What to look for as No. 20 Mizzou hosts Central Florida

By Christian Clark, KBIA Sports

No. 20 Missouri (2-0) hosts Central Florida (0-1) Saturday at Faurot Field. Here are five things to know before the Tigers and Knights kick off at 11 a.m.

  1. Holman gets nod at QB: Trailing Penn State 10-3 at halftime on Aug. 30, Central Florida coach George O’Leary inserted Justin Holman at quarterback in place of the ineffective Pete DiNovo. The sophomore seized the moment, throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown, in addition to running for two more scores. Holman’s last 6-yard run and the ensuing extra point pushed UCF ahead of Penn State 24-23 with 1:13 remaining in regulation. Nittany Lions kicker Sam Ficken foiled the comeback, though, knocking a 36-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired. Although UCF lost its season opener, they might have found a permanent solution at quarterback. Holman will make the first start of his collegiate career Saturday.
  2. Tigers’ ends dominant: Missouri defensive ends Markus Golden and Shane Ray will welcome the Knights’ newly named starting quarterback to Columbia. Through two games, Golden has racked up five tackles for a loss and 2 ½ sacks while Ray has 3 ½ tackles for a loss and three sacks. After playing in reserve roles last year both men are seemingly living in their opponent’s backfield so far this season.
  3. Round 2: This is just the second time Missouri and UCF have squared off. Missouri narrowly escaped the 2012 matchup with a 21-16 victory at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, Florida. With a win Saturday the Tigers would head into their last non-conference game against Indiana with a perfect slate and have started a season 3-0 for the seventh time in the last nine years.

  1. Stanback back: Last season as a true freshman, Will Stanback ran for 443 yards and six touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound running back averaged a healthy 4.2 yards per carry en route to earning All-American Conference second team honors. Stanback didn’t play against Penn State due to a foot injury, but is expected to be in the lineup Saturday. His return should help a Knights running game that managed only 24 yards on 29 attempts against the Nittany Lions.
  2. Hall, too: Rannell Hall, the Knights’ top wideout last season, will also be making his season debut Saturday after dealing with an elbow injury that sidelined him for most of fall camp. Hall started all 13 games for UCF last year, leading the team in receptions (57) and yards (886). The senior headlines a trio of UCF starting receivers that have combined to make 56 starts.

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