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Daytona Beach News Journal: UCF, USF belong on same field


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UCF, USF belong on same field

By MICHAEL LEWIS

SHORT & SWEET

ORLANDO -- You mean there aren't going to be any more of these?

After this pulsating, heart-stopping, "are you kidding me?" finish between Central Florida and South Florida Saturday night at Bright House Networks Stadium, it seems a cryin' shame they won't play again next year, or maybe ever.

Two Central Florida touchdowns in the final three minutes, bringing the Knights back from the dead to tie? A missed field goal at the end of regulation by USF, followed by a beautiful game-winning TD pass in overtime from Matt Grothe to Taurus Johnson?

Follow that up with a stopped-by-inches scramble by UCF quarterback Matt Greco, who was thisclose to a first down that would've kept the game going before he was tackled by Brouce Mompremier and Tyrone McKenzie, and you've got a classic finish that won't soon be forgotten.

Come on, we have to do this again. Who cares about USF thinking it's too big to be playing their neighbors 100 miles away, and wanting to take on the big boys?

"I think tonight," UCF cornerback Joe Burnett said, "we proved a lot to them, and to everybody else. We should keep doing this."

Couldn't agree with you more, Joe.

RIVALRY SHOULD CONTINUE

UCF proved plenty Saturday night, even if it did take three hours for the game to heat up.

Yep, USF's 31-24 overtime win looked to be pretty run of the mill for the first 55 minutes.

After a good effort by the Knights, it looked like the Bulls would pull away for a 24-10 win.

Then some weird stuff started happening before 46,000-plus witnesses.

Weird stuff, like UCF's corpse-like offense suddenly coming to life. The Knights' two touchdowns in the final three minutes, coming 66 seconds apart, were as shocking as anything you could imagine.

For 3 1/2 quarters, the Knights could barely get a first down.

"I just kept telling our guys that something special was going to happen, that we were going to come back," said UCF linebacker Cory Hogue.

Something special almost did. USF suddenly got tight on its last two drives of regulation, unable to move the ball despite a fantastic game from Grothe, its do-everything quarterback.

And after a missed field goal by the Bulls' Delbert Alvarado in the final seconds of regulation, we were suddenly in overtime.

This was a far, far cry from the memories of last year for UCF's players, when a 64-12 drubbing was laid on them.

A 52-point loss follows you into bed at night when close your eyes and pull the sheets over your body. It's there in print every time you look at the results from that season.

And most likely for every member of the UCF team, it was there for instant recall each time a barbell seemed too heavy during an offseason workout, or a wind sprint finish line seemed miles away.

Never underestimate the pride of young men. Saturday night, UCF did far more than avoid being embarrassed.

A Knights team that may be worse than last year's battled a USF squad that looked like far less than a Big East title contender.

"We thought about (64-12) a lot, because they said a lot of stuff about us after that game," Hogue said. "Tonight after the game, they were nothing but class. Tonight was all about earning respect, and we did that."

UCF may have lost. But they stood toe-to-toe with South Florida and showed that just maybe the gap between the two programs isn't as wide as Bulls fans think.

As we saw Saturday night, it might only be inches.

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Sure.  Get in a BCS conference and lets continue it.  Otherwise, we gain nothing for winning and potentially lose everything.

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George O'Liar is a beat writer in Daytona too?? Who woulda thunk it...

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In 4 years, has UCF ever had the lead in a game? 

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I think they did, briefly, lead in the second matchup.

You are correct sir...

At 2:15 left in the 2nd quarter, UCF took a 10-7 lead, and lead until USF scored a field goal to close out the third quarter

So for those 17 minutes and 15 seconds, UCF had the lead.

In the rest of the four games, USF held he lead for 173 minutes and 23 seconds...

Yeah, sure... it's a rivalry...

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Unless these commentators are in USF's shoes, they shouldn't talk.  It makes no sense for USF to play UCF right now.  We need to be stacking our non-conference schedule because the Big East is not perceived as being a good conference.  WVU has even lost some cred now.

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UCF, USF belong on same field

By MICHAEL LEWIS

SHORT & SWEET

A Knights team that may be worse than last year's battled a USF squad that looked like far less than a Big East title contender.

"We thought about (64-12) a lot, because they said a lot of stuff about us after that game," Hogue said. "Tonight after the game, they were nothing but class. Tonight was all about earning respect, and we did that."

UCF may have lost. But they stood toe-to-toe with South Florida and showed that just maybe the gap between the two programs isn't as wide as Bulls fans think.

As we saw Saturday night, it might only be inches.

Link...

First off, has he SEEN the Big East this year? But secondly, we dominated the game and let them sneak back in the final minutes yet we looked like crap while they looked great? Oh-Kay.

I'm not taking anything away from the game UCF played, they had great heart but short of outmatching us on special teams it wasn't as close as the scoreboard is showing.

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give me a break. we had one close game with them and this idiot thinks they belong on the same field as us? hilarious

And it was close only because we, stupidly, let our guard down at the end of the game ...

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