At Central Florida, coach George O'Leary is plenty concerned about Marshall's "fastball" offense and all the mayhem it creates, but he may be more concerned about his defense's performance in general and the run defense in particular.
The last two weeks, the Knights have given up 194 and 240 rushing yards in tough wins over Southern Mississippi and Memphis, teams that are a combined 1-13. Southern Miss took UCF (5-2, 3-0 Conference USA) to double overtime, while the Knights used two critical defensive plays to keep Memphis at bay.
And now, O'Leary's squad travels to Marshall (3-4, 2-1) to tackle a Marshall team that bears little resemblance to the one that struggled in the Orlando rain a year ago. Kickoff time is 8 p.m. Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
The Knights still lead C-USA in scoring and total defense, but have given up more than 5 yards per carry the last two weeks. Memphis and Southern Miss both had eight runs or 10 or more yards.
"Defensively, I think we're trying to do too much," O'Leary said. "We've got guys that are supposed to be in certain alignments [that] aren't there, and that's why you're having some missed plays or some yardage that we shouldn't be giving up.
"I just think we're trying to do too much. I've scaled it back this week so we can be in position to do things we have to get done."
That entails slowing down one of America's most prolific offenses. The Herd is fourth in total yardage with 568.4 yards, second in passing yards with 390 and eighth in scoring offense at 43.1 points per game. That, and MU is snapping the ball a national-high 91 times a game.
"In just the one half of the Southern Miss game, there were 44 plays," O'Leary said. "They're running a lot of plays - high tempo, quick tempo. They're no-huddle but I think they're very fastball no-huddle. Some people call it NASCAR, I call it fastball but that's what they are doing."
O'Leary, the ninth-year UCF coach with deep defensive roots, is hardly panicking. He emphasizes much the same concepts against any offense, from the most deliberate to what Marshall is running.
"The key to any fast-break team is what I've said the whole season, three-and-outs," O'Leary said. "You've got to get off the field and don't let them sustain drives. You got to tackle well and then you basically got to have some break-ups in the passing game.