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Familiar foes Tulsa, UCF prep for latest matchup
UCF safety Kemal Ishmael said he feels like the Knights defense is ready for the challenge and turned a big corner last week with the defensive line matching a season-best three sacks. That, he said, is going to be particularly important against Tulsa’s fast-paced offense.
“We’re just like any other team, when you have a good pass rush, it makes it way easier because we don’t have to cover longer and forces the quarterback to make decisions that he doesn’t want to make,” Ishmael said. “…With the quick passes and deep passes that they do, we want them to make bad decisions and throw the ball earlier than he wants to.”
“They are pretty much the same offense they’ve been in the past. They have good skill kids,” O'Leary said. “Defensively, they made a change from a 50 front to a 40 front. So it’s a matter of us going out there and executing on all cylinders. I expect a whale of a game.”
What could be dangerous UCF is the Golden Hurricane’s active secondary, which boasts a league-high 13 interceptions.
Knights’ quarterback Jeff Godfrey broke out of a recent slump against Memphis and completed 14 of 20 passes. But he also has as many interceptions as touchdowns (three) in 2011.
He has gotten help the past two games thanks to big games from redshirt freshmen receivers Josh Reese and J.J. Worton. But Godfrey also got back to running the ball more against the Tigers and may do more of the same against Tulsa.
That’s something Blankenship said he is preparing his team for, though.
“They are probably one of the more traditional offenses in the East Division…they’re not a spread (team),” he said. “They will shift and use tight ends and really focus in on the running game and then try to sting you with play action. Coach O'Leary has been doing that for a long time.”
By Tammy Bruce
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