Heaps has had good success when going to his tight ends and should be looking their way again come Friday night.
Central Florida comes in having defended the pass at least as well as it has defended against the run. It is ranked first nationally in pass defense in giving up just 93.7 yards per game through the air.
It will be led by junior cornerback Josh Robinson, 5-10, 192, and the aforementioned Ishmael, who will be starting at free safety.
“They’ll be as good at corner as any team we’ve seen so far,” said Jacobson. “They’re fast, athletic, and they’ve shut down teams that have tried to throw against them so far. They’ll be a huge challenge, but I think we’ll be up to that challenge.”
Up front, Central Florida has only accounted for three sacks on the year, but it has two potent pass rushers in the aforementioned Davis and defensive end Darius Nall, 6-3, 246.
While Central Florida has been stingy against the pass, it has yet to face a productive passing attack. BYU’s passing attack couldn’t quite be labeled as “productive” so far this season, but it will be sure to mount the best Central Florida has seen so far this season.
There were some pass protection issues last week, but look for those to be cleaned up. The key will be to get the ground game going, and for that to happen look for Doman to attempt to put the Knight defense on its heels and spread out in hopes of finding their stride on the ground.
BYU rush defense vs. Central Florida
It’s been the tale of two halves during the last two games for the Cougar ground defense. After very good performances against both Texas and Utah during the first half, it gave up huge chunks of yardage during the second.
The Knights come in having run the ball very well so far this season to the tune of 223.3 yards per game. Their featured running back is senior Ronnie Weaver, 6-0, 210, but the player that may be causing the most problems for the defense is sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey, 5-11, 182.
“Their quarterback is their offense from what we’ve seen,” said Eason. “It all starts with him. He can throw it, but he can also run it real well. We think that if we can stop him then we can stop their offense.”
Central Florida will focus on the run and use an H-back a lot of the time in presenting some challenges that the Cougar defense is yet to see this season.
“It’s definitely new this year, but we saw a lot of what they do last year,” said Eason. “Running quarterbacks is something that we learned to defend against last year and coaches are doing a great job of preparing for this one.”
The UCF offensive front will be led by senior right tackle Nick Pieschel, 6-7, 306, who has 34 career starts on his resume.
The Cougar defense will have to contain Godfrey in having any success this Friday. The Cougar outside linebackers will play a huge role here, and Kyle Van Noy, an ailing Jordan Pendleton and Jameson Frazier should all be up to the task.
BYU pass defense vs. Central Florida
The Cougar pass defense has been very good for the most part this season. They had some blown coverages against Utah that they’ll look to fix this week.
“We had too many mental errors,” said Eason. “We did some things that we shouldn’t do, but we’re confident and we’ll get better.”
One big problem has been their inability to mount an effective pass rush. They didn’t account for even one sack last week and will be looking to change that this week.
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