September 5, 2012

Tale of the Tape: UCF Knights

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Head Coach:

George O'Leary

2011 Record: 5-7 C-USA


Orlando (Fla.)

Kickoff: 12:00 pm EDT Television: ESPN2 Location: Ohio Stadium (102,329)

When Ohio St. has the ball...

  • Rushing Defense: 69.0 Ypg. (23rd)

  • Passing Defense: 256.0 Ypg. (76th)

  • Scoring Defense: 14.0 Ppg. (31st)
  • Rushing Offense: 294.0 Ypg. (14th)

  • Passing Offense: 244.0 Ypg. (44th)

  • Scoring Offense: 56.0 Ppg. (9th)

  • Central Florida Defensive Backs

    Ohio State Skill Positions (QB/WR/TE)
    Central Florida has a nice mixture of experience and youth in the secondary and free safety Kemar Ishmael[/db is the leader of the unit. The 5-foot-11, 206-pounder was named to the preseason Jim Thorpe Watch list and had a big game against Akron. Corner [db]A.J. Bouye has good size as a 6-foot corner and should draw a lot of one-on-one coverage against Ohio State's bigger receivers with corner Jordan Ozerities checking in as a smaller corner at 5-foot-10. Strong safety Clayton Geather once had a career high of 15 tackles in a game but having a safety lead the way in tackles is never a great thing for a D. The Ohio State passing game passed its first test against Miami but will find increasingly more difficult challenges as the season goes on. Corey Brown pulled down seven passes in week one, that is significant just based upon what kind of numbers were put up last season as a whole unit. Braxton Miller had moments where he looked like a new passer but was not consistent the whole way through. Devin Smith and Evan Spencer both proved that they can 'go get the ball' if need be. Even with UCF's blowout win the Zips completed 60-percent of their passes, look for the Bucks to top that.

    Central Florida Linebackers

    Ohio State Running Backs
    Central Florida held Akron to 2.56 ypc in week one and didn't allow a rush that went more than 17 yards. Terrance Plummer had seven tackles in the game and as a sophomore has a high ceiling for George O'Leary's squad. He is flanked by a pair of seniors in Ray Shipman and Jonathan Davis. The problem that UCF will face is that there is an obvious upgrade from the Akron rushers and the Ohio State rushers and Ohio State will not be content on abandoning the run at 27 total carries. Both Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller were capped off at 17 run a piece as Ohio State attempted 53 official rushes against Miami. Hyde was denied 100 yards net on the game and will come out that much more motivated in week two to reach that magical milestone that all backs push for. Bri'onte Dunn and Rod Smith combined for ten rushes as the battle brews for the No. 2 running back while Jordan Hall is still on the mend. UCF may be in for an impossible task of keeping Ohio State's running game in check if the coaches decide to unleash a power game (while still remaining in the spread).

    Central Florida Defensive Line


    Ohio State Offensive Line
    Defensive end Victor playing his first year at his current position and was named to the preseason C-USA team. The Knights recorded three sacks and while not all of them came from the defensive front, the play of the defensive line has a lot to do with success when it comes to sending in extra men. Jose Jose and E.J. Dunston are both more than 300 pounds apiece at defensive tackle and back-up Josh Wofford also checks in north of 300. Ohio State will have to pick those guys up on the line if there will be any interior yards. Ohio State had both Andrew Norwell and Jack Mewhort grade out with winning performances on Saturday but there were still some issues, most notably a missed assignment in the end of half stuff of Carlos Hyde at the goal line. With all of that being taken into account, the first performance of the offensive line was still highly positive and the unit may start to 'right' the reputation that fans were giving it in past years as they were highly critical of the play of the unit as a whole. Reid Fragel is still holding off Taylor Decker at right tackle for the time being.

    When Central Florida has the ball...

