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 fifh roundtable of the football season, Jeff Sharon, Derek Warden, Jeremy Brener and Brian Murphy take their seats at the roundtable to answer questions about tomorrow’s much-anticipated matchup against UConn.
1. What does UCF need to do to get back on track?
Jeff Sharon: Win. Preferably in dominating fashion.
Derek Warden: To get back on track, UCF needs to play a bad team that they unleash their anger on. Oh, hi UConn!
Jeremy Brener: They need to put their foot on the gas and utilize the punching bag they have in front of them.
Brian Murphy: Win.
2. Which player needs to have a bounce back game this week?
Jeff Sharon: Let’s go with the entire O-Line. They were owned last week by Pitt and that undoubtedly factored into the loss. They must get back on the train if UCF wants to show the conference - and the nation - that they aren’t going anywhere.
Derek Warden: The entire O-Line needs to be better across the board. Establish dominance early in the run game, and that lets Dillon Gabriel work the play-action; we know he can throw the deep ball. Runner-up: D-line. Please stop making stupid personal foul penalties!
Jeremy Brener: Dillon Gabriel. His confidence was probably really shaken, but once he steps on to the field tomorrow, his redshirt will be ripped off and he will still be QB1. That’s a nice bode of confidence but he actually needs to have a Stanford-like game to help prepare him for Cincinnati next week.
Brian Murphy: The entire offfensive line. Really, last week was probably their worst performance at any point over the past two-plus years, including the bowl game loss to LSU. Both in pass blocking and run blocking, this group needs a palate cleanser.
3. Which UConn player does UCF need to watch out for?
Jeff Sharon: RB Kevin Mensah is in his third year at UConn, which makes him a veteran among rookies. He ran for 134 against Wagner, and UConn will have to have another good game out of him if they want to get anything done offensively.
Derek Warden: LOL!
Jeremy Brener: DE Kevon Jones forced a fumble last week against Indiana and recorded six tackles. With the offensive line playing like it did against Pitt, he is someone that should warrant a little more attention.
Brian Murphy: Speaking of that O-line, they will have another challenge right in front of them in the form of defensive lineman Lwal Uguak. The sophomore has 3.5 sacks through three games. The Huskies don’t have much to boast about, but they can get after the QB with decent success. They have seven sacks in the early going.
4. What will the national narrative be following the game?
Jeff Sharon: UCF trounces UConn, as expected. Basically any level of blowout is the expected outcome. If the score is closer than what we might think, prepare for the “What’s wrong with UCF?” takes.
Derek Warden: G5 bully picks on G5 doormat. Water is wet.
Jeremy Brener: UCF still sucks because there is a loss in the loss column. They only care about the loss column.
Brian Murphy: The narrative won’t change unless UCF loses. Whatever it is right now, that’s how it will remain if the Knights win. That’s because no one is going to care about this game unless UConn either triumphs or comes close. If the Knights win by 50, no one will bat an eye because that’s what they were supposed to do. But if they lose or get a scare, then the narrative will shift toward “What is wrong with UCF?!”
5. Score/Attendance Prediction
Jeff Sharon: UCF 62, UConn 17. Sellout.
Derek Warden: 66-10 (but we could put up 80 if Heup doesn’t call off the dogs early in the 3rd quarter), Attendance: Sellout + 250
Jeremy Brener: I’ll say it now. UCF will hit the 70 mark. Quadry Jones will throw for a touchdown in this game. UConn will be lucky to score 10 points. I’ll go 70-10. 40,500 will attend.
Brian Murphy: UCF wins, 54-10. Danny White has already said this game is a “hard sellout.” But given the opponent, I doubt that will actually be the case. Still, they will come. 42,338.