John Denton's Knights Insider

Respected journalist John Denton joined the UCF athletics communications staff in August of 2009. Denton worked for newspapers in Tennessee and Florida for 18 years before making the move to UCF. He worked at The Jackson Sun in Jackson, Tenn., from 1992-97. He spent the next 11 years at Florida Today in Melbourne, covering UCF, the Orlando Magic and the NFL. His Knights Insider stories appear on UCFAthletics.com several times per week.

June 21
Whereas Octavious Freeman's 11.1-second time in the 100-meter dash in April was wildly celebrated as the fastest in the world at the time by a female, the UCF freshman sprinter took a much different approach to all of the hype and hoopla.

June 13
UCF fans eagerly anticipating the Knights' 2013 entry into the BIG EAST will not only get a preview of what's to come early next basketball season, but they will also get to see UCF's biggest rival playing in Orlando.

May 31
If a journey is truly made up of a million tiny steps, first baseman D.J. Hicks figures this march for the UCF baseball team started four years ago and included a couple hundred thousand references to "On the Road to Omaha."

May 30
For so many reasons, this is just the scenario that Darnell Sweeney envisioned three years ago when he committed to UCF to play baseball. Back in his hometown of Miami, Sweeney can close his eyes and envision the Knights being presented a trophy at midfield to celebrate a landmark victory.

May 25
Call it a premonition, a stroke of luck or an extremely bold move, but UCF senior golfer Brad Schneider's heads up actions three months ago will assure the Knights of being prepared next week in the NCAA Championship.

May 15
With a lump in his throat and his stomach often in knots, Jim Schneider will peer out onto the golf course and marvel at the fluidity and seemingly effortless swing of his son, Brad Schneider.

May 9
RPI projections suggest that the winner of Thursday's UCF-Houston game in the Conference USA softball tournament likely will earn a spot in the NCAA Regionals next week.

May 3
As a standout cornerback at UCF the past three seasons, Josh Robinson had a knack for playing coy and giving quarterbacks the belief that a receiver was open when he actually had the play covered all along.

May 2
If the progress of the UCF's women's golf team were on a flow chart, the direction would show a dazzling upswing. In a matter of three seasons, the Knights have gone from eighth to fifth to second in Conference USA.

May 2
Often overlooked is the balancing act that it takes to be both student and athlete. In addition to the time in the classroom, it's the time away from school on road trips and games that make juggling academics and athletics even trickier.

April 25
In New York on Wednesday for the NFL Players Association's ``Rookie Debut'' festivities, Josh Robinson finally started to feel all his dreams coming true. Surrounded by towering buildings and the best college football players in the country, Robinson knew that he belonged.

April 24
Like most new hires in an athletics program, UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury spent the bulk of his first fan event talking about the need for a culture change.

April 16
More times than he can remember, Blake Bortles has cued up the DVD from last November to remember just why it is that he pours nearly every waking minute and every thought into trying to become a better quarterback for UCF.

April 10
Modern technology has made it possible for UCF defensive end Cam Henderson to learn some of the newest pass rush moves from one of the best defensive linemen in football with just a couple of clicks of his computer mouse.

April 7
Anyone who's lived in Central Florida knows how unpredictable and dangerous the area's storms can be, striking here and then there and usually leaving a trail of destruction behind.

March 31
UCF went through an intense two-plus hour scrimmage on Saturday, using licensed referees and going full speed in all contact drills with everyone except the quarterbacks.

March 28
Alex Friedrich's rise from overlooked walk-on to UCF's leading hitter this season isn't exactly a rags-to-riches tale, but it isn't far off either.

March 28
Josh Robinson came to UCF three years ago as a highly touted cornerback recruit and he immediately lived up to the hype by recording the most interceptions by any freshman in the country.

March 27
At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds with just 12 percent body fat, Ray Shipman has prototypical linebacker size to go along with the athleticism that a former Division I basketball player would possess. In so many ways, he seems to ooze dazzling potential out of his every pore.

March 24
With several prospective recruits and their families lining the practice field for UCF's ``Junior Day'' on Saturday, the Knights put on a show with a two-hour scrimmage filled with highlights.

March 21
Troy Davis came flying around the left end as if he had been flung out of a sling shot, allowing him to easily get past the offensive tackle trying to block him.

March 19
Just four months removed from tearing a knee ligament, A.J. Bouye is back on the football field trying to negotiate a bulky knee brace and wavering stability in the joint.

March 17
In a scene that looked more like it was out of October than March, UCF's players whooped and hollered and lifted kicker Jamie Boyle on top of their shoulders after he had just booted a 47-year field goal.

March 15
His best friend and teammate of the past three seasons, Josh Robinson, headed for the NFL Draft, UCF safety Kemal Ishmael knows there is more pressure and responsibility than ever on him as the unquestioned leader of the Knights' defense.

March 13
Before he started breaking down the upcoming opponent, Drexel, or dissecting the part of the NIT bracket which UCF is in, head coach Donnie Jones stepped up to the dry-erase board and scribbled down roughly a dozen schools that wouldn't even be playing postseason basketball.

March 12
Getting to the College Basketball Invitational tournament in 2011 represented a small step for the UCF men's basketball program. And qualifying for this week's NIT serves as another stride forward for the Knights.

March 8
Whether it was last season's remarkable run to 14-0 and a spot in the national rankings or this season when it defeated UConn and Memphis in big-game environments, UCF's men's basketball team has had a knack for rising to the occasion in key moments.

March 7
Dating back to last year, when Donnie Jones was helping to set up the schedule for UCF men's basketball team, he was looking ahead to March and this week's Conference USA Tournament.

March 6
Usually quiet and reserved with her feelings, Aisha Patrick figures that will not be the case over the next week.

March 2
The doubters and the haters booing from opposing student sections never thought A.J. Rompza would amount to much on the basketball court, but the too-short, too-small point guard has a list of accomplishments now proving them all wrong.

March 1
Five, 10 or 20 years from now, when Aisha Patrick, Ashia Kelly and Racine Davis return to UCF for a women's basketball game - likely with kids in tow - they'll be able to point to the rafters inside UCF Arena and show how they were a part of something special.

Feb. 27
Isaiah Sykes has seen the worst the mean streets of southwest Detroit can throw at a person and lived to tell about it.

Feb. 25
UCF sophomore Isaiah Sykes swatted shots, drove to the rim with no regard for his body, aggressively grabbed rebounds in traffic and even made the fifth 3-pointer of his career - all in an effort to make sure there was no second-half repeat from Wednesday for the Knights.

Feb. 21
In the minutes prior to UCF's clutch home win against East Carolina on Saturday, head coach Donnie Jones walked into the locker room and scribbled one word - "Us" - on the dry erase board for all to see.

Feb. 21
As the cliché goes, to be the best you have to beat the best and UCF's baseball team will get that opportunity when it faces top-ranked Florida on Wednesday night in Gainesville.

Feb. 17
The mass text message will usually roll in about 10 p.m. and by midnight when UCF senior point guard A.J. Rompza walks into the gymnasium there will be 10 or 12 of his teammates getting up shots.

Feb. 16
With UCF's baseball season set to open Friday night at UCF baseball complex, all eyes are squarely affixed on Knights' junior first baseman D.J. Hicks.

Feb. 15
Garrett Haywood has been attending UCF and Orlando Magic basketball games since he was an infant, and up until a year ago he was a scrappy power forward on Oviedo High School's 19-0 freshman squad.

Feb. 14
With drills whirring and hammers pounding in the background, UCF standout first baseman D.J. Hicks took one look up at the finishing touches being done to the renovations at the UCF baseball complex on Tuesday and made a fairly bold prediction.

Feb. 10
It's already been a season of firsts for the UCF men's basketball team what with the Knights whipping Memphis for the first time and winning at UAB and SMU for others firsts.

Feb. 7
The UCF women's basketball team's "Pack the House" game is this Sunday at 2 p.m. against UAB. UCF hopes to break the attendance record again while giving away some incredible incentives to fans.

Feb. 6
After helping UCF's baseball program get back into the NCAA Regionals for the first time in seven years and posting solid numbers across the board last season, Ronnie Richardson and D.J. Hicks had every reason to leave school for careers in Major League Baseball.

Feb. 3
So much of thriving as a basketball player depends on being in the flow and having a rhythm about your game. And oftentimes it's difficult to find that flow when playing only in short bursts or not at all for games at a time.

