2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 1 - Charlton Southern at UCF
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Sept. 3 at UCF 62 … Charleston Southern 0
CFN Analysis: That's what a defending Conference USA champion is supposed to do. UCF dominated in every way possible with 244 passing yards and 316 yards on the ground with eight touchdowns. Jeff Godfrey was unstoppable completing 6-of-10 passes for 100 yards and running seven times for 46 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense was dominant with eight tackles for loss and allowing just 119 yards of total offense. Dealing with Boston College next will be a far bigger problem, but everything was humming out of the gate.
(AP) ORLANDO, Fla. -- Central Florida quarterback Jeff Godfrey rushed for three touchdowns and running back Ronnie Weaver pounded out 107 rushing yards and added another score to help the Knights run past Charleston Southern 62-0 Saturday night.
The Knights scored on their first five possessions and held the Buccaneers to one first down in the first half. It was UCF's first shutout since 2009.
The rout continued in the second half, with UCF's defense contributing to the total with a 32-yard interception return for a score by Josh Robinson.
UCF also set a school record with eight rushing touchdowns.
UCF plays its second straight prime-time game next week when it hosts Boston College. Charleston Southern takes on its second of three consecutive Florida foes with a trip to Florida State.
Charleston Southern (0-0) at UCF (0-0) Sept. 3, 7:00 ET Bright House Sports Network
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Here's The Deal … The defending Conference USA champions open their 2011 campaign against the lowly Buccaneers from Charleston Southern. The last time we saw the Knights take the field, they were pulling off one of the biggest shocks of the 2010 bowl season. In a tenacious defensive battle, UCF was able to outlast the Georgia Bulldogs and take home the Liberty Bowl trophy with a 10-6 win. Now that the Knights have their first-ever bowl victory, they are looking to expand on the successes of last season and hoping to repeat as conference champions. There will be many new faces taking the field this fall for UCF, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but that is nothing compared to what Charleston Southern is facing. The Bucs will field a team full of youth across the board, with a total of 39 freshmen and 18 sophomores making up the bulk of the team. There are only 10 total returning starters for the Bucs, and they struggled to a 3-8 finish at the FCS level last year with a much more seasoned lineup.
Why Charleston Southern Might Win: This should be one of the most lopsided contests of the opening week, but the one chance the Buccaneers have of keeping it close is to limit their turnovers. UCF has not had a high powered offense in recent years, so as long as the Bucs can refrain from giving up any cheap scores, the final margin might not be too great. If they catch the Knights napping, they could potentially keep the game interesting through the first half. There is not much that Charleston Southern does well on the football field compared to a legitimate FBS program like UCF, but if they can stack the box and limit the amount of yards the Knights gain on the ground this could turn out to be a very low scoring game.
Why UCF Might Win: The Knights are significantly better at almost ever phase of the game than Charleston Southern. With QB Jeff Godfrey returning from his breakout freshman season, they should continue to gain chunks of yardage on the ground because of his speed and elusiveness combined with the trio of quality running backs the Knights will deploy. UCF struggled through the air last season, and they do lose their top two receivers, but if there is any team to get the new receivers on the same page as Godfrey it is the Bucs. Charleston Southern finished 111th out of 117 teams in the FCS in total defense last season, and UCF should be able to move up and down the field on the porous Bucs. The return of 2010 leading rusher Brynn Harvey should bolster the already strong backfield, and the Knights should have no trouble controlling the line of scrimmage throughout the contest.
What To Watch Out For: Quincy McDuffie. The electrifying return man is back for his junior season after exploding as one of the best special teams weapons in the country last season. He averaged 32.2 yards per kickoff return in 2010, and he brought two back for touchdowns. He will also be counted on to take over a more prominent role as a wide receiver, and if he can continue to flash the skills he showed last season then UCF will have yet another playmaker on offense and have speed all over the field at their disposal.
What Will Happen: This game will be low scoring for the first quarter, but once UCF gains control of the line of scrimmage and begins punishing the weaker Charleston Southern defensive front it'll quickly get out of hand. Godfrey should be able to run and pass for at least 100 yards with ease, and all three running backs should get enough touches to get ready for the much bigger game in Orlando the following week against Boston College. The Buccaneers will be lucky to get any points on the board and should consider this game a success if they depart Bright House Networks Stadium without any significant injuries.
CFN Prediction: UCF 49 … Charleston Southern 0
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