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say good night to the not-quite-good-enough Knights.


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http://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/article799875.ece

By Gary Shelton, Times Sports Columnist

ORLANDO — At the moment, the game felt dangerous. At the moment, the upset felt possible.

Here it was in overtime, and what do you know, Central Florida was tied with USF. The fans that remained — those who had not already rushed home to blog — were hopping up and down in delirium, trying to shake the stadium all by themselves. And in that frozen moment of time, it seemed entirely conceivable that the reality we had come to know had been altered.

It was right about then that Matt Grothe grabbed a football game by the throat and did some shaking of his own.

When he was done, order had been restored.

Over his three seasons, Grothe, the essential Bull, has had himself some moments, and a great many of them have come at the expense of Central Florida. Two years ago, he had thrown for 302 yards. Last year, he had rushed for 100.

This, however, was Grothe's finest moment.

Facing third and 10, facing a defeat that would have left some bruises, he dropped back and threw a perfect 25-yard touchdown to Taurus Johnson for the winning touchdown. Because of that, USF was able to walk away from this noisy series with a swagger.

What more can a team ask of a quarterback than this? Time after time, Grothe would stop the free fall and take the game into his own hands. Time after time, he would call an end to the silliness and restore the efficiency. That's what Grothe accomplished Saturday night. He gave the Central Florida fans something to remember him by. The USF fans, too.

There was the time in the third quarter when USF had pulled back to a tie at 10. Grothe had spent most of the second quarter looking ordinary, like a kid perhaps trying too hard. He had hit only three of his final nine passes before halftime, and if not for an illegal block called on an interception, UCF would have had the lead.

In that third quarter, however, Grothe hit 8 of 10 passes for 154 yards and two scores. Almost personally, he handed USF a two-touchdown lead.

There was the time in the fourth quarter after UCF had come back to tie the score at 24. Again, Grothe took over. He hit five passes to move USF into field-goal range (although Delbert Alvarado missed the kick).

And then it was overtime, down to one last throw, and Grothe was perfect.

For four games against the Knights, the Bulls were, too.

Oh, it's going to drive the fans of the Knights crazy to think of this as the final chapter in this series. More than anything, UCF fans seem to want this game to blossom into a rivalry in the worst way.

The truth of it, however, is that this game has been more about revelry — USF's — than rivalry. It doesn't matter what the map suggests, and it doesn't matter how noisy the blogs become.

Windshields do not consider bugs to be rivals, and hammers do not consider nails. As for football teams, they do not seek out rivals from lesser leagues.

Southern Cal does not seek out Fresno State, and Florida does not play Florida Atlantic, and Tennessee does not play Memphis.

Yes, this game was close. No, that does not make it the Hatfields and the McCoys.

Oh, you can imagine the talk this week if UCF had pulled out Saturday night's game. Doppler would have picked up the jabber approaching from the east.

Grothe spared us all of that. He brought an ending to the rivalry that never was. He made sure the final act was a signature moment. He won the game, for himself and for his team, on sheer will.

All in all, it was a pretty good way to say good night to the not-quite-good-enough Knights.

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That was very well said!!!!

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Southern Cal does not seek out Fresno State, and Florida does not play Florida Atlantic, and Tennessee does not play Memphis.

Those are some really bad examples.

Florida does play Florida Atlantic, albeit only at Florida Field. Which means little, since Florida wouldn't play a non conference road game if you gave them all Escalades.

Tennessee does play Memphis -- home and away, even.

Fresno State gave Reggie Bush and USC an epic battle in 2005, and beat them in a bowl game in 1992.

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Won ... and all four ... and DONE !

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Southern Cal does not seek out Fresno State, and Florida does not play Florida Atlantic, and Tennessee does not play Memphis.

Those are some really bad examples.

Florida does play Florida Atlantic, albeit only at Florida Field. Which means little, since Florida wouldn't play a non conference road game if you gave them all Escalades.

Tennessee does play Memphis -- home and away, even.

Fresno State gave Reggie Bush and USC an epic battle in 2005, and beat them in a bowl game in 1992.

Here are better examples then:

USC/UCLA could play SDSU

Auburn - Troy

Alabama - UAB

Miami - FAU

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Southern Cal does not seek out Fresno State, and Florida does not play Florida Atlantic, and Tennessee does not play Memphis.

Those are some really bad examples.

Florida does play Florida Atlantic, albeit only at Florida Field. Which means little, since Florida wouldn't play a non conference road game if you gave them all Escalades.

Tennessee does play Memphis -- home and away, even.

Fresno State gave Reggie Bush and USC an epic battle in 2005, and beat them in a bowl game in 1992.

I think the point was that none of those teams play each other every year, like UCF is dying to do with us.

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Windshields do not consider bugs to be rivals,

Beeeeeeeautiful .... 

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