By Marc Daniels
UCF will play in its fifth bowl game in school history when it faces the Ball State Cardinals in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg on December 21st. The Knights accepted the bowl bid after the tough overtime loss in Tulsa in the Conference USA title game.
The overtime championship game was the first in league history. Much has been made about the fourth quarter punt return by Tulsa's Trey Watts and what did or did not take place on the field. If you missed the many replay angles on Coach O'Leary's weekly television show, the show is available online. Despite the bizarre play, Coach O'Leary points out both teams had chances to win and Tulsa made a few more plays. So congrats to the Golden Hurricane and the same to UCF who won a conference division and has a shot at a 10th win with a bowl victory.
It will go down as one of my favorite plays of the football season. Despite the loss, Rob Calabrese's play to track down a Tulsa player after a blocked extra point is a play I won't soon forget. For someone to go through everything Calabrese did and show the effort and speed to track down a player that looked like he had two easy points should be used by UCF to future teams in regards to never give up on a play. Calabrese's effort was special and should be remembered for a long time.
Don't forget, Donnie Jones' team returns to the court for a December 12th game against Bethune Cookman. Jones may finally have a full roster of players and should be excited about his team. UCF fans saw a glimpse of the future with the debut of freshman Matt Williams who scored 21 points in 13 minutes with seven three-pointers in the win over Florida Tech. Calvin Newell is set to make his debut after the semester ends and the Knights should be a fun team to watch.
Follow me on twitter @UCF_MarcDaniels for notes, news and more and get all your UCF sports news at www.ucfathletics.com