Feb. 1
While some recruiting analysts and message-board posters chose to focus on the players who went elsewhere on Wednesday's National Signing Day, UCF head coach George O'Leary scrolled down the dry-erase board just outside his office and picked out nine players he fully expected to be starters for the Knights in the immediate future.

Jan. 31
With UCF a season away from making the move from Conference USA to the BIG EAST, head coach George O'Leary and his staff delved into recruiting wanting to add bigger, rangier athletes to the roster.

Jan. 30
Recently, UCF baseball head coach Terry Rooney sat down recently with UCFAthletics.com writer John Denton for a question-and-answer session to preview the season ahead. Here is the second part of their chat.

Jan. 27
Everything about Gevenia Carter's game and her mentality were forged on the playground.

Jan. 27
One by one, 16-straight opponents have come into UCF Arena late last season and all throughout this year and have been overwhelmed by the UCF squad on the floor and the raucous noise in the air.

Jan. 26
Each day, UCF head coach Terry Rooney can look out the windows of his office and see Jay Bergman Field taking new shape with massive renovations underway.

Jan. 25
It's not uncommon for UCF center Josh Crittle to turn away from the court during a break in the action at the UCF Arena, wildly wave his arms and demand energy and noise from the team's fan base.

Jan. 20
No matter the heights that the UCF men's basketball team climbs this season - and there's certainly been some stratospheric stuff so far with several landmark victories - the Knights will always have the memories of last season to keep them grounded.

Jan. 19
Sensing just what her team needed and adjusting accordingly, UCF junior guard Gevenia Carter switched from playmaker to scorer just in time Thursday night to boost the women's basketball team in overtime.

Jan. 13
Having to split carries with Brynn Harvey and Ronnie Weaver, Latavius Murray ran for 549 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He also caught 17 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown. His 5.6 yards a rush was tops among the regulars and he averaged 14.2 yards a reception.

Jan. 10
New UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury flashed one of his three championship rings at his introductory news conference Tuesday.

Jan. 10
That A.J. Rompza is playing the best basketball of his UCF career now might come as a surprise to some considering that he is just a couple of weeks of removed from a two month-long stretch of no official games.

Jan. 9
While at the University of Alabama the past five seasons Drew Hughes played a big part in helping the Crimson Tide compile one of the most talent-rich rosters in all of college football, one good enough to win a national championship in 2010 and maybe another Monday night.

Jan. 6
There are times, especially after big wins or landmark accomplishments, when UCF's Donnie Jones and Shawn Finney will sit together and revel at how the two West Virginia natives have made the rise through coaching together.

Jan. 5
UCF made a bold statement Thursday night, announcing that it will once again be a prominent player in the mix for this year's Conference USA's women's basketball title.

Jan. 5
As the runaway winners of the 2011 Conference USA women's basketball tournament, UCF enters league play on Thursday as what some would refer to as "defending champions.

Jan. 4
It's only fitting that Keith Clanton, who is unassuming and mild-mannered as any basketball player you'd ever meet, would yawn at a flashy accomplishment and instead cast his attention toward one that personifies his workmanlike mentality.

Dec. 29
UCF hopes that its tough non-conference schedule will prepare the team for another strong run through Conference USA play.

Dec. 29
UCF opens its Holiday Tournament against long-time rival Stetson on Thursday, but Friday is actually the day that the Knights have been pointing to for a couple of months now.

Dec. 21
Through last week, you and your staff were on the road recruiting on the heels of the school's BIG EAST Conference press conference (Dec. 8). What was it like on the recruiting trails for the first time, having this major announcement taking place?

Dec. 16
Finished with the first of a two-a-day set of practices earlier this week, UCF forwards Keith Clanton and P.J. Gaynor tried settling the debate of who is taller by playfully standing back to back.

Dec. 13
Out of football for the first time in years and working in a Chicago-based advertising firm, Paul Carrington had a steady existence, but one that was severely lacking.

Dec. 10
Struggling offensively and down as much as eight points with 7 minutes to play, UCF used its defense to spark a furious rally and had some clutch free throw shooting that finally got the Knights over the hump Saturday night.

Dec. 9
Looking for a way to get his defense to force more turnovers and create more havoc for opposing quarterbacks, UCF head coach George O'Leary reached into his past Thursday and hired Ted Roof as the Knights' new defensive coordinator.

Dec. 8
Senior guard Aisha Patrick returned to the floor on Thursday night, but her presence wasn't enough to boost UCF to a victory over Florida Gulf Coast.

Dec. 8
UCF's long journey to joining a conference that will allow its athletics teams to compete at the highest level came to a joyous culmination when the Knights officially accepted a bid into the BIG EAST Conference.

Dec. 7
To see the way sisters Kayli and Meghan Keough mesh so well now on the court, the way they support each other through tough times as roommates and speak so highly of one another as best friends, you'd have no idea of the battles they used to wage while playing pick-up basketball in their hometown of Land O' Lakes.

Dec. 2
UCF head football coach George O'Leary has already started the process of improving on the 2011 season, interviewing prospective defensive coordinators, evaluating old and new schemes and instructing the players for next year.

Dec. 1
UCF head football coach George O'Leary has already started the process of improving on the 2011 season, interviewing prospective defensive coordinators, evaluating old and new schemes and instructing the players for next year.

Nov. 30
Once, then twice and again a third time in the second half the basketball was swung from one wing to the other before being skip-passed into the middle of the floor where Kayli Keough stroked one jump shot after another.

Nov. 30
Coaches always proclaim that losing hurts worse than winning feels good, so in that vain UCF's George O'Leary knows that this offseason will likely be filled with plenty of pain.

Nov. 29
In addition to being a master at breaking down film on foes and widely regarded as one of the best assistant coaches in women's basketball, Bob Starkey also brings this to UCF's basketball program: One of his greatest prodigies, Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles, visited with the Knights last weekend as a favor to her old coach.

Nov. 29
Even after a season in which UCF's women's team accomplished so much and authored one of the greatest postseason runs in school history, head coach Amanda Cromwell and her players were left with the gnawing, agonizing feeling of wanting more.

Nov. 28
With a stated goal of getting to the NCAA Tournament this season firmly in place, UCF took a major step toward proving its legitimacy as one of the country's elite teams by showing that it can compete and beat the best of the best.

Nov. 26
UCF played without its do-everything point guard and a lost a tournament game on Saturday at The Venue, but along the way the Knights might have learned a very valuable lesson.

Nov. 25
With UCF quarterbacks Jeff Godfrey and Blake Bortles closing the 2011 season in impressive fashion Friday night both will head into the offseason in a battle for playing time next season.

Nov. 23
Ticking off UCF's games this season one by one, head coach George O'Leary said he could point to a couple of plays in each one that meant the difference between winning and losing. And because most of those plays went against UCF, they are the reason the Knights have lost an incredible six games by seven or fewer points.

Nov. 23
In this time of giving thanks, UCF's women's soccer team is most thankful for the incredible stroke of fate that led it to fiery goalkeeper Aline Reis. Without that true blessing, the Knights likely wouldn't still be alive now and enjoying one of the finest seasons in school history.

Nov. 23
Still missing one player, but somewhat whole for the first time all season, UCF is hoping to use the prestigious Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas as a proving ground for its legitimacy as an elite basketball team.

Nov. 22
Someday soon, Rob Calabrese has hopes of becoming a football coach on either the high school or collegiate level. And he got some on-the-job training this season, serving as a quasi-coach for UCF as he sat out because of a second season-ending knee injury.

Nov. 22
It's been almost two full days since UCF's men's soccer team lost in heartbreaking fashion to rival USF in second-round play of the NCAA Tournament and understandably the pain is still raw and sensitive.

Nov. 21
Alone with just their teammates and coaches on the bus ride home Sunday night after pulling off what some thought to be the unthinkable, many of UCF's women's soccer players allowed their emotions to gush practically out of every pore.

Nov. 19
From Daunte Culpepper to Jeff Godfrey, from the Division I-AA days to UCF now being a major player in college football, Marc Daniels - the voice of the Knights - has been on the call for it all.

Nov. 17
Already owners of two Conference USA titles and veterans of NCAA Tournament play, guard Aisha Patrick and forward Ashia Kelly came into this season fully understanding the expectations of the UCF's women's basketball team.

