- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - In the aftermath of Central Florida’s season-opening loss to Florida International, Knights coach George O’Leary pointed to inconsistency and tentativeness as the culprit in the surprise setback.

Then, following a throughout 31-7 loss at Stanford last week the Knights (0-2) were forced to digest injuries costing them their starting center for the season and quarterback for at least two weeks.

A win against Furman (0-2) Saturday certainly won’t cure all those recent woes, but it could be a nice start.

“We were 0-2 last year and we came out and won a conference championship,” senior linebacker Domenic Spencer said. “So right now we’re staying positive. We’re gonna continue to do what we do and that’s work hard here. That’s what UCF was built on. That’s what coach O’Leary was built on. So we’re just gonna keep working hard and get this thing rolling.”

To notch their first victory of the season, the Knights will have to rely on a first-time starter at quarterback in freshman Bo Schneider. O’Leary announced Monday that junior Justin Holman is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a right hand injury he sustained early in the Stanford loss.

Schneider struggled to move the offense against the Cardinal, but O’Leary said he thinks a week of working full-time with the receiving corps would help Schneider and the receivers with some the timing and drop issues.

Another big question mark will be how UCF’s offensive line recovers from the news of preseason starting center Joey Grant deciding to end his UCF football career after aggravating a surgically repaired left shoulder.

Grant sat out against Stanford and it meant some adjustments on the line for the second straight week. Senior Tarik Cook moved from left guard against FIU to right guard against Stanford. In addition, freshman Hudanick started at left guard against Stanford and freshman Wyatt Miller entered the lineup at right tackle.

“With the jumbling around and moving people around, I know we have to find some consistency. But I feel like the O-line we have now, we just have to play with who we’ve got.”


Here are some other things to watch for as UCF hosts Furman:

RARE COMPANY: If Schneider starts Saturday at quarterback as expected he will become the first true freshman to start a game since Jeff Godfrey did it in 2012.

BEEN HERE BEFORE: UCF posted a winning record in four of the last five seasons when it started a season 0-2. The Knights won nine of their final 10 regular season games after their 0-2 start in 2014. Of the previous five seasons UCF has started 0-2, the Knights went on to have a winning record four times.

UNBLEMISHED AGAINST THE FCS: Since joining the NCAA’s top football division in 1996, UCF has a 20-0 record against teams for the Football Championship Subdivision. They have outscored their opponents 792-231 in those contests.

LACK OF TURNOVERS: Furman enters Saturday’s game with a minus-5 turnover margin. The Paladins have yet to force a turnover this season.

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