Saturday's historic conference matchup against Tulsa (9-2, 7-0) presented a chance for the Knights (8-3, 6-1) to accomplish some of the goals they set out for this season. After a 23-21 loss against the Golden Hurricane, UCF will have to wait one more week until it has a chance to check some of those goals off its list.
Tulsa's win against the Knights clinched the Conference USA West Division for the Golden Hurricane as well as home field advantage in the C-USA Championship game. Hosting the conference championship game was something the Knights worked hard for all season long. Even though the players are upset about the result, they are going to use this as motivation for the rest of the season.
"No doubt about it that it was a big loss, but we have to take care of the next game which is UAB and if we beat UAB we still have a chance to achieve our goals," sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles said. "We just have to get ready for Saturday."
On Saturday the Knights will play their regular season finale against the UAB Blazers. UCF will secure the C-USA East Division with a win or an ECU loss. If that happens, the following week UCF will travel back to Tulsa to face the Golden Hurricane in the conference championship game.
Sophomore wide receiver J.J. Worton had two receptions for 12 yards against Tulsa. He says experiencing that environment will make the Knights even more prepared to face their conference foe again.
"We're going to use it to our advantage," Worton said. "We played here and now we know what it's like. It's nothing we can't win and this is definitely a team we can beat, but right now our focus is on UAB."
Even though the chances of the Knights playing the Golden Hurricane again is all but imminent, the seniors will make sure no one forgets about this week's game against UAB.
"We just have to come ready to work on Monday," senior running back Latavius Murray said. "We'll find out what corrections we need to make and put the game behind us and just look forward to the games we have left."