After getting knocked down hard by their red rivals, the Cougars will have a chance to prove to fans they can truly “rise up.”
BYU looks to bounce back after last week’s loss as they host the UCF Knights tonight. The Cougars have not lost back-to-back home games on consecutive weekends since 2003.
While the two teams have never faced off against each other, they have noteworthy similarities. Both have standout second-year quarterbacks who established themselves last year as freshmen. On the other side of the ball, both have two of the best pass defenses in the nation. And, like the Cougars, the Knights are trying to rebound from a loss suffered last week.
“From what I know, they’re a fast team, good well-coached football team,” said starting quarterback Jake Heaps. “They came off a tough loss this last week so they’ll be hungry.”
However, there are some definite differences between the two teams. While Jake Heaps is mostly known as a passer, UCF’s Jeff Godfrey is a dual-threat player. He not only throws the ball effectively, but is a successful runner. Godfrey has scored six touchdowns on the ground, while scoring at least one rushing touchdown in all three games this season.
“They have a very, very talented and athletic quarterback,” said BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “[And] a very unique system with some option elements and some zone read, with a quarterback scrambling out of the pocket. He kind of is a creative presence that makes things go.”
Godfrey is also an accurate passer– having not thrown a single interception this year. Between he and the second string quarterback, Blake Bortles, the Knights have completed 51 of 72 passes for a 70.8 completion percentage, which ranks them 15th in the country.
One notable UCF strength sure to make all Cougar fans jealous is the their red zone conversion percentage. The Knights are a perfect 16-for-16 in converting red-zone appearances into points, which ties them for first place in Division I football.
UCF head coach George O’Leary will be looking for career win No. 100 tonight. He said he knows his team will need to work hard to reach that milestone.
“We’ll have our work cut out for us,” O’Leary said in a press conference last week. “BYU is a team we’re going to have to play very, very well against if we’re going to get things done.”