Nov. 16
There came a moment last Saturday night when UCF head coach George O'Leary took the temperature of the high-scoring game, broke from the script and made an executive decision regarding tailback Latavius Murray.

Nov. 15
Last year, Jeff Godfrey guided UCF to its finest season in school history while also winning the Conference USA Freshman of the Year award. Ultimately, he deserves every shot at remaining the Knights' starting quarterback, head coach George O'Leary said on Tuesday.

Nov. 14
During their time last season as true freshmen and again early this year as backups, UCF quarterback Blake Bortles and wide receiver J.J. Worton developed a dazzling chemistry that benefitted both players.

Nov. 11
UCF sophomore defensive tackle Victor Gray vividly remembers a year back when the Knights were riding high following their first-ever ascension into college football's Top 25.

Nov. 10
UCF's interim director of Athletics, Admiral Al Harms, spoke Thursday of a bright future for the university and stressed his mission to "make sure we never have this problem again" by strengthening UCF's culture of compliance.

Nov. 9
For UCF power forward Keith Clanton, simply being good is no longer good enough.

Nov. 8
Because of their vast age difference - Cliff McCray is almost 5.5 years older than twins Jordan and Justin McCray - the relationship between the brothers while growing up was at best limited.

Nov. 6
First games always bring a level of nervousness and unknowns, and when UCF found itself trailing by 10 points in the first four minutes in Sunday's exhibition opener, guard Aisha Patrick did her best to calm her teammates down.

Nov. 4
UCF senior guard Cliff McCray, whose block paved the way for a Ronnie Weaver touchdown run just before the half Thursday night, said he would do everything in his power to make sure the Knights finish this season on a positive note.

Nov. 3
There are times, maybe during a UCF football practice, or a game or as he peers out of his office at the state-of-the-art Wayne Densch Sports Center, that Manny Messeguer will marvel at how much has changed at UCF.

Nov. 2
Faced with a do-or-die situation, UCF's Conference USA championship game, in essence, started last week against Memphis, carries over to Thursday's showdown against Tulsa and will extend through the rest of the regular season.

Nov. 1
The challenges of having to play two football games in six days are as much mental as they are physical. UCF is hoping that its experience in those situations earlier in the season will pay off Thursday night against Tulsa.

Oct. 31
Having finally registered a sack for the first time in eight games, UCF defensive end Troy Davis literally started his celebration last Saturday night before the quarterback even hit the ground.

Oct. 29
As was the case in the previous two games, Blake Bortles came on in relief of UCF starter Jeff Godfrey and finished the night at quarterback. The only difference was that this time Bortles was mopping up in a UCF blowout victory.

Oct. 28
After all that it has been through this season - amazing highs, frustrating losing spells and debilitating injuries - UCF still totally controls its destiny as it relates to getting back to the Conference USA title game.

Oct. 26
Downright dominant and 3-0 at Bright House Networks Stadium but shockingly winless on the road this season, homecoming couldn't be coming at a better time for UCF's football team.

Oct. 26
Revelations sometimes come at the oddest of times and strangest of places and for UCF men's basketball coach Donnie Jones and standout guard Marcus Jordan, their revealing moment came this summer in Canada.

Oct. 25
After a weekend of soul-searching following a second-consecutive frustrating loss, this much is certain for UCF's football team: Jeff Godfrey is still the starting quarterback and the Knights still control their own destiny as far as getting back to the Conference USA title game.

Oct. 20
An official invite from the Big East has yet to come for UCF, but Athletics Director Keith Tribble said Thursday night that talks with those in the league and surrounding college football's ever-changing dynamics continue on a daily basis.

Oct. 20
Even now, some 10 preseason and regular-season games into his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers, Bruce Miller catches himself in awe of his professional surroundings.

Oct. 19
One by one, UCF's football players figuratively painted a picture of a team at a crossroads and one of two paths assuredly are dead ahead in the coming weeks.

Oct. 18
As he does at the end of every practice, head coach George O'Leary called his UCF football team up to the middle of field for a post-mortem talk. Only this time, O'Leary's fiery, 10-minute talk was laced with a challenge.

Oct. 18
Flashing a knowing look and a devilish grin, Tristan Spurlock admitted that he likes his role as an enigma for the UCF men's basketball team.

Oct. 17
While stressing that Jeff Godfrey is still firmly in place as UCF's starting quarterback, head coach George O'Leary said Monday that promising redshirt freshman Blake Bortles will see playing time on Thursday against UAB.

Oct. 15
A day after meeting with Big East officials and presidents from member schools in Cincinnati, UCF President Dr. John Hitt and Athletics Director Keith Tribble said that a potential entry into the league is still very much a work in progress.

Oct. 14
Not only is Saturday's showdown between UCF and SMU a rematch of last December's Conference USA championship game; it could also serve as a preview of another championship collision between the East and West Division powers this December.

Oct. 12
Marshall had just returned a fumble for a touchdown last Saturday night, drawing the Thundering Herd within 16-6 of UCF and infuriating head coach George O'Leary.

Oct. 11
There have been, at times, turnovers that have put them in bad spots and momentum swings where it seemed everything is against them, yet UCF's defense has stood firm each time.

Oct. 10
Around campus at UCF plans are already in the works to print up and sell ``I SURVIVED THE MARSHALL GAME'' T-shirts. And that's a good thing because the fans and players who slogged through Orlando's wettest night in 61 years deserve something for their water-logged troubles.

Oct. 8
UCF tailback Brynn Harvey's comeback from a devastating knee injury in the spring of 2010 came full circle Saturday night when he earned his first start in 22 months.

Oct. 6
As UCF made the arduous, four-hour journey back from the mountains of Utah to Florida two weeks ago, A.J. Guyton never wanted to close his eyes even though the clock pushed past 5 a.m.

Oct. 5
For the first time in memory, East Orlando's Melanie Musum will attend a UCF game Saturday night without wearing her traditional black and gold colors. And that's not as easy as one might think considering that ``half my wardrobe is UCF stuff,'' Musum joked.

Oct. 4
Saturday at 7 p.m. and the start of Conference USA play can't get here soon enough for a frustrated UCF team that has had to stew over two confounding losses for what will be more than two weeks.

Oct. 3
For proof that there's still plenty to play for this season for UCF's football team one need to look no further than last season, otherwise known as the greatest season in school history.

Sept. 27
There are times when UCF senior forward Cameron Cooksey looks around at the talent surrounding him and the strong belief and trust coursing through the UCF men's soccer team and he's blown away at how far the program has come.

Sept. 23
UCF Athletics Director Keith Tribble has a message for Knights fans worried about the program's push to land in an automatic-qualifier conference: Just because UCF isn't publicly pushing for such a move, there are still plenty of negotiations going on behind the scenes.

Sept. 21
Already one of UCF's best blockers and its strongest player - he bench-pressed 530 pounds and lifted 225 pounds an incredible 38 times - Adam Nissley has added another facet to his game this season.

Sept. 20
If ever there was a good time for a short week it's this one for a UCF football team that can't wait to play again and rid themselves of the lingering bitterness from last Saturday night.

Sept. 19
One day last week, UCF football coach George O'Leary abruptly ended a sluggish practice by sending his team off the field and back to the dressing room so that it could start the entire practice over again.

Sept. 16
In his six seasons at UCF, assistant head coach David Kelly has seen the Knights go from being an afterthought in the mind of elite recruits from South Florida to the forefront of the discussion.

Sept. 15
Miami native Jeff Godfrey will be returning to his South Florida roots Saturday night when UCF takes on Florida International, but this game will be about so much more than just a homecoming for the sensational sophomore.

Sept. 14
FIU's T.Y. Hilton comes into Saturday's game against UCF riding high following a spectacular 201-yard, two-touchdown performance and is currently enjoying some initial Heisman hype.

Sept. 13
At the end of a long, hot practice earlier this week, UCF head coach George O'Leary called up his team and asked those hailing from South Florida to stand while others kneeled.

Sept. 12
UCFAthletics.com's Knights Insider John Denton breaks down the five things that we learned from UCF's 30-3 thumping of Boston College on Saturday night at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Sept. 11
When head coach George O'Leary dubbed Saturday ``a great night for UCF,'' he had several aspects in mind from the feel-good weekend for the Knights.

