Former Auburn football head coach Gus Malzahn, a few weeks removed from an increasingly maligned extension signed to continue to be UCF’s head coach until 2027, made an unsuccessful trick play call on a 2-point conversion attempt with the score at 31-29 Oklahoma that saw John Rhys Plumlee throw a backward pass to Xavier Townsend, who’d then attempt to throw to Javon Baker in the end zone — only that never got to happen because the Sooners defense snuffed out Townsend behind the line of scrimmage near the sideline to win the game.
In response to the failed play-call, The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s Ken Willis aimed to downplay the scrutiny sent in Malzahn’s direction; pointing out that any unsuccessful play-call would receive similar scrutiny.
“Next time the Knights run that one, it won’t likely be in a similar scenario,” Willis prefaced before saying, “Maybe second-and-9, middle of the second quarter, and when it works, Gus can look to the bleachers and say, ‘You see, it can work.’ Meanwhile, we’re left with a perfect record, of sorts, regarding these scenarios. You will never … and I mean NEVER … watch a team fail badly to convert a necessary 2-point conversion and hear the fan base reply, ‘Well, you know, at least it was a good play-call.'”
UCF fanbase now ‘into the land of certain expectations’ with little patience for ex-Auburn football head coach Gus Malzahn
As Willis points out, Malzahn is no longer getting grace from the UCF fanbase in Year 3 with the Knights now in the Big 12. To Willis, Knight Nation is “into the land of certain expectations” now and will no longer defend anything but success.
“Some of UCF’s fan base, well beyond the ‘happy to be here’ stage and now into the land of certain expectations, followed script and ripped the play call,” Willis wrote.
Judging by the reaction from the UCF fanbase after the Oklahoma loss, it doesn’t look like they’re simply happy that Malzahn is there any longer.