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Joey Knight's takeaways from USF-UCF

USF tight end Mitchell Wilcox (89), left, is comforted by South Florida Bulls quarterback Brett Kean (7), right, at the conclusion of Friday's (11/24/17) in-state rival NCAA football game between UCF Knights and the USF Bulls at Spectrum Stadium at the University of Central Florida (UCF). (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
USF tight end Mitchell Wilcox (89), left, is comforted by South Florida Bulls quarterback Brett Kean (7), right, at the conclusion of Friday's (11/24/17) in-state rival NCAA football game between UCF Knights and the USF Bulls at Spectrum Stadium at the University of Central Florida (UCF). (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
Published Nov. 24, 2017

1. Props to Charlie Strong — and the Bulls veterans — for underplaying USF's final offensive play, which ended with TE Mitchell Wilcox fumbling while fighting for extra yardage after a catch. "His heart is truly broken," Strong said. "And it's so hard because he takes it so hard, and it wasn't his fault." A Tarpon Springs High alumnus, Wilcox finished with three receptions for a season-best 51 yards including a 21-yard scoring catch late in the first half.

2. Clearly, special teams breakdowns will remain as culpable as anything for this 9-2 season and thwarted quest for a conference title. USF had seven kicks blocked in the regular season, and normally steady senior PK Emilio Nadelman shanked a PAT in the first half Friday. Then, of course, there was UCF's game-winning 95-yard kick return, when Strong had his "victory" kickoff team (mostly defensive players) on the field.

3. How breathtaking was this one? It featured nine — NINE — scoring plays of 20 or more yards, including the last five.