- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ORLANDO, FLA. (AP) - Central Florida coach George O'Leary will do just about anything to get his team on national television, let alone be the featured game. UAB coach Neil Callaway is the same way.

Now if their teams can only figure out how to make good use of the spotlight.

The Knights and Blazers will meet in the only nationally televised game Wednesday night, an early Conference USA showdown featuring teams coming off disappointing finishes against BCS programs and uncertainty lingering at key positions.

So no reason to wait another Saturday.


“It’s the only game in town on TV. I think it’s great exposure for the teams playing,” O'Leary said. “The schedule screws up the wives big time.”

The home team is certainly looking to take advantage of an expanded audience.

The game offers a rare chance for UCF (2-2) to creep out of the shadows of the state’s traditional powerhouses _ Florida, Florida State and Miami _ and highlight its growing facilities. The school even canceled classes that begin after noon to give more students a chance to attend and allow for the crush of fans expected on campus, now home to the country’s third-largest student enrollment at more than 53,000.

“It’s no excuses,” receiver Jamar Newsome said. “Nobody can say, ‘I have this to do, I have that to do.’”

Or as linebacker Lawrence Young put it, “All eyes on us.”

That hasn’t always been a good thing.

Four games into the season and UCF’s quarterback situation remains unsettled. Freshman quarterback Jeff Godfrey took the reins by Week 3 after junior Rob Calabrese struggled, and now O'Leary is calling a semi-reverse following an ugly last-minute loss at Kansas State.

Godfrey, the career high school passing leader in talent-rich Miami-Dade County who has often been more electrifying with his feet than his arm, is expected to remain the starter. However, O'Leary plans to play both quarterbacks against UAB.

“You see the last game? Of course, you’re going to need both,” O'Leary said. “I think that’s only natural when you have a young freshman quarterback that you give him a chance to get a little blow out there and see what’s going on and get his head where it’s supposed to be at.”

UCF isn’t the only one with position controversy.

The Blazers (1-3, 0-1) blew a chance to knock off Tennessee in their last outing, with Josh Zahn missing five consecutive field goals in a 32-29 double overtime loss. Callaway reopened the competition in the last week until deciding to stick with Zahn.

Story Continues →