Football prepares to take on UCF this weekend in re-scheduled contest


Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Terren Encalade clutches the ball in a game against Southern Methodist University. 

Clara Harrington, Sports Editor [email protected]

After falling to Southern Methodist University 35-31 in last weekend’s homecoming game, the Green Wave (3-5, 0-4 American Athletic Conference) seeks to redeem itself in this week’s away game against the University of Central Florida (4-4, 2-2 AAC).

The teams were initially scheduled to play on Oct. 7, but the game was rescheduled after Hurricane Matthew suddenly hit the Florida coast. The additional time has given head coach Willie Fritz and the rest of the team more preparation for UCF, though the extra month has created differences in the playing styles of both teams.

“We looked at the game plan that we had for UCF leading up to the cancellation of the game, and there’s some things that we’re still using, there are some other things that are going to be a little bit different,” Fritz said. “Their team has changed quite a bit since that time…ours has as well.”

Tulane is coming off of a loss last week against SMU (4-4, 2-2 AAC). After trailing behind the Mustangs 21-10 for the first half of the game, it appeared that the Green Wave had made a successful comeback with three touchdown drives, going up by 10 points with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Despite having a lead over SMU halfway into the fourth quarter, Tulane eventually fell behind after two final touchdowns by SMU. 

The Green Wave had a solid defensive game against SMU, despite allowing for a last-minute touchdown. In preparing for the team’s game against UCF, the main focus for the defensive line is to bring constant pressure and play intelligently to avoid losing momentum in games.

“We’ve just got to execute and create negative plays, that’s all it’s about — creating negative plays,” senior defensive tackle Tanzel Smart said.

UCF is also on a losing streak after they fell to the University of Houston Cougars (7-2, 4-2 AAC) in last weekend’s contest. The Knights started the game off strong with three touchdowns, bringing the team’s lead to 21-3 at halftime. However, after losing momentum early on in the second half, Houston capitalized on UCF’s weaknesses and secured a 31-24 win with four second half touchdowns.

In last year’s matchup against Tulane, a winless UCF team lost by a final score of 45-31. Since last fall, UCF has undergone tremendous growth. Last season, the Knights lost all eight of its conference games in the fall, finishing with an overall record of 0-12.

This year’s improved record indicates a promising rest of the season for the Knights. However, both UCF and Tulane have had problems throwing the ball this year despite success in the running game. UCF is favored to win by 17 points.

The game will take place at 4 p.m. on Nov. 5 in Orlando, Florida. The game will be available on ESPN3.

Leave a comment