A few things that have been floating around my brain lately, most of which will probably be proven wrong tomorrow night. That's why I enjoy going on the record so much.
1.) You have to take all of the optimism with a grain of salt, but I do believe that Rob Calabrese is an improved quarterback. To a somewhat-lethal extent? Who knows. That's why I'm going with the gut here. Our well-documented defensive issues being as worrisome as they are, I realize we're perfectly capable of making the mediocre look good. UCF's increasingly wide-open offense doesn't make me feel much better. Still... I don't think Calabrese's going to play well tomorrow.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that Jeff Godfrey could end up the key to this game for UCF. Western Carolina killed us with misdirection early on; how, then, do we respond to the tricks up Godfrey's sleeves?
2.) Bruce Miller. It remains to be seen what we're able to get on the ground against the Knights, particularly their first-year defensive tackles. A little success there would be nice but isn't something that I think affects our passing game one way or the other. What promises to kill pass plays, if we're not careful, is Miller. Central Florida's going to move him all over the place in an effort to increase his impact. If we can't at least identify where he is on every play, if UCF successfully disguises what he's doing, I think we're in a lot of trouble.
If Wilson consistently gets the time he needs to throw the football, we win.
3.) I've read a lot about the Knights, and while the rational part of my brain insists based on the information at hand that this is a good football team, the irrational part has a hard time reconciling that information with "Central Florida" and "Conference USA." It's just tough to consider the Wolfpack underdogs in this game. I guess I'm still at a point where optimism can override everything else, including Vegas oddsmakers, who tend to know what they're doing.
So give me NC State by 10, 31-21. (And let me apologize for this in advance.)