It was a game of firsts for the UCF Knights against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. It was the team's first overtime victory. It was the first time since 2007 UCF defeated Southern Miss and it was the first time the Knights defeated the Golden Eagles at Bright House Networks Stadium.
For close to a decade, the Knights' foe from Mississippi has caused many problems for UCF. Heading into Saturday night's contest, the Knights were 1-6 all-time against the Golden Eagles. UCF capped off its four-game home stand with its most thrilling game of the season, defeating Southern Miss in double overtime 38-31.
All of the players and some of the coaches on the squad had never defeated the Golden Eagles.
"It feels good," senior running back Latavius Murray said. "Being a senior, it was definitely something I wanted to get accomplished and tonight is satisfying."
"For some reason we always have trouble with Southern Miss, but they're a pretty good team," senior defensive back Kemal Ishmael said. "I'm just happy for the win."
The win not only accomplished one of the senior class's goals, but it also makes the Knights 2-0 in Conference USA play. UCF defeated both ECU and Southern Miss in the past two weeks. That is also another first for the Knights, since no team in program history has ever beaten both the Pirates and the Golden Eagles in the same season.
"It's a huge accomplishment to take the two of them out," sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles said. "ECU was 2-0 in the conference when we beat them and then to come back and play Southern Miss, who is a rival, was a great W."
Even though the defending Conference USA Champions arrived in Orlando with an 0-5 record, the Knights expected a difficult challenge against the only winless team in the conference.
"They came out and played the way we thought they would and they played hard," Murray said. "We knew it was going to be a dog fight. We were prepared for that, just had to stick it out at the end."