The UCF Knights are 2-0 in Conference USA and 4-2 overall, and head coach George O'Leary knows the defense has been a big part of that success. He also knows they could contribute even more if they could force more turnovers, reports the Orlando Sentinel. The Knights have six interceptions and six recovered fumbles so far this season, making their turnover ratio first on Conference USA and ranked 30th in the FBS.
According to O'Leary, stronger fundamentals would lead to more turnovers:
"We've got to force more fumbles, that's one thing that's been bothering me. We've got too many reachers and not enough contact guys . . . too many guys [are] leading with their hands instead of their shoulder pads and chest plate. As far as tackling, that's what causes turnovers and that's been an emphasis for a couple of weeks now."
UCF should have plenty of opportunity this Saturday against Memphis. The Tigers have put the ball on the ground 18 times and lost it on 10 of those fumbles. Junior quarterback Jacob Karam is strong on ball security, having thrown only one interception this season, but he's also thrown only six touchdowns. UCF quarterback sophomore Blake Bortles has ten touchdowns with five interceptions, leaving the team with a turnover ratio of plus-four.