UCF still looking for first win of season heading into final road trip

Produced by Frank Shala

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Bryce Brimhall / Valencia Voice

Justin Holman has thrown nine interceptions to four touchdowns during his second year as UCF’s starting quarterback.

The UCF Knights have had a nightmare season through nine weeks of the college football schedule but one of their best opportunities to win a game could come against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes on Saturday in Oklahoma.

“That’s the plan, just go out and get a win,” said senior Cedric Thompson. “Have some pride in ourselves and finish up the season strong the way we know how to.”

UCF has fallen to 0-9 for the season and have already lost their head coach George O’Leary a week earlier after he announced a sudden mid season retirement, but the Knights could get interim head coach Danny Barrett his first collegiate coaching win  on Saturday if they can keep the turnovers down to a minimum.

The Knights have turned the ball over 22 times over the last seven games and with 24 total turnovers UCF trails only Maryland (28) for the most turnovers in the country. The struggling offense still ranks dead last in the FBS in total offense with 263.8 yards per game.

But Barrett’s squad have shown signs of improvement as the ground game picked up last week against Cincinnati and rushed for 212 yards, which was more than a 45 percent increase over the team’s total rushing numbers through eight games prior.

Justin Holman will be a key if the Knights hope to get their first win of the season on Saturday. Holman has struggled since returning from a finger injury in Week 6. He’s thrown nine interceptions in the four games since his return. Coach Barrett says that if Holman continues to struggle on Saturday he’ll pull the trigger on bringing in either Tyler Harris, Bo Schneider or a combination of both against Tulane.

“He’s making some great plays then he’s making not so good plays, it really comes down to decision making,” said Barrett of his second year signal caller. “He needs to quit pressing and the other thing to is we might start to see some of those younger guys on the field as well to help him maybe come off the football field and see for a little bit from the side so it’s not all on his shoulders all the time.”

UCF is 0-9 on the season and have only three opportunities left this season to prevent the team from forever being cemented as having an imperfect season, the second in the programs FBS era.

Kickoff against Tulsa is set for noon EST with the game being televised on ESPNews. Tulsa leads the all-time series against UCF 5-3