Sept. 9
Chances like this come along so infrequently during a football season - a national television stage, a respected foe from a BCS-affiliated league and a likely raucous sellout home crowd - that UCF is looking at Saturday night's showdown against Boston College as a tremendous opportunity.

Sept. 8
Unlike last time, when his college career unexpectedly started on a whim, Ray Shipman actually had time to worry about playing linebacker for the first extended time since high school.

Sept. 7
It's been almost a year exactly since the memorable night when Jeff Godfrey's legend at UCF took full flight. And, quite frankly, the football program has never been the same since.

Sept. 6
UCF's offensive line entered the season as the team's most experienced unit, combining to start 86 games before last Saturday's season-opening rout of Charleston Southern.

Sept. 6
In the days leading up to the most significant volleyball victory in program history, UCF sophomore middle blocker Nichole Riedel let everyone in on a little secret.

Sept. 5
UCFAthletics.com's Knights Insider John Denton breaks down the five things that we learned from UCF's 62-0 throttling of Charleston Southern Saturday night at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Sept. 4
In years past, a looming showdown against Boston College would have served as a landmark moment for the UCF program as it worked to improve its standing in the college football world.

Sept. 2
For the ultra-competitive athlete, attaining success and accomplishing goals can sometimes turn into a vicious cycle. You win and briefly rejoice, but ultimately it just breeds a hunger for more winning. The carrot gets pushed out further and the monster within strives for more and more.

Sept. 1
UCF head coach George O'Leary has one basic rule when it comes to freshmen playing early in their careers: They're not allowed to act like freshmen.

Aug. 31
Game night for UCF was still a couple of days away, but junior tailback Brynn Harvey was already anticipating the moment that will undoubtedly come Saturday night when he realizes the rugged path he's had to take to get back on the field.

Aug. 30
To hear even Darius Nall himself tell it, it's as if the career highs he posted last season in tackles (31), tackles for a loss (9.5) and sacks (8.5) should have come with an asterisk attached to them.

Aug. 30
Admittedly, UCF's George O'Leary is a hard coach to please when it comes to the intricacies and the daily grind of preseason practice. He's constantly pushing for more while stressing that teams either get better or worse, but rarely stay the same.

Aug. 26
Here's the skinny (and the not-so-skinny) of things at defensive tackle for UCF: Sophomore Jose Jose has worked tirelessly before, after and during practices to shed 38 pounds, while sophomore Victor Gray has done the same to put on 47 pounds of added weight.

Aug. 23
And UCF's break-glass-if-necessary, emergency third quarterback is ... the same player expected to start at tailback for the Knights.

Aug. 22
Though not nearly as glamorous a position, the middle linebacker slot on defense serves basically the same role as the quarterback on the offense, what with all of the play-calling, the directing of traffic and usually being in the middle of the action.

Aug. 20
A week after UCF's defense proved itself to be a step ahead of the Knights' offense in the first scrimmage of training camp, quarterback Jeff Godfrey, wide receivers Quincy McDuffie and A.J. Guyton and a steadily improving offensive line evened the score on Saturday.

Aug. 19
The most important - and most overlooked - point of last season came when Nick Cattoi booted a point-after kick that kept UCF four points ahead of Georgia in an eventual Liberty Bowl victory for the Knights.

Aug. 18
When UCF head coach George O'Leary summoned the first-string defensive unit to the stage Thursday during the Countdown to Kickoff Luncheon more than a few eyebrows arose at the inclusion of standout freshman linebacker Leilon Willingham.

Aug. 18
Qualifiers for the second round of the NCAA Tournament each of the past four seasons, UCF's women's soccer team opens its season Friday night with a mindset of staying hungry and pushing for even more come the postseason.

Aug. 17
Rob Calabrese's second season-ending knee injury in the past 10 months forced UCF to scramble at not one, but two positions. But the Knights vowed that they have enough reinforcements to still thrive at the quarterback and receiver slots despite the loss of their senior leader.

Aug. 16
Just when Adam Nissley thought that UCF's monumental defeat of the University of Georgia last December in the Liberty Bowl couldn't possibly get any sweeter, it did just that this past summer.

Aug. 15
To illustrate the uncanny cohesion and chemistry between UCF junior defensive backs Josh Robinson and Kemal Ishmael, you only had to see one play from fall camp as evidence.

Aug. 13
Surrounded by mostly youth and inexperience in the linebacker corps, UCF's Josh Linam takes seriously his role as a playmaker and leader for the Knights' defense.

Aug. 12
In UCF coach George O'Leary's eyes, there's a major difference between speed and contact speed. Some players are fast in outright sprints, but tend to slow down dramatically when there's hitting involved.

Aug. 12
Bruce Miller was most likely a once in a generation type of player at UCF, one who got the most out of his physical abilities and relentlessly willed himself to becoming the greatest sack specialist in school history.

Aug. 9
Rob Calabrese came to UCF to play quarterback and still dabbles in the position from time to time as the Knights' break-glass-in-case-of-emergency signal-caller. But in some ways, being free of the pressures of being a quarterback has liberated him.

Aug. 9
When UCF men's basketball coach Donnie Jones worked at the University of Florida, the Gators took a summer trip to Paris in 2000 and ended up in the Final Four, and in 2006 following a jaunt to Canada, they won the national championship.

Aug. 8
A position loaded with question marks entering last season has become one filled with talented and dynamic exclamation marks for UCF heading into the 2011 season.

Aug. 5
Whereas most viewed last December's defeat of Georgia in the Liberty Bowl as UCF's crowning achievement and the finish line to a figurative race the Knights have been running for years, Athletics Director Keith Tribble instead saw it as just a start.

Aug. 4
A.J. Guyton was beginning his fifth training camp at UCF on Thursday, and even he admitted to having a few jitters and being filled with nervous energy. And if Guyton was nervous, just imagine how many of UCF's newcomers felt in their first official workout of the 2011 season.

Aug. 4
The 2010 season will undoubtedly go down as one of the best in UCF football history what with the team winning 11 games, climbing into the national rankings for the first time and also capturing a conference championship and a Liberty Bowl victory.

Aug. 2
Eight months after putting the finishing touches on the finest season in school history, UCF could be poised now to author an even better one in 2011. With that said, anticipation has never been higher for a season to begin than the one dead ahead.

Aug. 1
In order to get back to the Conference USA title game for a second-straight year SMU will have to deal with quite possibly the most prolific passer in NCAA history (Houston's Case Keenum), the reigning Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year (G.J. Kinne) and the quarterback about to eclipse all of Brett Favre's records at Southern Miss (Austin Davis).

July 31
Back in Memphis and exactly eight months removed from its greatest football moment in school history, UCF was the overwhelming pick of Conference USA's coaches and players to win another league title and return to West Tennessee as the representative in the Liberty Bowl.

July 27
Drive by UCF's football headquarters just about any time of day or night these days and George O'Leary's car is in its place and the football coach is in his office preparing for the start of training camp on Aug. 4.

July 26
Nick Cattoi has an exceptionally strong right leg, making a 47-yarder last season and a 52-yarder to end spring practice.

July 21
An exceptionally strong player, Dunston started three of the first four games of his college career last season. A year older and wiser, he'll be a fixture in the interior of the line along with fellow sophomore Victor Gray for years to come.

July 19
Exceptionally smart and mature, Jordan Rae makes up for what he might lack in size on the football field with his intelligence, guile and guts.

July 15
A.J. Bouye, already a two-year letterman, is thought to be by many as a rising star in the UCF secondary because of his nose for the football and his ability to make big plays.

July 12
A.J. Guyton is a dependable, hard-nosed possession receiver who will lay a lick on a defender while blocking and will fight for extra yards after catching underneath passes.

July 10
UCFAthletics.com writer John Denton wraps up his three-part Q&A session with head coach George O'Leary by focusing mostly on the defensive side of the ball and recruiting.

July 8
The longest-tenured Knight, Cliff McCray is a smart, dependable lineman who should bring experience and grit to a veteran offensive line this season.

July 7
With a host of newcomers about to join a UCF men's basketball team that finished on a high note last year, it's never too soon to get a jump start on next season - even if it means traveling to another country.

July 6
A converted tailback, Jonathan Davis is moving back to his favored position at linebacker. He showed in the spring that he is plenty tough and agile enough to play defense and he's more than willing to lay a lick on a ball carrier.

