This game was over by about the second or third play that Cincinnati ran from scrimmage. It was obvious by the UCF player’s body language, as well as being without the starting two defensive tackles, that UCF could not match Cincinnati’s physicality or will.
Nothing one can do about the injuries. They are what they are. The mindset, however, is concerning. That’s the biggest takeaway from today’s humiliating loss to Cincinnati. UCF was not mentally ready to play.
There’s no one answer. Here’s an example of the concerns about UCF’s body language and how they came out and played in the first quarter. There was no get-up-and-go from a player like running back Johnny Richardson, one of the fastest players in all of college football.
The Bearcats closed off running lanes in the early portion of the first quarter, and Richardson, like the majority of the Knights, did not react well to it. He usually makes defenders miss. That’s not how he started the game (Richardson played better in the second half).
That same situation with Isaiah Bowser, the running that finally got back into the lineup. He ran with authority in the second half and looked fantastic doing so. In the first half, Bowser ran tentatively.
Those examples are not meant to pick on Richardson or Bowser. That’s just how UCF came out, with a tentative demeanor, especially on offense. There was no belief that the Knights would be the better team.
Was it because of the game plan, injuries that occured prior to this game, or something else perhaps? Regardless of the reason, the UCF players did not come out and represent themselves well at the beginning of the game and that’s the No. 1 reason Cincinnati smashed UCF 56-21.
It’s about the players first, and they simply laid an egg.
As for the coaches, there is plenty of blame there as well. Here’s today’s edition of The Daily Knight defining the concerns of the players (more detail) as well as what happened with coaching decisions that simply did not make rational sense.
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