QUICK SLANTS : UCF – MEMPHIS : SEPTEMBER 30
By Patrick Geanconteri
I don’t think anyone saw this coming. At least I know I didn’t.
On paper, this looked like a a toss-up. Vegas had the University of Central Florida as a 4 point favorite over the University of Memphis. With home field worth a field goal, I figured this contest should come down with the team with the ball last having a chance to win or, at least, having to make a first down or two to run out the clock.
Going by previous game outcomes this season for UCF and UM, each team was undefeated and had big wins over Power 5 opponents. Memphis dispatched a UCLA team that had lost a game and Central Florida destroyed a no loss Maryland squad. Clearly, this game was projected to one of the premier matchups in the American Athletic Conference 2017 season.
However, the tilt did not live up to its billing. It was an onslaught by the Golden Knights. UCF, with the help of several crippling 90-plus yard plays, struck down the Tigers early and often. It was a dominating performance by Central Florida with the final arithmetic being 40-13.
This win sets up a future clash of UCF and the University of South Florida in Orlando on Friday, November 24th. It could be, quite possible, the last two unbeaten teams in the AAC. Both teams are ranked in the AP top 25 and this game will not disappoint by any means to any level of fan of college football.
This game, if all the cards fall correctly into place, should be one with the potential of being an instant classic here in Florida. The days of FSU, University of Miami, and UF being the “Big 3” in Florida has diminished over the years. This gives the mid-major schools, like UCF and USF, an opportunity to bring heavy college football rivalry back into Florida. Fingers crossed in the hopes of an AAC classic in November.
I know one thing. It will be much more competitive than last Saturday and you can take that to the bank. Or should I say, to the bear!
All game photographs by It’s Sports Magazine photojournalist Stephanie Mathews.