket: The Knights look good while moving Keene to the right or the left.
Danger Zone: Cincinnati scores its second touchdown of the first quarter when Ford scores right up the middle. 14-0 Cincinnati. This looks as bad as it may seem. Could be a really ugly day.
Knights Holding: 1st down and 2nd down push the Bearcats closer, but UCF is penalized for being off sides by Big Kat Bryant.
Man Coverage Did Not Work: UCF just struggling with anything the defensive coaching staff calls for pass coverage.
Penalties: Cincinnati hurts itself with back-to-back penalties. It's now 2nd down and 25.
Special Teams Disaster Part 2? Another poor punt that went off the right edge of the football of UCF punter Andrew Osteen. Bearcats take over at their own 30.
Keene Sacked: Cincinnati did a nice job of disguising coverage and it led to Keene being sacked for a 2-yard loss.
2nd and 3: No gain for Richardson running around right end.
Costly Miss: Celiscar had a free shot at Desmond Ridder but simply whiffed. Ridder stopped at the 1-yard line and it's first and goal. Ford takes it straight up the middle on the next play. Cincinnati 7-0 lead over UCF.
Great Stop: UCF defensive end Josh Celiscar with the penetration to stuff Ford.
Bearcats 1st and 2nd Down: Bomb from Ridder goes way off the mark; Jerome Ford picked up eight on 2nd down.
Fourth Down: Total shank on the punt. Cincinnati takes over at the UCF 38.
Third Down: Keene drilled on a scramble. UCF punts.
First Two Plays: Bearcats came out in the 3-4 look, bringing pressure off the edge. Pass deflected. Second down saw Johnny Richardson gain three yards up the middle.
Great Resource for Tracking Today's Game: UCF at Cincinnati Statistics
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