Wednesday, December 15, 2010

UCF and SMU Look to the Future after USA Conference game

Photos by Russel Griner

The University of Central Florida (UCF) gained a 17-7 win for the Knights during the 2010 USA Conference title game against the South Methodist University Mustangs (SMU), Saturday. Whether a win or a loss, each team can expect opportunities for advancement in their futures.

The Mustangs didn’t expect an easy win, with the track record of UCF’s players on the line. Coach June Jones of SMU said, “We knew we were going to have a real challenge with our offense against their defense.”

UCF’s Latavius Murray (28) scored a touchdown in the first drive of the game - his first career touchdown. This made for 12 out of 13 games of the season where UCF earned the first points in a game.

Undeterred by the loss, the Mustangs are looking for ways to improve their strategy. For the next game, Chris Banjo, defensive back for SMU, said he planned on “gain[ing] more possessions for offense and making more plays to raise our chances of winning next year.”

While SMU constructed plans for the upcoming season, UCF’s team reflected upon their most recent achievement, winning the USA Conference championship.

Coach George O’Leary gave all credit for the win to his players and their ability to commit to the sport. He said there were no hidden tricks up his sleeve. The Knights “got ahead by Goddfrey,” who is a freshman and was the star quarterback of the game.

“That was the secret,” O’Leary said. “Players make plays, it’s not the trick of the trade, but learning the trade that counts.”

Next on the agenda, UCF will be going to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. to play against the Georgia Bulldogs on Dec. 31. This would be Georgia’s third time at the Liberty Bowl, since 1987, and UCF’s first invitation to the arena.

Previously published in the Valencia Voice

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