UCF vs. SMU
Everyone may have their playful banter on the UCF Knights, but look out–the nation’s second largest university is on the move. During their homecoming game Saturday, the Knights again showcased why they have earned their spot in moving to the Big East Conference next season. UCF remains undefeated in Conference USA (5-0), moving their record to (7-2) overall.
In Saturday’s beat down, the Knights challenged the Mustangs on both sides of the ball. With constant penalties against SMU, UCF was able to take advantage and put points on the scoreboard. Latavius Murray was on fire with 155 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. After Saturday’s matchup, Murray became the ninth Knight to have at least 2,000 rushing yards.
This game was special for UCF Knights on a more personal level as well. Players wore “RP” stickers on their helmets in honor of former defensive lineman, Robert Pritchard, who was a member of the team from 2008-2011 until he suffered a massive stroke earlier this year. He was recognized on the field with warm welcoming from UCF fans.
With their momentum, I see the Knights ending their experience in C-USA with a Championship.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt
Wow, talk about a historically bad loss for the Wildcats. A forty-to-nothing tail whooping on their home field against a mediocre Vanderbilt team. I know Kentucky isn’t a football school, but a shutout? At home? By Vanderbilt? Kentucky hasn’t been shut out at home for over twenty years and Vanderbilt hasn’t scored 40 in an SEC game since 2005. Talk about a perfect storm for a bad day. It was so bad, in fact, that the 1-7 Wildcats fired head coach Joker Phillips.
Now, the team has to try and pull out a win in Knoxville to avoid a winless SEC record for the first time since 2000. Talk about taking a step back. Whoever takes over for Joker will have his hands full. But on the bright side, at least the new coach has nowhere to go but up.
Saints vs. Eagles
What were you expecting from these teams on MNF? With lackluster records, I’m glad at least one team showed up to play. The only good record was Drew Brees’s perfect 8-0 lifetime record on Monday Night Football, which he kept spotless with a win over the hopeless Eagles.
As the blogs and news articles read, “New Orleans fans excited after Monday night win.” And they should be! The Eagles were picked to win by many as the Saints has the worst defense in the league (giving up over 400 yards a game) and this was viewed as a ”must win” game for head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Michael Vick, who are both on the hot seat.
Although the Saints defense still gave up more than 400 yards, Vick was his usual mistake laden self. A quarterback that, like Tony Romo has decent stats and makes great plays, but also can’t seem win and does things that leave you scratching your head. Although he got sacked seven times, Vick made some mental mistakes that cost his team. He got picked off from the 5 yard line for a 99-yard touchdown return on a questionable pass, and was stopped five total times in the red zone. The Eagles had several opportunities to make it close at the end of the game, but it just felt like they didn’t have the mental toughness to do the things necessary for a win. After a four game losing streak at the beginning of the season, the Saints fans are thrilled to have won three of their last four.
I hope the Saints got their fill of excitement because next week the undefeated Atlanta Falcons visit the Saints at home. As for the Eagles, they have the perfect matchup against Dallas, who also has the reputation for giving away games. The Dallas vs. Eagles game could very well make this list next week, as I could see both Romo and Vick making their usual mistakes. It might just come down to who makes the least amount of dumb plays.
By: Dana Bakich