Knights prepare for cross country trip to take on Stanford


Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice

Dontravious Wilson (left) suffered an injury during UCF’s season opener, leaving Cedric Thompson and William Stanback to carry the load.

UCF stumbled out of the gates with a 15-14 loss to FIU in the season opener last week and things don’t get any easier for the Knights as they travel to the West Coast for the first time to take on the Stanford Cardinal (0-1) on Saturday night.

The Knights are coming off of a game in which they rushed for only 46 yards by an FIU team out of the Sun Belt Conference. For the Knights to be successful against Stanford they will have to establish the run early and average more than the 1.5 yards per carry they had in Week 1.

“Basically we have to get movement, it’s really simple we have to get movement at the point of attack, got to move the line of scrimmage,”said running back Cedric Thompson about how UCF could improve in the running game. “That’s the base rule for the run game on many different teams, you have to get movement at the point of attack, got to move the line of scrimmage, got to control the line of scrimmage,

“And if you can’t do that then your run game isn’t going to be consistent.”

Dontravious Wilson will be out for the Week 2 matchup, leaving Thompson and William Stanback to carry the load on the ground. Coach George O’Leary also said that freshman Taj McGowan could see carries on Saturday.


Stanford are coming off a tough loss to Northwestern which saw the Cardinal score only six points on two field goals. The Cardinal didn’t fare much better in the running game, as they totaled 85 yards on the ground during their Week 1 loss. Stanford is strong and physical on the offensive line so they shouldn’t back away from the running game when they take on the Knights this weekend.

The Stanford running game is lead by sophomore Christian McCaffrey, who last year was utilized as an all-around player as he tallied up 795 all-purpose yards including 300 on the ground and 251 receiving.

Missed tackles were a problem for UCF during Week 1 against FIU, so it’ll be crucial for the Knights to make sure they wrap up tackles and don’t allow many yards after contact.

“You can’t teach tackling at half speed, all that form tackling that goes to waste when the ball’s snapped.” “To me it’s a want to, how bad you want to block, how bad you want to tackle, that’s what it really comes down to, but you have to make sure you teach them the right techniques and getting those things done. I think that’s where we need to spend our time and emphasis.”

Justin Holman and the passing game were one of the bright spots for UCF during the opening week as the second-year quarterback threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns while going 23-34 passing for the game.

The Knights will have their work cut out for them when they head to Stanford Stadium to take on the Cardinal on Saturday. With a 10:30 p.m. EST start time it will also be important for UCF to stay energized despite the late start on the East Coast. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.