Friday afternoon three decorated members of UCF football history (along with three more from other sports) were given the ultimate honor in school and athletic department history. Players Brandon Marshall and Kevin Smith along with former coach George O’Leary will all be going into the UCF Athletics the Hall of Fame.
UCF maybe announcement on their website:
The @UCFKnights 2019 Hall of Fame Class?
🙌 L E G E N D A R Y 🙌
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) March 15, 2019
Arguably the most famous of the three is Marshall, primarily because of his NFL career. However, UCF fans will remember that in his final season of 2005, Marshall caught 74 passes for 1,195 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is still in the top 10 of almost every statistical category in UCF receiving, even though he’s been out of college for almost 15 years. Marshall has gone on to an NFL career playing for the likes of the Broncos, Bears and Jets that has seen him make six Pro bowls and lead the league in touchdowns during the 2015 season.
Smith is arguably the greatest running back in program history including his phenomenal 2007 season when he rushed for a staggering 450 carries for 2,567 yards and 29 touchdowns while being named the Conference USA Player of the Year and finishing eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting that season. Smith was drafted by the Detroit Lions and played five seasons in the National Football League. He is a former UCF assistant and is currently the running backs coach at Florida Atlantic.
As for O’Leary, he is credited with bringing the program to Division 1 power status including their 12-1 record in 2013 the finsished with a win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl and a final #10 ranking in the AP poll. O’Leary coach 12 seasons in Orlando going 81-68. The school has already erected a statue of him outside of Spectrum Stadium.
The three others that will go in with the NFL players are from the sports of baseball soccer and softball. And, they all will be inducted at a ceremony to be held on April 12th.
Week three power rankings are tighter at top
Week 2 of the college football season was not very kind to a handful off the state university’s last weekend. While week 1 of the NFL season was brutal for our in-state teams, as well. After a under whelming weekend for Florida football lets take a look at how things stack up in our rankings:
Florida Gators- The Gators were one of the only bright spots last week in the State. It took Florida until the 2nd quarter to find the endzone, which is something they surely didn’t envision. From there, they would head to an easy 45-0 victory over UT-Martin. The Gators did suffer two potential major losses on the night. RB/WR Kadarius Toney and DB C.J. Henderson were both injured and could miss the conference opener at Kentucky next week.
UCF Knights- UCF put up a lot of points (above) and a lot of yards, yet again. The Knights went over 500 yards and for the 28th game in a row put up 30 points. Freshman Dillon Gabriel silenced a crowd of over 30,000 that was the largest in program history for FAU. The Knights put up 14 points in both the first and second quarter on their way to a blowout victory. This week they face Stanford coming from California into the “Bounce House.”
This game was looking like a ranked match up before the Cardinal lost to USC late last Saturday night. Still, this is a big game for Knights against a Power-5 opponent and coach Josh Heupel knows they have to be impressive.
Florida State Seminoles- The Noles slide into the 3 spot or did they really back up into it? FSU was painfully close to loosing at home to ULM. Had the Warhawks gone for two, like many expected them to do, they might have walked out of Tallahassee with Willie Taggart contract in hand.
For the second week in a row the Noles had a 2nd half collapse. After leading 24-7 at the break they went into the 4th quarter still up 24-21, but then faltered badly, again, only to hang on 45-44 in OT. Heading into conference play this weekend the Noles will need to get a grip on things or they won’t end well starting at Virginia Saturday night.
Miami Hurricanes- The Canes were oh so close last week. In the first true road game of the year the U almost took one in Chapel Hill. Freshman Jarren Williams had a great bounce back performance throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns. After being down all game the Canes took the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter with 4:45 left to play.
The Hurricanes though still want this one back, as UNC freshman QB Sam Howell hit a 20-yard pass on 4th and 17 to keep the game winning drive going. The Canes would drive down the field to attempt a 49-yard field goal that was missed. Miami though should get into the win column next week against Bethune- Cookman.
Is it freshman QB Dillon Gabriel’s job at UCF already?
When quarterback Brandon Wimbush decided to transfer from Notre Dame to UCF, he knew he would be in a QB battle. After Darriel Mack Jr. went out with an off season broken ankle, it appeared the job was all his. However, in the season opener against FAMU, he split reps with freshman, Dillon Gabriel. Now, after Gabriel played the entire game Saturday night at FAU, we’re left to wonder if the job belongs to the freshman?
Both QBs had played well against the over-matched Rattlers in week one leaving the door open for more split duty. And, coach Josh Heupel even said the job wouldn’t be Wimbush’s 100 percent.
Well, against FAU this past Saturday though it was just the freshman Gabriel who saw all the action. Wimbush was held out with an undisclosed injury, and now the question is? will he get back in immediately? Gabriel went only 7/19, but had touchdown passes of 57 and 74 yards ending the night with 245 yards:
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 7, 2019
That many yards on that few completions shows the big play potential of UCF’s offense, and Gabriel led four TD drives in the first half of the blowout win.
Heupel said Wimbush could have played in an emergency and didn’t say anything about his availability for this weekend’s game Stanford.
After just being involved in a QB controversy that saw him go to the bench last year at Notre Dame, Wimbush might have walked right into another one in Orlando. If he is indeed healthy enough to play in the game against Stanford, it will be interesting to see who starts?
This will be one of the bigger games for the Knights this season and Wimbush has played in some big games in his career from his time in South Bend. We don’t know right now, but come Saturday we may find out what Heupel and has staff think of Gabriel leading them, at least for now. And, do we have a real QB controversy on our hands?
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