  • Rushing Offense: 206.0 Ypg. (37th)

  • Passing Offense: 180.0 Ypg. (80th)

  • Scoring Offense: 56.0 Ppg. (9th)

  • Rushing Defense: Minus-1.0 Ypg. (3rd)

  • Passing Defense: 313.0 Ypg. (94th)

  • Scoring Defense: 10.0 Ppg. (18th)

  • Central Florida Skill Positions (QB/WR/TE)

    Ohio State Defensive Backs
    Quarterback Blake Bortles did everything was asked of him in going 13/16 with three touchdowns against one pick. But he was only asked to throw 16 passes (mostly because of the success of the run). Now going against an Ohio State defense that will likely take the run away from the Knights, can Bortles come even close to the efficiency that he had against Akron. Rannell Hall led UCF with four receptions for 94 yards while Quincy McDuffie was the only other pass catcher with at least three. Going into last week the secondary was a big question for the Buckeyes. During the 1st quarter of the game the secondary was the source of concern, at least to fans. The last three quarters of the game however players like Travis Howard, with two picks, and Bradley Roby answered the call. The Knights of UCF will only pose a fraction of the passing threat that Miami did but that doesn't mean that the DBs will be able to relax at all, especially with a quarter of tape floating around now that show some obvious weaknesses against the unit. Look for the DBs of quarters two, three and four to show up on Saturday however.

    Central Florida Running Backs

    Ohio State Linebackers
    The Central Florida ground game took a hit when it was announced that Latavius Murray would not be able to go against Ohio State. Murray rushed for 108 yards and a score (with a long of 43) against Akron. Storm Johnson and Brynn Harvey being the next guys up. Johnson was a former Miami Hurricane and had 12 carries for 34 yards in a backup role but had two touchdowns on the afternoon (2, 3 yards). Johnson has the build of a Big Ten running back at 6-foot-1, 216 pounds but is not nearly as big or as dangerous as Murray.

    Ohio State's linebackers played a solid game once things settled down against Miami and Etienne Sabino came out and looked like a captain of the team in his play and his leadership on the defense. Ryan Shazier once again proved that he is just 'scary good' for the Buckeyes and Curtis Grant made the most of the reps that he got. The unit will be prepared for UCF's likely downhill style of offense that will try and punish the Ohio State front seven as it tries to get it done on the ground. Like years past, Ohio State's defense will do its best to take away the run and force an opponent to go up top.

    Central Florida Offensive Line
    Ohio State Defensive Line
    The Knights have a big offensive line with both tackles and both guards coming in at 300-pounds plus. Theo Goins was named to the Outland Trophy watch list at his left guard position and center Jordan Rae was named to the Rimington watch list for the nation's top center. Despite being big and surprisingly mobile, there was a little bit of an issue with the line in protecting the quarterback, allowing a pair of sacks (granted one was in the 4th quarter). But paving the way for 206 net yards on the ground is nothing to scoff at and the Bucks may need to send more than three or four to try and disrupt UCF's offense. Ohio State's defense didn't put up the astronomical pass rush numbers that people were hoping for but that was mostly out of scheme by Miami and the quick drop. Johnathan Hankins played a hard game but really came up with nothing to show for it because of the lack of action that a DT gets against a two step drop team. Now with UCF bringing in a much more run heavy defense, expect Big Hank, John Simon, Nathan Williams and the rest of the line to put up bigger numbers. That doesn't mean that UCF won't break off some big plays but this is the type of game that Big Ten defensive linemen live for, power against power.

    Special teams matchups...

  • Net Punting: 41.8 Avg (17th).

  • Punt Returns: 24.33 Yds/Ret (8th)

  • Kickoff Returns: 7.0 Avg. (94th)

  • Field Goals: 0-0

  • Net Punting: 36.43 Avg. (51st)

  • Punt Returns: 2.67 Yds/Ret (74th)

  • Kickoff Returns: 22.5 Avg. (38th)

  • Field Goals: 0-0

  • Central Florida Special Teams

    Ohio State Special Teams
    This matchup is essentially even but the road team always gets punished a little just for playing with an unfamiliar backdrop. Punter Jamie Boyle boomed all five of his punts in week one to a better than 40-yard average. J.J. Worton is a dangerous punt returner and the Buckeyes may elect to kick away from him. Ohio State's punt block team netted its first touchdown, even without getting to the ball in forcing a bad snap into the end zone. Drew Basil nailed all eight of his PAT's and didn't have to attempt a FG while Ben Buchanan averaged 42.1 yards per punt (the punt coverage team allowed more return yards than the staff would like, and put two inside the 20.


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