July 6
UCFAthletics.com writer John Denton continues his Q&A session with head coach George O'Leary, and in part two the C-USA Coach of the Year discusses national rankings, the defense, Jeff Godfrey and the trio of running backs.

July 2
UCFAthletics.com writer John Denton recently sat down with head coach George O'Leary for a question-and-answer session that touched on UCF's progress entering the 2011 season, the success of players such as Jeff Godfrey and Kemal Ishmael and the prospects for the upcoming campaign.

June 29
With the campaign approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton takes a look at Josh Linam, a player to watch on the UCF defense.

June 28
With the campaign approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton takes a look at Quincy McDuffie, a player to watch on the UCF offense and on special teams.

June 27
Former UCF standout Josh Sitton received his Super Bowl championship ring earlier this summer at a private ceremony for the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

June 21
With the campaign approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton takes a look at tackle Nick Pieschel, a player to watch on the UCF offense.

June 16
With the campaign approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton takes a look at tailback Latavius Murray, a player to watch on the UCF offense.

June 15
Looking trim in a spandex workout shirt and fresh off preparing for what will eventually be his first NFL season, Jah Reid wonders where he'd be in life now had he not had the opportunity to play football at UCF and under the guidance of coach George O'Leary.

June 14
With the campaign approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton takes a look at cornerback Josh Robinson, a player to watch on the UCF defense.

June 9
With the campaign approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton takes a look at tight end Adam Nissley, a player to watch on the UCF offense.

June 7
With the campaign approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton takes a look at defensive end Troy Davis, a player to watch on the UCF defense.

June 6
Whereas some coaches talk of five-year plans, long-term rebuilding projects and needing interminable patience, UCF's Terry Rooney differs dramatically. From the very first day that Rooney took the UCF baseball job almost three years ago, he has preached that the goal for the program is to get to the College World Series and compete for a national championship.

June 5
The end for UCF's baseball team came, not quickly nor cleanly, but instead in a slow, torturous manner on Sunday at Dick Howser Stadium. And with their run in the NCAA Regional Tournament over, the Knights frustratingly had no one to blame but themselves on this sweltering afternoon.

June 4
Left in the on-deck circle on Friday where he never got a chance to possibly tie UCF's first-round game against Alabama, Jonathan Griffin was determined to take advantage of his big opportunity Saturday against Bethune-Cookman.

June 4
Maybe it was just a matter of time before UCF's usually potent bats awoke on Saturday at the NCAA Regional Tournament. But when they finally did - fittingly enough with the Knights trailing and their season hanging in the balance - they wasted little time and erupted in a huge way.

June 4
With the opening of the 2011 campaign quickly approaching, UCFAthletics.com's John Denton takes a look at Kemal Ishmael, a leader for the Knights defensive backfield.

June 3
Down all day in the NCAA Regional opener against Alabama, UCF showed the fighting spirit that has been a hallmark of the season by getting the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning.

June 2
As he monitored his UCF Knights preparing for the NCAA Regional Tournament earlier this week, usually hard-driving manager Terry Rooney paused briefly and allowed a bit of big-picture perspective to wash over him.

June 1
Before the stirring late-season run that all but assured it a spot in the NCAA Tournament, UCF was a team on the proverbial bubble and staring at a daunting three-game road series against Florida State.

June 1
Anticipation for the 2011 football season at UCF is higher than ever following the finest season in school history in 2010.

May 31
For the better part of three years, the phrases ``On the Road to Omaha'' and ``1,430'' have been mantras that have driven and motivated UCF's baseball team. The ``1,430'' indicated the distance in miles between Orlando and the College World Series, and it represented a team willing to dream big about its vast potential.

May 26
UCF's Jonathan Griffin finally got the fastball that he had been looking for all day in the Conference USA Championship presented by Trustmark. And the 6-foot-7 power-hitting first baseman knew just what to do with the pitch that was over the heart of the plate.

May 24
As UCF has accumulated some of the finest track & field athletes in the country and built something of an emerging dynasty, head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert's bold recruiting pitch has stayed the same and to the point.

May 24
During a recent five-game winning streak, UCF's surging baseball team made a vow that it wouldn't shave facial hair until there was a loss, prompting some interesting looks with mustaches, goatees and scraggly beards.

May 24
More than 150 UCF fans packed a downtown Orlando restaurant Monday night to hear George O'Leary's one-liners and predictions for the upcoming football season, but the Knights' coach is already looking forward to the day when that sort of facility isn't sufficient to contain the program's fandom.

May 18
All former starting pitchers earlier in their baseball careers, UCF's Joe Rogers, Nick Cicio and Johnny Sedlock have undergone major mentality makeovers now that they pitch primarily in relief for the Knights.

May 17
UCF entered this year's Conference USA Men's Golf Championship as the two-time winners of the event, but there always seemed to be annoying whispers that accompanied the Knights' accomplishments.

May 13
For the first-time ever, Conference USA will have a stand-alone regatta to decide its rowing championship. And with that new format comes some good and some bad, UCF head coach Becky Cramer said.

May 12
UCF's baseball team swept the season series against Florida, recently beat nationally-ranked Florida State, routed USF and took two of three early in the year against traditional Conference USA powerhouse Rice.

May 12
Head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie is confident that her Knights can still make some noise in the Conference USA Championship with Natalie Land leading the offense and Diana Rojas in the pitcher's circle.

May 9
A high school injury at seemingly the absolutely worst time - just months before the Major League Draft - seemed to ruin Jonathan Griffin's chances of ever playing baseball professionally.

May 6
Following Thursday's ribbon-cutting proceedings to display $1.2 million in enhancements, UCF's track & field team finally has a dazzling home facility to match it progress as an up-and-coming program.

May 5
Bruce Miller left UCF as the greatest defensive player in school history, registering 35.5 sacks and winning consecutive Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year awards.

May 4
Whether it's with highly touted recruits or even big-name opposing teams, UCF Track & Field head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert loves to sit back and listen to the raves and admiration when those athletes step onto UCF's dazzling campus for the first time.

April 28
Jackie Coward was one of the most successful high school track & field performers in the history of the sport, winning 12 state championships and twice being named All-American during her illustrious prep career.

April 26
Donnie Jones has a saying that he repeats around the UCF basketball offices on a daily basis: build a program and not a team.

April 22
Little did Brian Adkins know it at the time, but UCF head coach Terry Rooney had a master plan when he started the left-hander in the final regular-season game in 2010 at Tulane.

April 12
Surrounded by hundreds of student-athletes who have helped take UCF to heights it has never before reached, Athletics Director Keith Tribble was presented with a scrapbook on Monday night as thanks for his unwavering support.

March 28
With consecutive Top-20 recruiting classes in place and his hard-driving, relentless style taking shape, UCF head coach Terry Rooney could sense a perfect storm of sorts swelling around his baseball program heading into this season.

March 23
The long-term merits of UCF's run through the College Basketball Invitational can be debated, but the short-term virtues on the Knights' men's basketball team are undeniable.

March 21
Donnie Jones knows there will come a time next season when he'll point back to something from Wednesday's win against St. Bonaventure - the way UCF defended in the 2-3 zone or the way the Knights attacked offensively with their drive-and-kick game - and realize the direct benefits of playing in the postseason.

March 19
Just after UCF's women's basketball team met at center court for the final time of the season, UCF Athletics Director Keith Tribble rose to his feet and applauded, knowing the program is headed in the right direction.

March 17
Playing what was, at the time at least, its biggest game ever in the Conference USA tournament last week, UCF responded with what can only be described as a championship effort. The Knights were cool under pressure, shot the ball with precision and scrapped for rebounds and loose balls as if it fully expected to win.

March 16
With less than a minute to play Wednesday night in the College Basketball Invitational, UCF point guard A.J. Rompza flashed a big smile and waved his arms as the crowd inside UCF Arena roared with approval.

March 16
In the eyes of UCF men's basketball coach Donnie Jones, success sometimes can breed even more success.

March 15
Music was still blaring, confetti was scattered about and tears of joy were still streaming in the glow of UCF's Conference USA title when it came time for Athletics Director Keith Tribble to scale the ladder and cut down a piece of the net.

March 14
UCF men's basketball coach Donnie Jones breaks the season down into four parts - the non-conference schedule, the Conference USA slate, the league tournament and finally an appearance in a postseason tournament.

