I woke up on Saturday in a great mood after a big UCF victory.
Then I logged onto Twitter to see so many fans complaining about the team's performance last night.
Whether it was about play calling, personnel, or tackling, I didn't see a lot of positive takes, which bothered me. It's okay to point out areas we need to improve, but a constructive tweet and just complaining are two different things.
Here was my take:
I’m seeing A LOT of negativity about our performance last night. Let’s be clear, we beat a team by 20 who won 12 out of their last 13 games. We went up against a back who had 1,900+ yards and 32 TD’s last year. It’s not 2017 anymore - we have 9 new starters. Don’t be jaded.— Luke Sarris (@LukeSarrisSBN) September 22, 2018
With that being said, we're still performing at an extremely high level so far this year. If you're really going to make me do it, let's compare last year's team to what we've seen so far in 2018.
|Points Per Game
|Yards Per Game
|Average Score Margin
|Yards Per Rush
As you can see, this year's team is performing BETTER than what last year's team averaged. I know this year is a much smaller sample size, but my point is that we've picked up exactly where we left off despite losing those nine starters and having an entirely new coaching staff.
It's not apples to apples
..play like elite teams do. Oklahoma pasted FAU 63-14, so if we want elite respect, that was the bar. If you are okay not being elite, then it was a great game. Otherwise, certain aspects of the defense, in particular, were lacking..— UCF Knights Nation (@UCFKnightsNatn) September 22, 2018
My response to that is you can't compare games against a common opponent when it comes to college football. Look what happened to Oklahoma against Army. They had to go into overtime to barely come away with a victory at home. Each game is a unique situation and anything can happen on that field. If UCF played Army, I would guarantee it wouldn't be an overtime game, but that's the beauty of college football. You can't look at what Oklahoma did against FAU or what Boise did against UConn then compare UCF's performances. It's simply not apples to apples.
Believe the Heup
Here's his comments on those plays:
“Really close to busting a couple of those wide open. I love AK, love his speed. … AK has been great. He’s physical. He’s going to throw his body in there. He’s going to finish every run as far as being an inside guy. We’re close to finishing those double teams where we’re able to come off the second level, and now you’ve got a big gash and a big play down the middle of the football field.”
Do you think UCF has been vanilla on offense tonight?— The Knightline Sports Network (@UCF_Knightline) September 22, 2018
Here's what Coach Heupel had to say on clock management:
"At times you got to play situation football. You got the opportunity to milk the clock, put the game on ice. Your defense has been on the field there a little bit. I think it's important that our kids handle that and they did whether we were changing personnel, a little bit of motion and our kids executed. KZ did a great job of managing the clock..."
Here we are going into Week 5 of the 2018 season and UCF is already #13 in the AP Poll. Clearly, this team is trending in the right direction not only on the field, but in the eyes of the voters.