Each week during the football season, a few staff contributors will answer five questions regarding the upcoming game ahead. It’s a way to get the staff to come together as well as the rest of Knights Nation, to see if they agree or disagree with the crew at BGB.
In our sixth roundtable of the football season, Derek Warden, Chas Short, and Jeremy Brener take their seats at the roundtable to answer questions about tomorrow’s much-anticipated matchup against Cincinnati.
1. UCF will win this game because...
Derek Warden: They learned their lesson from the Pitt game, in that they can’t just show up and out-talent their opponent.
Chas Short: The Pitt game was an aberration and UCF will win the battle in the trenches as it has done the rest of the season.
Jeremy Brener: Dillon Gabriel does not fold under pressure and he is able to make the throws he made against Stanford, rather than the throws he made against Pitt. Gabriel proves that he learned from his mistakes against Pitt and comes out on the road to disappoint the Bearcats and their fans.
2. UCF will lose this game because...
Derek Warden: They are not able to withstand the hyped up Cincinnati fans and players in the first quarter. If the 1st Q ends with UCF down no more than one score, our depth, talent, and coaching should win us the game.
Chas Short: This is the flip side of my response above —Pitt showed us that this team and coaching staff are capable of coming out flat. The Knights were outcoached and outplayed in that game. If Cincinnati has success running the ball and can take opportunistic play action opportunities, there could be trouble.
Jeremy Brener: Cincinnati has probably watched the Pitt game 2398058 times and will look to emulate what the Panthers did. Cincy wins this game by running the football on offense and keeping the ball out of UCF’s hands. And when UCF does have the ball, blitz, blitz, blitz!
3. Which Cincinnati player should UCF keep a closer eye on?
Derek Warden: Their RS Soph QB, Ritter. He is mobile and we’ve had issues with mobile quarterbacks in the past.
Chas Short: It’s true Michael Warren II hasn’t been as productive as last year (down from 5.4 yards per carry to 4.3), but he’s still the one to watch.
Jeremy Brener: Michael Warren II is the kind of player that could score for a touchdown on any given play. In a way, he’s similar to a Darrell Henderson, Memphis’s RB last season.
4. What are your thoughts on Cincy’s new “field?”
Derek Warden: #null
Chas Short: As I tweeted after Cincinnati admitted their bizarre failed social media “joke,” we are just driving people insane everywhere we go.
Jeremy Brener: I was so disappointed to find out this wasn’t real. A man can only dream.
5. Score/Attendance Prediction
Derek Warden: 34-27 UCF, 41,250 (UC’s highest attended game in history)
Chas Short: UCF 38, Cincinnati 28. I’ll assume attendance is a bit under the Bearcats’ home opener against UCLA and go with 38,000.
Jeremy Brener: 38-35 UCF.