March 11
Long before the season ever started, UCF's women's basketball team had the score ``63-62'' posted on each player's dressing stall, scrawled across the locker room dry-erase board for all to see and mentioned at almost every practice.

March 9
Even though UCF women's basketball coach Joi Williams sees striking similarities between this year's team and the 2009 version that won the Conference USA championship, the coach's pointed message has remained the same: Trust the process.

March 9
This was the kind of déjà vu memory that the UCF Knights would just as soon forget as soon as possible.

March 9
Rather than simply revel in the significance of recently winning her 600th career game, UCF softball coach Renee Luers-Gillispie instead chose to spread the joy around to others.

March 8
Little did the UCF's men's basketball team know it at the time, but when they were beating Florida and Miami in December that those moments were about so much more than simply grabbing some Sunshine State bragging rights.

March 8
In some ways for UCF's women's basketball team, this is the equivalent of going into a big test and already having the answers in hand.

March 7
Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton are undeniably the face of UCF's basketball team and as they go on the court, so does their team with them.

March 4
When UCF last met Conference USA rival Marshall, the Knights were a perfect 13-0 and had climbed into the national rankings.

March 2
Having long since proven that he can play at the Division I collegiate level, UCF senior guard Taylor Young laughs now at the sizeable chip he sported on his shoulder five years ago as an incoming freshman.

March 1
UCF's women's basketball team has turned strong finishes into an art form, going 23-8 in February and March over the last three seasons. But even in the midst of a seven-game winning streak and the second seed in the Conference USA Tournament secured, head coach Joi Williams knows there's no time to relax what with this team having the potential to win a second league crown in three seasons.

Feb. 26
After A.J. Rompza hit the shot that made the UCF Arena throb with raw emotion and after he was tossed in the air by his UCF teammates and after he had slapped hundreds of high fives and even signed an autograph, he was serenaded by close friend Marcus Jordan.

Feb. 25
Throughout the recent upturn in play and even during the midseason slump, Donnie Jones' message to his UCF men's basketball team never changed.

Feb. 24
Everywhere Jermaine Taylor looked Wednesday night, he had to feel, metaphorically at least, like he was back at home.

Feb. 23
With sprinters breaking school records and personal marks almost on a weekly basis and the UCF women's track & field team having risen to No. 8 in the last week's national polls, coach Caryl Smith Gilbert has reminded her team that there's a direct correlation between the work put in during the offseason and the success now on the track.

Feb. 23
Defense, of course, is the backbone of any successful college basketball team.

Feb. 19
The way P.J. Gaynor plays basketball - bumping, grabbing, banging and generally being physical with anyone in his path - it doesn't really matter what position he plays.

Feb. 17
A year after battering foes with one of the best lineups in Conference USA, UCF has turned its focus this season to doing whatever it takes to improve its pitching - even if that means using a center fielder on the mound in certain situations.

Feb. 16
Not long after UCF had notched its first victory in an extended period of time, relieved Knights' coach Donnie Jones was asked about his team's ability to put together another impressive winning streak down the stretch of this season.

Feb. 15
UCF's women's basketball team has strung together an impressive three-game winning streak and has started to take on the look of the 2008-09 team that executed a strong late-season closing kick and ultimately won the Conference USA crown.

Feb. 14
For years, the tag of ``Sleeping Giant'' was always attached to the UCF's blossoming football program. Part of the distinction was flattering because it spoke to the Knights' massive potential, but another aspect of it was unbecoming because it addressed the unfulfilled promise.

Feb. 11
UCF power forward A.J. Tyler could barely stand up straight because of the searing pain in his right side, but just for peace of mind he had to prove to himself that he couldn't play before the Knights were about to take on Florida back in December.

Feb. 10
When the UCF's men's basketball team has it rolling and opponents are forced to call timeouts, the first person to come flying off the Knights' bench and bubble with emotion is one who isn't even dressed to play.

Feb. 9
For a UCF men's basketball team that enjoyed more than its share of luck the first two months of the season, it seems now like nothing will go right for the Knights.

Feb. 9
Back after missing two games while he rested a severely sore left foot, A.J. Rompza is willing to do whatever it takes now to get the Knights back on track.

Feb. 4
In the moments before the UCF's men's basketball team takes the floor for practice it's not uncommon to find sophomore forward Tristan Spurlock sitting solemnly in front of his locker, listening to music and honing his focus.

Feb. 3
Nothing - not a massive blizzard, sub-zero temperatures and even late pressure from the University of Michigan - was going to keep Denver stars Leilon Willingham and Rayshon Williams away from signing with UCF this week.

Feb. 1
Before the UCF men's basketball team could even depart on a 4,255-mile roadtrip that will stretch into a sixth day away from home, there was a bump in the road.

Jan. 29
Up five points with five minutes to play, UCF put itself into position to simultaneously end an unpleasant and unsightly losing streak and notch one of its most impressive wins of the season Saturday night.

Jan. 28
That the UCF men's basketball team is poised to break the school record for attendance is not surprising considering that the Knights have notched some of the program's biggest wins ever this year.

Jan. 28
UCF head coach George O'Leary is a big believer that coaching continuity and consistency play a major role in a program's ability to have sustained success. So with that thought in mind, O'Leary's choice for the vacant defensive coordinator job was not only the easy choice, but the only choice.

Jan. 26
A team player in the truest sense of the words, UCF senior forward D'Nay Daniels says that personal accomplishments are the furthest thing from her mind. But every time she looks into the mirror these days, there's a noticeable reminder of her greatest individual achievement on the basketball court.

Jan. 25
A team player in the truest sense of the words, UCF senior forward D'Nay Daniels says that personal accomplishments are the furthest thing from her mind. But every time she looks into the mirror these days, there's a noticeable reminder of her greatest individual achievement on the basketball court.

Jan. 22
This was the kind of frustrating loss that will undoubtedly take UCF some time to shake off.

Jan. 21
Playing on arguably the best UCF team he's been a part of the past four years, senior guard Taylor Young knew this season that he'd have to try and fit in where he could get in and make whatever contributions that he could.

Jan. 21
Linda Gooch is known throughout the UCF spirit program as a hard-driving, demanding coach who often seeks perfection. But never before has she been happier with a third-place performance in her life than she was recently in the 2011 College Cheerleading and Dance National Championships.

Jan. 14
At 6.2 points per game, senior center Tom Herzog ranks fifth on UCF's basketball team in scoring. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, there might not be a more important player on the squad because of the 7-footer's dramatic impact on others around him.

Jan. 12
With UCF's 14-game winning streak over and a frustrating loss at Houston still fresh in the team's psyche, head coach Donnie Jones was eager to see how his Knights would respond being back on the practice court for the first time following a defeat.

Jan. 7
Marcus Jordan drives fearlessly down the lane, absorbs and ignores contact near the rim and somehow manages to flip the ball up and in before landing hard on the hardwood as teammates rush over to help him up.

Jan. 5
The big myth, UCF head coach Donnie Jones said with a chuckle, is that this 14-0 streak for the Knights has been crafted all around Marcus Jordan's high-degree-of-difficulty baskets and an offense that came into Wednesday averaging 77.1 points a game.

Jan. 5
Donnie Jones doesn't want to make his first game against his former school, Marshall, all about him, just as he doesn't want all of the credit for UCF's impressive 13-0 start to the season and rise into the Top 20 in both major national polls.

Jan. 3
December started with UCF's men's basketball defeating then 16th-ranked Florida and the month ended with the Knights' football team shocking Georgia in the Liberty Bowl for the program's first-ever bowl victory.

Dec. 30
Much has been said and written about the Liberty Bowl matchup between UCF cornerback Josh Robinson and Georgia superstar wide receiver A.J. Green. And there certainly has been plenty of debate about whether or not UCF freshman phenom Jeff Godfrey can slice up the Bulldogs' defense.

Dec. 22
For UCF's blossoming basketball team to beat Florida, Miami and South Florida all in the same season and stake its claim as arguably the best program in the Sunshine State is a huge accomplishment.

Dec. 20
When the college basketball Top 25 polls are released later today, and most likely will include UCF for the first time in school history, the Knights will move into some elite company in college athletics.

Dec. 17
Whereas some schools recruited Jeff Godfrey as a wide receiver or a defensive back, UCF held firm to the thought that one of Florida's all-time best high school quarterbacks could play quarterback at the college level.

