TU will face complete team in UCF
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Thursday, November 15, 2012
11/15/12 at 5:37 AM
Related Story: TU football notebook: No holding back
The University of Tulsa is going up against a University of Central Florida team Saturday that TU coach Bill Blankenship says is complete in all three aspects of the game: offense, defense and special teams.
Blankenship went as far as to say that the Knights, at least on film, appear to be the best team the Golden Hurricane will have faced so far.
"From what we've seen they are the most complete team we've seen to this date," Blankenship said. "They have outstanding defense. They're very effective and efficient on offense. They don't beat them themselves."
UCF is tied for first nationally in fewest penalties with 73 for 647 yards.
"They're very disciplined, very well coached. Add to it that they're very talented. They have good football players," Blankenship said.
Here's a look at what makes the Knights tick:
The UCF offense is led by quarterback Blake Bortles.
The 6-foot-4, 221-pound sophomore has thrown for 2,199 yards and 17 touchdowns with a 66.1 completion rating.
He also has 53 carries for 132 yards and six touchdowns.
"Blake Bortles is really a fabulous player. He's a big guy that's explosive. He can move and he extends plays," Blankenship said.
The Knights offense uses a slower-paced, grind it out approach with a focus on running the ball and running the clock.
"If you look at the strengths of what they've done they've been very efficient. They get first downs and stay on the field," Blankenship said. "They have a very intense focus on pounding the rock. ... We know what's coming. It's going to be a tough, physical football game."
The Knights are the top-rated defense in C-USA, ranking No. 1 in overall defense, passing defense and defensive scoring. The team is No. 3 in the conference in rush defense.
"The best thing I would tell you about Central Florida's defense is that they just run to the ball like crazy," Blankenship said. "They're very active up front. They're the kind of guys that you want to have playing for you."
However that's not going to force TU change its game plan.
"A leopard's not going to change his spots in week 11," he said. "We're going to do what we do and they're going to have to defend it and we're going to have to find ways to get the match ups we're looking for."
The Knights have an electrifying return man in Quincy McDuffie, who tied a NCAA record and set a C-USA record with two kickoff returns for touchdowns against Marshall.
He also had a 99-yard return for a touchdown against East Carolina.
"Any time you've got a guy over there like McDuffie ... that certainly is cause for concern," Blankenship said. "Those kinds of guys really take your breath away."
2012 TU SCHEDULE
Sept. 1: at Iowa State L, 38-23
Sept. 8: vs. Tulane W, 45-10
Sept. 15: vs. Nicholls St. W, 66-16
Sept. 22: vs. Fresno St. W, 27-26
Sept. 29: at UAB W, 49-42
Oct. 6: at Marshall W, 45-38
Oct. 11: vs. UTEP W, 33-11
Oct. 20: vs. Rice W, 28-24
Nov. 3: at Arkansas L, 19-15
Nov. 10: at Houston W, 41-7
Nov. 17: vs. UCF (FSOK-27) 11 a.m.
Nov. 24: at SMU (FX-35) 11 a.m.
11 a.m. Saturday
Radio: KRMG am740, fm102.3
Original Print Headline: Complete UCF team awaiting Hurricane
Mike Averill 918-581-8489