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Three Thoughts on UCF’s 48-14 Win Over Villanova

NCAA Football: Central Florida Spring Game

The UCF Knights wrapped up their non-conference on Saturday taking on FCS Villanova at home. The Knights came in 2-0 off a thrilling win at Boise State last week, but a game that did see the team lose its starting quarterback John Rhys Plumlee to injury.

But the Knights got their first look at a QB who might need to carry them well into Big 12 play, and picked up the convincing 48-14 win over the Wildcats. Here are three thoughts on the game.


Timmy Time

The Knights turned to Timmy McClain at quarterback on Saturday and he looked solid against lesser competition, going 20/28 for 321 yards and two touchdowns. McClain is a former three-star prospect who started his career at USF and transferred to UCF last year following a record-setting high school career in Central Florida. He got stronger as the game went on, starting 6 of 11, but then completed six of seven pass attempts in the first half. McLain also flashed his dual-threat ability with 9 carries for 44 yards.

While it’s tough to gauge the competition he was facing on Saturday, UCF fans should feel like the Knights are in a good positioning with McClain leading the way into conference play.

Things to Clean Up

If you’re trying to find a couple things to nitpick in a blowout game, it wasn’t a clean performance for UCF. The Knights committed seven penalties in the first half, including two blocks in the back that nullified a 92-yard punt return by Xavier Townsend and a 73-yard touchdown pass from McClain to Kobe Hudson. But Hudson still ended the night leading the team with six receptions for 147 yards.

The good news: No penalties in the second half.


Now: Welcome to the Big 12

UCF is 3-0, but now it’s time for Big Boy Football in the Big 12 Conference. And there’s no easing into it for the Knights who open at the defending Big 12 Champion Kansas State Wildcats next Saturday.

We will start to really get a feel for how “Big 12 ready” this program is starting immediately in Manhattan next weekend. For my money, I believe the Knights are going to be competitive in the Big 12 Conference this season, including being the most competitive of any of the new Big 12 schools.

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