Dec. 15
Despite being one of the nation's 12 remaining unbeaten teams, UCF coach Donnie Jones said that his team is far from being a finished and polished product. But one of the things that the Knights have done best so far is learning -- not from losing -- but while continuing to win.

Dec. 13
Isaac Sosa is one of the smartest student-athletes at UCF in any sport, and he knew full well what new coach Donnie Jones was thinking when he moved the sweet-shooting junior guard to a sixth-man role earlier this season.

Dec. 8
It started, first, as a unified belief among UCF's players, who trusted in new coach Donnie Jones' system and dedicated themselves with hours of offseason work.

Dec. 3
For months, it's all been pointed to this for UCF - a chance at a championship and an opportunity to prove that, indeed, there's a special season in the works for the Knights.

Dec. 2
In the final seconds of UCF's landscape-changing defeat of the University of Florida on Wednesday courtside cameras at Amway Center flashed an image of UCF athletics director Keith Tribble smiling broadly and confidently pumping his fist.

Dec. 1
When the most significant victory in the history of UCF basketball was finally complete Wednesday night, Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton bumped chests, Isaac Sosa furiously clapped his hands and head coach Donnie Jones was near tears as he greeted his vanquished mentor.

Dec. 1
For UCF's blossoming basketball team, Wednesday's game will be the ultimate test to gauge their progress as an up-and-coming program.

Nov. 29
UCF men's basketball coach Donnie Jones knows that at some point on Wednesday night that he'll glance down the sidelines and look dead ahead at Florida's Billy Donovan, the mentor he worked under for 13 years and has modeled much of his coaching style after.

Nov. 23
Facing an active Stetson zone that gave ACC power Wake Forest fits recently, UCF desperately needed a weapon on Tuesday night to find the gaps in the defense and produce points.

Nov. 23
The unknown always brings a heightened level of concern and as recently as 21 days ago first-year UCF men's basketball coach Donnie Jones' worries were basically off the charts.

Nov. 20
UCF head coach George O'Leary jokingly said in the days before Saturday's UCF-Tulane game that he's had plenty of fun in New Orleans on his many visits to the famed French Quarter through the years, but he stressed that this particular road game by the Knights was strictly a business trip.

Nov. 18
With a welt across his shoulder and a bright, red scratch on his forearm, A.J. Rompza's battered and bruised body was a testament to the toughness and grit that the UCF men's basketball team displayed on Thursday night.

Nov. 18
Running the way that the UCF men's basketball team does, trapping defensively all over the floor and pushing the ball at every opportunity, has a way of wearing down opponents and benefitting the Knights.

Nov. 15
The basketball season is still very much in its infancy and there will most certainly be bigger challenges ahead, but already there's a growing belief within the UCF men's basketball program that they can do great things with their new up-tempo style of play.

Nov. 15
The day after UCF shockingly lost to Southern Miss, the sun still came up even if the Knights' name didn't in the national rankings.

Nov. 13
From the first day of summer practice back in early August, UCF athletics director Keith Tribble noticed something special and dynamic about the chemistry of this Knights' football team.

Nov. 12
UCF standout defensive end Bruce Miller was discussing the expected emotional tug of Saturday's Senior Day and playing his final regular-season game ever at Bright House Networks Stadium when he abruptly stopped himself mid-sentence.

Nov. 12
For first-year UCF coach Donnie Jones, there's a combination of excitement over the beginning of a new era but also trepidation about the unknown. He likes the promise and potential of this basketball team, but also knows there are many areas that need improvement for the Knights to make some noise this season.

Nov. 10
UCF men's basketball coach Donnie Jones looks at recruiting as adding building blocks that will form the foundation and ultimately allow his program to soar to new heights.

Nov. 10
Already as a true freshman, Jeff Godfrey has broken numerous records and taken UCF's football program to heights never before reached, shocking many because of his knack for playing the quarterback position and a maturity beyond his years.

Nov. 9
There are times when UCF's Nik Robson will go back and watch video of one of his goals and wonder to himself what he was thinking at the time. Then, he realizes that he wasn't thinking at all and instead just doing what came natural.

Nov. 7
As if losing the Conference USA Championship finals in heartbreaking fashion Sunday wasn't bad enough for the UCF women's soccer team, they had to look on as arch-rival Memphis celebrated on their home turf. It's a bitter memory that is sure to stick with the Knights and motivate them in next week's NCAA Tournament.

Nov. 2
Two days prior to UCF hosting Rice two weeks ago, senior wide receiver Kamar Aiken was alerted that he would be the deep target on the first play of the game. Finally, in what has been an especially trying season for Aiken, he had reason to smile again.

Nov. 1
Figuring that their true freshman quarterback likely didn't understand the magnitude of last Saturday's game against rival East Carolina, a couple of UCF senior football players approached Jeff Godfrey for a pep talk.

Oct. 31
Having been a part of a Michigan State program that made the past two Final Fours, Tom Herzog didn't know what to expect about the talent level of the UCF's men's basketball team when he transferred in for his senior season.

Oct. 30
Their first victory in five years against East Carolina finally secured, UCF linebacker Derrick Hallman pranced to the sideline to join his joyous teammates and begin an early celebration of a win many dubbed as one of the most important in school history.

Oct. 30
UCF coach George O'Leary said that the trickle-down effect of having standout quarterback Jeff Godfrey start as a freshman is already paying benefits for the Knights in terms of having significantly more eyes from South Florida on the Knights.

Oct. 29
College football might someday establish a playoff system, but until that time, `do-or-die' regular-season games like Saturday's UCF-East Carolina showdown will suffice.

 

Oct. 28
Winning had become such a part of the culture at UCF with the women's soccer program over the past decade that it had become almost expected. That's often the case when a program wins six regular-season conference titles and makes seven NCAA Tournament appearances in a nine-year window.

 

Oct. 25
For a UCF men's soccer program that has made a major jump this season while authoring its longest unbeaten streak in 25 years and securing its most victories in six seasons, the secret of the success has been fairly basic and routine.

 

Oct. 24
Sometimes, even after Keith Clanton had worked throughout the day with his UCF teammates lifting weights and hoisting jump shots, he would work by himself and run until his legs would almost give out.

 

Oct. 23
As the crowd inside Bright House Networks Stadium stood and roared their approval, Daunte Culpepper raised his right arm and spun around to look at the dazzling on-campus surroundings. The smile on his face was a product of knowing that he indirectly had something to do with it all.

 

Oct. 21
Now, this is the true definition of a difference-maker. UCF's defensive tackle position was supposed to be a position of weakness this season what with the loss of NFL second-round pick Torell Troup and the glaring inexperience of the players expected to fill in at those spots along the line.

 

Oct. 20
There are times in practice when M. Jordan will look over to J. Jordan, nod his head or give a wink and instantly - without even saying a word - the two UCF guards will know what the other is thinking.

 

Oct. 19
When UCF fans stroll through the new Knights to Remember Garden leading up to Bright House Networks Stadium on Saturday for the first time, Michael O'Shaughnessy hopes they will both remember the football program's glorious past and also dream big about the future.

 

Oct. 14
UCF Athletics Director Keith Tribble has known for months that he made a dynamic hire for the future of the Knights' Men's Basketball program when he lured head coach Donnie Jones to Orlando back in the spring.

 

Oct. 11
Kemal Ishmael read his keys perfectly, followed the quarterback's movement in the pocket and ultimately to the outside and then came up for a picture-perfect tackle that jarred the ball free.

 

Oct. 8
UCF coach George O'Leary was noticeably weary on Thursday, a day after his Knights had whipped UAB 42-7. O'Leary didn't get in the bed until 4 a.m., spent most of the day schmoozing with boosters, conducted a staff meeting and filmed his television show.

 

Oct. 6
Its dreams of an unbeaten season gone after crushing losses to NC State and Kansas State, UCF's football team has set its sights on an unbeaten stretch of a different sort now.

 

Oct. 5
Sometimes the toughest failures come before the greatest success, moments that test the resolve but ultimately pave the way for a program to climb to new heights. That's certainly been the case for UCF's men's soccer team.

 

Oct. 4
Long before this football season ever began, UCF coach George O'Leary knew that he would need contributions from quarterbacks Jeff Godfrey and Rob Calabrese to make it through the rugged 12-game schedule.

