The game lasted four hours and eight minutes. It featured a combined 1,501 yards and 191 total plays. That may be a problem for the current state of college football but let's bring it back to UCF.
The Knights had 798 total yards. They ran 96 offensive plays. Dillon Gabriel threw for a school record of 601 yards. UCF had three wide receivers have at least 173 yards. But they lost. And the loss sends UCF out of the hunt for a major bowl game and their path to a conference title is small at best.
The defense allowed 703 yards and despite that eye popping number, the Knights had numerous chances to win the game before the missed field goal on the last drive. Memphis was 5-for-5 on fourth downs. They faced fourth and three at their own 43 on their final drive but converted with a 52-yard pass. It was a trend on downs where the game could have turned.
The Knights struggled to get a pass rush. Part of the problem was Memphis quarterback Brady White got the ball out quickly. Another challenge was UCF's inexperienced secondary had their issues. Three true freshmen and a junior playing his second full season had a rough afternoon. But White had plenty of time when he needed and then also was able to get away and create the run option that also frustrated UCF all afternoon.
It becomes another memorable UCF-Memphis game where offense rules and it came down to a play or two.
UCF's offense bounced back after an off-balance performance against Tulsa. False starts were eliminated and tempo UCF is known for was back and better than any other performance.
The Knights' offense leads in the nation in total offense and Dillon Gabriel is on a pace to throw for more yards this season, in nine games, than he did in 13 games last season. The wide receiving group of Marlon Williams and Jaylon Robinson sit first and sixth in receiving yards per game.
But will UCF simply need to outscore their opponents? And what now motivates a team that three weeks ago people were talking about being a playoff buster that now is likely to miss out on their biggest goals? We are about to found out in the weeks ahead...
Notes: College football has a problem. We have talked about the game and the offensive era we are in. Offenses have advantages over defenses when it comes to rules and substitutions. We are running so many plays that defense are struggling to keep up. And games are last four hours. Not sure what the fix is and while some games are fun to watch, the game is becoming backyard football and I am not sure that is a good thing...Good for Mike Norvell and his Seminoles who beat a over-ranked North Carolina team. The Tar Heels number 5 ranking is not FSU's fault and Norvell's group did enough to earn a big win as he build a foundation...The Canes beat a depleted Pitt team. Miami still must find a running game from someone other than D'Eriq King...Alabama's offense might be Nick Saban's best and Georgia is not likely to close the gap on the Tide if there is a rematch...Tennessee gave Jeremy Pruitt a contract extension. They just lost to Kentucky and now sit 2-2. The same record as Gus Malzahn, who is making $6.8M this season...Hugh Freeze is 5-0 at Liberty...Mike Leach and his offense still can't score and how do Bulldogs fans feel now?...Same for Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss fans who felt they outmastered the master when it came to putting up yards and points on Nick Saban. Arkansas bullied their way past Ole Miss and is the surprise team in the SEC...The Big Ten is back this week. All that love for Scott Frost in the off-season will be put to test when they play at Ohio State this weekend. I like Scott and always will. But Cornhusker fans will go back to being football fans if the Buckeyes roll to a win. Nebraska wanted to play anyone, anywhere when the Big Ten wasn't sure what to do. Well, the Big Ten showed their feelings by sending Frost and his team to Columbus this week...
Final thought: Adult cats only meow at humans not fellow cats. Kittens only meow at their mother.