After getting some time off to rest after last week's bye week, the UCF Knights feel prepared to take on their first ever SEC opponent at Bright House Networks Stadium. After defeating FIU in week three, the Knights got a couple of days off to rest and then it was back to work.
UCF will take on the Missouri Tigers for the first time in school history and the Knights liked where last week's bye fell on the schedule.
"It just gives us extra time to prepare and mostly get our bodies rested," senior running back Brynn Harvey said. "We work on trying to keep it consistent. The blockers concentrate on blocking. The running backs focus on finishing and [for] the receivers catching the ball. Simple things."
"The extra days have helped us," senior linebacker Ray Shipman said. "Being able to go up against the UCF offense more gives us a better look and being more physical."
In the team's game against FIU, all of the Knights were pleased with the way the first half went. UCF scored 23 points in the half including two touchdown passes from Blake Bortles and one touchdown on the ground from Harvey.
"We want to carry over the way we played in the first half in the FIU game and bring that over into this game," Shipman said.
Bortles has already thrown for seven touchdowns this season, which is one more than he had all of last season. Both coach O'Leary and the rest of the Knights have been impressed with the Oviedo native this season. Despite, the six interceptions Bortles has thrown this season, the team feels the sophomore quarterback is more focused than ever.
"He doesn't let anything [get to him]," Harvey said. "He knows that he makes mistakes and he's going to come back and help us pick up where he left off against FIU. The interceptions don't get to Blake. You can tell he's a poised guy and he keeps us poised."
This past bye week also gave the team a chance to do something it doesn't get to do very often. Watch a live football game.
Over the weekend, Missouri lost to South Carolina 31-10. The Knights admitted it was a different perspective than they were used to.
"The linebackers came to my house and watched the game," Shipman said. "The score [of the game] was kind of misleading, but they have a really good team...We're definitely going to play to the best of our ability."