 

Oct. 1
In an attempt to head off any lingering hangover from the crushing loss to Kansas State, UCF's Derrick Hallman aggressively went on the attack earlier this week.

 

Sept. 28
Most every time there's a turnover, a blown defensive assignment or a failure to block out on the boards, there's mention of last spring's gut-wrenching loss to Tulane for UCF's women's basketball team.

 

Sept. 26
As Sunday morning devolved into Sunday afternoon, head coach George O'Leary sat slouched in his office chair and poured over the final three plays of UCF's crushing 17-13 loss to Kansas State once more.

 

Sept. 25
UCF standout running back Brynn Harvey, who has been out of action since injuring his knee in the spring, could be close to re-joining his teammates in practice next week.

 

Sept. 24
Saturday's nationally televised game between UCF and Kansas State is headlined by the dazzling playmaking abilities of Knights' quarterback Jeff Godfrey and the dynamic running skills of Wildcats' tailback Daniel Thomas. But it's the classic David versus Goliath battle on the lines that will ultimately decide the game's winner.

 

Sept. 24
The vicious preparation cycle in football stops for no one what with one game ending and the readying for the next one beginning almost instantaneously. But somewhere high over the East Coast last Saturday during UCF's 2 ½ hour flight home from Buffalo, UCF reserve running back Ronnie Weaver allowed himself a moment to reflect personally on the mountain that he had climbed.

 

Sept. 23
As it turns out, not only did freshman phenom Jeff Godfrey lead UCF on a game-winning, 90-yard drive last week in his first collegiate start; he also called his shot in the huddle.

 

Sept. 22
UCF ranks in the top 20 in the nation in pass defense, total defense, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense, all categories that it also sits atop Conference USA in.

 

Sept. 20
New UCF basketball coach Donnie Jones is on the court installing the basics of his system, demanding that players sprint on the fastbreak, telling guards to push the pace at a breakneck speed and instructing players to launch the first open shot available.

 

Sept. 19
There were audibles at the line that were missed, throws that went to the incorrect places and certainly other freshmen moments on Saturday night for UCF phenom quarterback Jeff Godfrey.

 

Sept. 18
It was the kind of poised and pulsating drive that will go down in UCF lore as the birth of quarterback Jeff Godfrey's legacy as a Knight.

 

Sept. 18
Just as he had done for the previous four seasons, Torell Troup accompanied his UCF to the walkthrough and hung out with buddies at the team meal Friday night.

 

Sept. 17
Through the years, the city of Buffalo has given us tangy wings and Flutie Flakes, and on Saturday this frosty city in upstate New York could be the birthplace of another tasty treat for UCF football fans.

 

Sept. 15
Eager to determine the mental state of Jeff Godfrey before the UCF freshman quarterback took his first snap last Saturday night, assistant head coach David Kelly sought out center Jordan Rae along the sidelines.

Sept. 15
There was another UCF player who was seemingly everywhere - junior defensive end Darius Nall - who might be more of a heart-warming story than even Jeff Godfrey.

Sept. 14
UCF head coach George O'Leary likes to stress to his players that every day they step on the practice field that it's gameday in an attempt to promote competition at all positions.

Sept. 12
UCF coach George O'Leary was so confident that his surging Knights were going to score in the final minutes Saturday night and draw within a point of NC State that he actually started contemplating a potential game-winning two-point conversion once his team moved inside the red zone.

Sept. 11
Of all of UCF's concerns heading into Saturday night's nonconference showdown against NC State, beating themselves with self-inflicted errors was seemingly the least of the worries for an experienced Knights team.

Sept. 11
A.J. Guyton's first college game was three years ago at NC State and he remembers three things from that afternoon - his churning nerves, his then-freshman record five receptions and Kevin Smith bolting 80 yards on the game's first play for a touchdown.

Sept. 11
The memory of their defeat of NC State still fresh in many of their minds some three years later, UCF's football players know very well what's at stake Saturday night against the Wolfpack.

Sept. 10
A.J. Guyton's first college game was three years ago at NC State and he remembers three things from that afternoon - his churning nerves, his then-freshman record five receptions and Kevin Smith bolting 80 yards on the game's first play for a touchdown.

Sept. 9
There was a point in UCF's season-opening romp past South Dakota last Saturday night when Rob Calabrese no longer had to insist that he was a changed man and a different quarterback.

Sept. 8
Bruce Miller and David Williams still vividly remember the anxious moments right before the opening kickoff at NC State when they shouted lines from the movie ``300'' to fire each other up.

Sept. 6
It's no coincidence, UCF coach George O'Leary said on Monday, that one of the Knights' best seasons in school history all began with one of the biggest victories ever at UCF.

Sept. 4
Rob Calabrese promised over and over for weeks that he was a changed quarterback and things would be dramatically different this time around as UCF's starter under center.

Sept. 4
Worse than the pain Brynn Harvey has felt while trying to rehabilitate a torn knee ligament has been the mental anguish he's had to deal with while sitting out.

Sept. 4
In their downtime, far away from the rigors of summer camp and game preparation, UCF's football players often allow their minds to wander and dream about the possibilities of this season.

Sept. 3
Season openers tend to induce a fear of the unknown to football coaches, and Saturday's opener for UCF brings a first in the 43-year coaching career of George O'Leary.

Sept. 2
While much of UCF's football fanbase has eagerly pined for Jeff Godfrey's debut in a Knights uniform since the day he signed his National Letter of Intent last winter, David Kelly's infatuation with the quarterback actually dates back much further.

Sept. 1
There are dozens of instances throughout the years where UCF coach George O'Leary can point to Bruce Miller as a model of hustle, grit and toughness for teammates to pattern themselves after, but the senior defensive end's latest feat is easily the coach's favorite ever.

Aug. 31
As the lone remaining member of the 2007 recruiting class and the only four-year player on UCF's volleyball team, Kristin Fisher could have been named this season's team captain almost by default.

Aug. 30
With its largest senior class in years and returning starters at almost every position, UCF has had a preseason camp largely devoid of drama when it comes to position battles.

Aug. 27
Barring a change in philosophy as he keeps the position open to competition for the next eight days, UCF coach George O'Leary is planning to open the season with Rob Calabrese as the starter at quarterback.

Aug. 26
It was only natural last spring when the NFL's Combine was underway for UCF's Adam Nissley to look at the comparables with other tight ends and dream about the possibilities.

Aug. 25
In Chance Henderson, Derrick Hallman and Lawrence Young, UCF has one of the nation's most experienced linebacking corps with that group possessing 537 career tackles and 84 collegiate starts.

Aug. 24
A bold, cursive tattoo reading ``Tyrone'' is splattered across Jonathan Davis' chest, but the UCF tailback needed no reminder as to who was his first contact to make upon finding out he had been promoted to the first string offense.

Aug. 23
Season-openers are usually a mystery to all involved, and that certainly proved to be the case Sunday night for UCF women's soccer coach Amanda Cromwell.

Aug. 23
With no true seniors, just one fourth-year player and a host of sophomores (four of them) and freshmen (five of them), UCF head volleyball coach Todd Dagenais had to think outside the box while attempting to build team chemistry at warp speed this preseason.

Aug. 21
Rob Calabrese showed patience in the pocket and Jeff Godfrey showed explosiveness outside of it, giving the more than 1,000 UCF fans in attendance at Saturday's scrimmage hope for the offense regardless which quarterback emerges atop the depth chart.

Aug. 21
Kemal Ishmael is a coach's dream because of his rare combination of explosive power and dazzling speed and he is somewhat of a prodigy because of the way he thinks the game beyond his years and adapted to UCF's secondary schemes almost instantly.

Aug. 20
UCF had just finished a lengthy practice on a blazing hot summer day and the three offensive linemen walking off the field together looked for the first place they could find to plop down their sweat-soaked bodies.

Aug. 19
Justin Boddie has a dozen or so tattoos splattered across his body, and he proudly refers to them as ``my artwork.'' But it's the first one ever done on his body and easily the most basic one that is his biggest source of pride.

Aug. 18
Rob Calabrese has heard the whispers of doubt morph into a roar and he feels all the eyes peering down at his every move as UCF's starting quarterback. And even though his first two chances at the job were swing and misses, Calabrese feels like everything is now in place for him to finally wipe away the seeds of doubt.

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