ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Central Florida knew it would have to endure growing pains this season after graduation took most of the experience on both sides of the football.
Now at 0-2, the Knights must now look to find a growth spurt without both their starting quarterback and center.
Coach George O'Leary said Monday that quarterback Justin Holman is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a right hand injury. O'Leary also announced that preseason starting center Joey Grant has decided to end his UCF football career after aggravating a surgically repaired left shoulder.
Holman left last week's 31-7 loss at Stanford after hitting his throwing hand on the helmet of a Cardinal player's helmet during the Knights' opening series and didn't return.
O'Leary said that freshman Bo Schneider will start Saturday's game against Furman, with redshirt freshman Tyler Harris backing him up.
"That's who you have and that's what you're dealt with," O'Leary said.
With Grant, in addition to tweaking his left shoulder, O'Leary said he his right shoulder also had begun to give him issues. Grant — a fifth-year graduate— initially expressed some concerns two weeks ago. He officially made his mind to end his season after meeting with the coach Monday.
"Instead of going through (rehab or surgery) again, it's best that he concentrate outside of football, on his academics," O'Leary said. "He's been a great kid for the program and he's hurting himself. He's such a great competitor not playing in the game and still traveling. If you can't play, you can't play. So he had to make a decision and so we move on. "
Junior Jason Rae started in Grant's place against Stanford.
Schneider and Harris both saw action after Holman's injury and were a combined 14 of 34 passing for 142 yards. Harris added a late 36-yard touchdown pass, and Schneider had one interception.
Senior left guard Tarik Cook said he feels like Schneider has the leadership ability to step in as the starter.
"I feel like he does have those qualities," Cook said.
O'Leary said that while the game plan had to be vastly simplified with Holman out, he said a lot of the Knights' offensive issues in the rest of the game also could be attributed to six dropped passes by their young receiving corps.
"I thought they did a decent job," O'Leary said. "I think the dropped passes affected Bo a little bit as far as moving the chains and getting some things done."
The Knights are also waiting to get an update on the availability of junior running back Dontravious Wilson, who suffered a leg injury in UCF's loss to Florida International.
Through two games UCF is averaging just 43 yards rushing per game.