Sept. 15, 2012
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Home Sweet Home
Playing in Orlando at Bright House Networks Stadium is good for the Knights, especially in the home-opener. UCF is now 26-8 all-time in its first home game. The Knights have won 11 of their last 13 home-openers and 15 of their last 18. After playing two-straight road games to open the season, today's game matched the latest home opener ever. Texas also visited on Sept. 15 back in 2007, in the debut of Bright House Networks Stadium.
The UCF defense got off the field with a three-and-out five times vs. FIU. The Knights had held their first two opponents without a first down on a possession just four times coming into the contest. Three of the first four FIU possessions lasted just three downs, while the Knights built a 16-0 lead.
Field Position Battle
UCF's average starting position for the contest was its own 37-yard line. On the flip side, FIU averaged starting at its own 16-yard line. The Panthers consistently started possessions backed up to their own goal line, thanks to Knights punter Jamie Boyle. Boyle punted five times Saturday and pinned FIU inside its own 20-yard line on all five of his boots. The Knights' kickoff coverage unit helped win the field-position battle as well, allowing an average of just 16 yards on three FIU returns.
Last season, UCF quarterback Blake Bortles tossed six touchdown passes. Bortles passed for the Knights' first two TDs of the game Saturday, surpassing last year's total in just three games. He entered the game with five scoring strikes, and the pair he tallied Saturday helped him surpass last year's 12-game total in just three contests.
-UCF's record bumped up to 2-1 on the season, while the Panthers fell to 1-2.
-FIU had one first down and minus-1 total yards of offense in the first quarter. In the first half, FIU had 26 yards on 23 plays. In last year's home opener, Charleston Southern had 21 yards of total offense.
-For the game, UCF outgained FIU, 431-306, and the Knights finished 9-of-15 on third downs compared to the Panthers going 3-of-13.
-Through the first half, UCF led in first downs 13-2, total yards 249-26 and passing yards 167-4 as FIU QB Jake Medlock was 1-for-8. The Knights converted on 8-of-11 third downs, while the Panthers were 0-of-6 in the first 30 minutes.
-True freshman wide receiver Breshad Perriman earned his first-collegiate start Saturday.
-Senior Troy Davis racked up a pair of sacks, two forced fumbles and seven tackles. The two forced fumbles tied a UCF single-game record, as it was the 10th time a Knight forced two fumbles in a game.
-With 23 kickoff return yards vs. FIU, senior Quincy McDuffie jumped to second in UCF history with 1,952 career kickoff return yards. The record is 2,121 yards set by Ted Wilson from 1983-86. Meanwhile, Rannell Hall had 96 kickoff return yards to move to eighth all-time with 892 yards.
-Senior fullback Billy Giovanetti caught a 4-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, marking the second-straight game he had a touchdown reception. Giovanetti entered the year with just one touchdown catch in his career. He also tied a career-high with three receptions in the game.
-Sparking that touchdown by Giovanetti was a 36-yard reception by J.J. Worton, his longest of the season. Worton finished with a game-high five receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown.
-FIU had a bad snap on a punt attempt in the first quarter which went through the endzone. The safety was UCF's first since Oct. 8, 2011, vs. Marshall.
-In the second quarter, Hall caught his third touchdown pass of the year. Last year he had just four receptions overall and no touchdowns.
-Sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles surpassed last year's total of six touchdown passes Saturday. Bortles went 20-for-30 with a career-high 251 yards and two touchdowns, and now has seven TD passes in 2012.
-Junior Jeff Godfrey, who was a quarterback from 2010-11, had a career-high three receptions. Godfrey did demonstrate his passing skills once again in the third quarter by finding Worton on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Godfrey now has 19 passing touchdowns and 19 rushing touchdowns as a Knight.
-Senior Brynn Harvey's 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his 19th rushing touchdown of his career. That is tied for eighth all-time at UCF.
-Harvey amassed 73 rushing yards on 16 carries for a 4.6 average, and starter Storm Johnson had 78 yards on 18 attempts for a 4.3 average.
-For the second-straight game, sophomore middle linebacker Terrance Plummer led the defense with 11 tackles, including one for a loss.
-Senior punter Jamie Boyle punted five times, and all five punts went inside the 20. His longest effort was 51 yards.