UCF, Mizzou Look to Find Identity Boost in Matchup

5 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Friday, September 28 2012 Sep 28, 2012 Friday, September 28, 2012 12:38:00 PM CDT September 28, 2012 in Tiger Talk
By: Associated Press
loading

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- It's hard for a team to know where it can go until it establishes exactly what kind of team it is. So far in 2012, to a large extent, both Central Florida and Missouri are still trying to get an idea on the latter.

Entering their matchup with the Tigers Saturday, the Knights (2-1) have the better record, with wins over Akron and Florida International sandwiching a competitive loss at Ohio State.

The Tigers (2-2) have had a bumpy introduction to the Southeastern Conference thus far thanks to a pair of lopsided losses to Georgia and at South Carolina last week.

It makes this week a potential momentum boost for the remainder of the season for both, with Missouri returning to SEC play next week and UCF beginning its league slate.

"The leadership responsibility for this program starts with me," Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said. "It's my job to fix the problems that we have here. Obviously I have a good staff, and have good seniors and captains.

"It's hard to win. You have to play hard to win. You can't go in and play your 'B' or 'C' games, and expect to win. It isn't going to happen, especially against the people we have been playing."

In the second game of a four-game home stand, Knights' coach George O'Leary is keenly aware of the buzz surrounding his program. UCF is just 2-13 against SEC teams overall, its last win coming over Georgia in the 2010 Liberty Bowl to cap a school-best 11-3 finish.

"I think the big thing is that you play Ohio State, you're playing Missouri. They're SEC, Big Ten teams. You got to win those games if you want to get any notoriety," O'Leary said. "The players understand it is the fourth game. It's an important game. I think any time you can bring the SEC in to your house it should be a big deal with your fan base and everybody else concerned with the game."

O'Leary's team, looking for its first 3-1 start since 2007, will have back one of its best weapons this week with senior running back Latavius Murray likely playing in some capacity after missing two straight games with a shoulder injury. He's definitely in the game plan, but O'Leary said he won't start.

The Tigers will be down one of their important cogs on defense with linebacker Zaviar Gooden missing his second game this season after tweaking his hamstring against South Carolina.

Injuries aside, quarterback play figures to play a big role in Saturday's matchup.

UCF sophomore Blake Bortles, who has looked solid at times throwing for seven touchdowns, also has five interceptions on the year. Three of those came in the Ohio State loss in which he acknowledged panicking in the pocket at times. He puts the biggest need to improve on his own shoulders coming out of a bye week.

"I think we still have a long way to go," Bortles said. "We're not nearly as polished as we need to be and we don't execute near as much as we need to be. It starts with me. As a quarterback you need to be able to execute the most, and move the offense and be productive."

Bortles and the offense can expect to get challenged by a Missouri defense that is second in the nation with eight fumble recoveries. Linebacker Andrew Wilson's four forced fumbles lead all Football Bowl Subdivision players.

As for his offense, Pinkel gave junior signal caller James Franklin a vote of confidence this week after he threw for only 92 yards in last week's loss. Franklin is coming off getting flack for refusing to take painkillers and sitting out the Tigers win over Arizona State Sept. 15.

"Typically in the game if, in the past, my shoulder's hurt and I throw in the game, I don't feel it," Franklin said this week. "But this is a little different because I feel it. And I think that's really been killing my confidence because I've been not trusting myself with being able to make throws or put something on it."

On paper the Knights look like a team that could give Franklin fits, especially with a young Tigers' offensive line that even Pinkel acknowledged has made his quarterback "a little frustrated."

The Knights defense is ranked 32nd in the country in pass defense, allowing 188 yards per game. It ranks 44th in scoring defense, giving up 22 points per game. Missouri is averaging 29 points this season.

"I hope it's the identity of us in the first half against FIU. That's what we need to see for 60 minutes. I think it comes down to consistency. I still get disturbed with some guys out there," O'Leary said of his defense. "You've got to be able to deliver a blow...The identity, I don't know defensively. I think we got some big play potential guys but we got to get more out of them."

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - Firefighters responded to a shed fire off of Highway 40 near Rocheport Saturday morning. Boone County... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:04:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the University of Missouri-Kansas City say students will soon have access to state-of-the-art... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:16:45 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Cat cafes have popped up across the world in cities including New York City, London and Tokyo, and... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:36:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A commercial real estate records company based in suburban Kansas City has abruptly shut down, leaving... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department say a house fire that killed a cat Friday afternoon started in the kitchen.... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For the past six years Ryan Shultz, the creator/owner of the Candy Cane Crib, has shared a well-lit... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:17:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said around half of adults in the U.S. struggle with understanding... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Continuous News
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A Blue Springs, Missouri, man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a sheriff's deputy... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 4:51:08 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ten people are facing federal indictment in a $5.4 million methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. ... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 4:07:15 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Several new businesses will open in Columbia at the start of the new year. Wheely's Cafe, a... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:49:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Continuous News
INDEPENDENCE - Police have now cancelled an endangered silver advisory for a 73-year-old woman with dementia who might have been... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:43:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Public School Boundaries Committee began discussions on boundary lines for the city’s new high... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - Holts Summit's board of aldermen met Thursday night to discuss creating a city-owned shelter. Currently, the... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:07:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — The former administrator of an ambulance service in central Missouri has pleaded guilty to embezzling more... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:52:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a 42-year-old woman went missing Friday morning and was considered at risk because of medical conditions.... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 53°
12pm 53°
1pm 56°
2pm 59°
3pm 60°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Journey with Dylan Dreyer
11:30a
English Premier League Soccer
1:30p
2018 Winter Olympic Trials
11:00a
Campmeeting: Inspiration Ministries
12:00p
Made in Hollywood
12:30p
The King of Queens

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld