UCF @ Boise St.: Texas Tech fans shouldn’t sleep on Central Florida
Don’t sleep on Central Florida. The Knights have a head coach (Gus Malzhan) with a national title on his resume and one of the best dual-threat QBs in the nation (John Rhys Plumlee) running their high-powered offense. They will come to Lubbock in mid-November in what will be a tough test for the Red Raiders.
This week, we will find out something important about the Knights. Can they handle a cross-country trip that is going to be similar in length to many of the trips they will have to make in the new Big 12 as they travel to face Boise State in Idaho?
On paper, UCF should throttle the Broncos. Boise was trounced by No. 10 Washington 56-19 last week and the days of Boise being a giant killer appear to be just memories now.
Still, this game on the blue turf will be telling. Will the Knights handle playing two time zones and 2,600 miles away from home at night?
Perhaps, the bigger test will be next week to see how UCF rebounds from this long trip. However, their week-three opponent is just Villanova, a school that is not a power in football like it is in basketball.
This will be UCF’s longest trip of the year. Their second-longest trip is to Lubbock. But in upcoming seasons, they will also have to go to Colorado, Utah, and Arizona to play conference games so they had better get used to long flights and late nights.
For years, West Virginia has complained about the toll that these cross country-trips have taken on their athletic teams. Will UCF face similar struggles? Hopefully. Still, ESPN gives them a 77.7% chance of winning.
This game will be overlooked given the mass of stellar games played at the same time on Saturday night. However, keep an eye on how the Knights handle this test because it mimics what they are about to experience with regularity in their new conference home.