Key Early Breakdown - UCF at FIU
UCF CB Josh Robinson & FIU S Jonathan Cyprien
UCF CB Josh Robinson & FIU S Jonathan Cyprien
Posted Jun 7, 2011

Looking ahead at the Early Matchups - UCF at FIU, Sept. 17

Preview 2011

Key Early Matchup - UCF at FIU 

- 2011 FIU Preview | 2011 FIU Offense
- 2011 FIU Defense | 2011 FIU Depth Chart
- FIU Previews  2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

- 2011 UCF Preview | 2011 UCF Offense
- 2011 UCF Defense | 2011 UCF Depth Chart
- UCF Previews  2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


Offense: UCF found its long-awaited offensive savior from an unlikely source—a 5-11, 182-pound rookie playing quarterback. The Knights took a chance on diminutive Jeff Godfrey when other wouldn't, handing him the job last September. He responded by lighting a fire under the perpetually stagnant offense, leading the program to unprecedented success with the ball. A born leader, with great wheels, he gave an added dimension to the attack. A year older and wiser, the staff is hoping its Doug Flutie impersonator will be even better. He'll get plenty of help from one of Conference USA's deepest backfields, a group that includes Latavius Murray, last year's leading rusher Ronnie Weaver, and former 1,000-yard runner Brynn Harvey, who's coming back from an ACL tear. Elsewhere, though, UCF has reason to be worried. The passing game, for instance, will be missing last year's top two receivers and best pass blocker, Jah Reid, who was chosen in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens.

Defense: When Dave Huxtable moved on to Wisconsin, it opened the door for a familiar face to take over at coordinator, veteran John Skladany. Already on staff as an assistant, he'll be reprising a role he held in the past under George O'Leary. He takes control of a D coming off one of its best seasons, ranking in the top 15 in total defense and scoring defense. The Knights play the game fast and furious, employing the speed of its recruits. While a handful of starters are gone, including all-time sack leader Bruce Miller, UCF plans to pick up where it left off in 2010. The line returns a bunch of lettermen, pointing to Troy Davis as the possible successor to Miller off the edge. The secondary will insert a pair of new starters, but welcomes back first team all-stars Josh Robinson and Kemal Ishmael. The linebackers took a hit from graduation, needing to regroup around Josh Linam.

Best Offensive Player: Sophomore QB Jeff Godfrey. At this time last year, he wasn't even in the starting lineup. Yet, he did enough in 2010 to be considered the new face of the offense. Built more like a cornerback than a quarterback, he's able to vex opposing defenses with his quickness, improving passing skills, and poise in the pocket. After accounting for 23 touchdowns and more than 2,700 total yards in his debut out of high school, he's primping to become the kind of four-year starter behind center who wins a ton of games before he's through.

Best Defensive Player: Junior CB Josh Robinson. Two years into his Knight career, he's well on his way to becoming one of the nation's top cover corners. Athletically, he's a cut above most of the receivers he faces, sticking close to their hip and having the necessary catch-up speed when someone gets behind him. A future NFL draft choice, he has the physicality to step up in run defense, but is at his best when he's jumping routes and batting balls out of the air.


Offense: Offensive coordinator Scott Satterfield came in last year and made a night-and-day difference for the FIU attack. All of a sudden, the line started to produce, the running game was great, and the passing game was shockingly efficient. The return of Sun Belt Player of the Year, T.Y. Hilton, gives the receiving corps a star to work around, but there are other veteran targets good enough to make the air attack even stronger. The ground attack should be terrific with four productive backs returning led by 16-touchdown rusher Darriet Perry and speedy home-run threat Darian Mallary. Quarterback Wesley Carroll has the job all to himself, and he's just the type of veteran who can utilize all the weapons as long as he gets time.

Defense: Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando enters the mix after working at Connecticut, and while FIU has its third defensive coordinator in the last three seasons, having a defensive head coach in Mario Cristobal is a big help. The D led the Sun Belt total defense and scoring defense, and while it was hardly a brick wall, it was productive. The pass rush was terrific, and it should be again with Tourek Williams leading a fast defensive front. There's athleticism to burn at linebacker, but the bulk isn't there to hold up against the bigger and badder running games. The secondary loses some key stars, but it'll still be a strength led by the return of all-around playmaking safety Jonathan Cyprien.

Best offensive player: Senior WR T.Y. Hilton. He was the Sun Belt Player of the Year because of his all-around game, running for 282 yards and four touchdowns and rocking as a return man to go along with his receiving duties. He'll be used in a variety of ways and will be one of the nation's best all-purpose yardage stars, after finishing eighth in the nation, but it would be nice if he scored more as a receiver. He only came up with five receiving touchdowns with two coming in one game.

Best defensive player: Junior SS Jonathan Cyprien. In a secondary full of all-stars and veterans, it was the 6-0, 205-pound strong safety who stepped up and was the best of the lot with a team-leading 113 tackles with a pick and seven broken up passes. A big hitter, he came up with three forced fumbles and was the tone-setter for the defense. Once again, FIU has several veteran playmakers who can lead the way, but it's Cyprien who'll come up with the biggest plays.