MORGANTOWN — Guz Malzahn is formally in uncharted territory.
UCF’s third-year head coach goes by means of one thing he’s by no means skilled earlier than, a four-game shedding streak.
“I do know it’s the primary time in school I’ve misplaced 4 video games in a row, so it’s a bit new territory with that,” Malzahn stated Monday.
Malzahn, who had profitable tenures at Arkansas State and Auburn beforehand and is coming off of back-to-back nine-win seasons with the Knights, stated regardless of not profitable in over a month, his workforce is as assured as ever.
“So far as our locker room, it’s sturdy,” he stated. “Our guys should not flinching, they’re prepared for the following sport.”
A part of that confidence comes from the Knights’ (3-4, 0-4 Massive 12) sport final week during which they took No. 6 Oklahoma right down to the wire in a 31-29 loss. The opposite half is that they’ve their beginning quarterback John Rhys Plumlee again.
“I may inform a media days, he’s the chief of their workforce,” stated WVU coach Neal Brown, who will face Plumlee and UCF this Saturday. “These guys really feel assured with him on the market, as they need to.”
Plumlee, a fifth-year senior, was injured within the workforce’s second sport of the season in opposition to Boise State. He returned in restricted motion two weeks in the past in opposition to Kansas, however returned full-time final week in opposition to the Sooners, throwing for 248 yards and two touchdowns.
“When he’s on the sector, we’re a greater workforce,” Malzahn stated. “John Rhys is our chief and it’s only a completely different deal when we now have him on the sector.”
Plumlee nonetheless wasn’t 100% in opposition to Oklahoma, evident by the truth that he completed with unfavorable speeding yards. A dynamic ball-carrier, Plumlee rushed for 862 yards and 11 touchdowns final season and had 163 yards and two scores within the first two video games this yr.
Brown stated Plumlee reminds him of his personal beginning quarterback, the dual-threat Garrett Greene.
“It’s quite a lot of the identical issues I say about Garrett, speaking about arm angles and fast releases,” Brown stated.
Plumlee can be a dual-sport student-athlete. He began 58 video games for the Knights’ baseball workforce within the spring, hitting .286 with 10 dwelling runs.
Backup Timmy McClain performed admirably whereas Plumlee was out, throwing for 1,008 yards and 9 touchdowns, however the workforce nonetheless hasn’t crushed an FBS workforce since Plumlee was absolutely wholesome.
With Plumlee again within the beginning function and nearing 100% well being, Malzahn is aware of now’s the time for the Knights to win once more.
“Each week feels that means,” Malzahn stated. “Each week we’ve acquired to win, that’s the place we’re at proper now. That’s what our guys are dedicated to doing.”
West Virginia and UCF will kick off from FBC Mortgage Stadium in Orlando, Fla. at midday on Saturday. The sport will likely be broadcast on FS1.