UCF-Memphis Postgame Notes

GO KNIGHTS Joe Burnett and the Knights claimed their C-USA opener against Memphis.
Joe Burnett and the Knights claimed their C-USA opener against Memphis.

Sept. 22, 2007

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• Today's game marked the first conference game for UCF at Bright House Networks Stadium. This is the third straight year that the Knights have opened their Conference USA schedule on their home field.
• UCF head coach George O'Leary improved to 5-3 in the head-to-head series with Memphis head coach Tommy West and 3-0 vs. West in the UCF-Memphis series. O'Leary has won the last five meetings between the two veteran coaches.
• The Knights scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions of the game.
• The 56 points scored by UCF were the most under head coach George O'Leary. The previous high came in the 2005 Hawaii Bowl when the Knights lost 49-48 to Nevada in overtime. The 36-point margin of victory was also the largest under O'Leary in his tenure at the school. The previous was also vs. Memphis, a 21-point victory in 2005 (38-17).
• Junior RB Kevin had his fifth rush of 20-plus yards this season on the opening scoring drive for the Knights. Smith had four carries for 51 yards on the drive, including his fifth-rushing touchdown of the season from three yards out.
• Smith moved into sole possession of third place on the UCF career rushing charts during the Knights' second touchdown drive of the opening quarter. His career total following his 124-yard effort is 2,602.
• For the first time in his career, Smith rushed for at least 100 yards in three consecutive games. He finished the game with 22 carries, 124 yards and three touchdowns. His three rushing touchdowns equaled his career high set twice before (Houston, 2006 and Nevada, 2005). The previous two times, the Knights lost both games.
• Junior linebacker Cory Hogue returned to the starting line-up after missing the first two games of the season. Hogue's start was the 16th of his career.
• For the third straight time in the series with Memphis, UCF built a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter.
• Senior Dominic Ignelzi recorded his first career reception in the second quarter on the first career pass completion by sophomore Michael Greco. Greco completed his first seven passes of the game and finished 11-of-12 for 151 yards.
• Greco scored his first-career rushing touchdown in the second quarter on a 10-yard scamper. The sophomore added another 10-yard scoring run later in the quarter. He finished with 10 carries for 77 yards.
• The Knights' six rushing touchdowns in the first half is a new school record and tied the overall record for rushing touchdowns in a game. UCF added another score on the ground in the fourth quarter. The seven rushing touchdowns were good for a school record.
• The seven rushing touchdowns tied a Conference USA record (Louisville, 1999).
• Junior Joe Burnett had five returns for 76 yards in the game, including a long of 37 yards in the second quarter. Burnett moved up to second on the UCF career charts with 700 total punt return yards.
• The 42 points in the first half were the most scored by the Knights in the opening half since 2001 (Akron, led 50-3).
• The Knights' held an opponent scoreless in the opening half for the first time since leading Marshall 17-0 on Sept. 24, 2005.
Kyle Israel's 72-yard passing touchdown to freshman Kamar Aiken was the longest of the senior's career and tied for the 10th-longest in school history. Aiken's touchdown reception was his second in as many games.
• Aiken recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career and his 131 receiving yards were the most by a UCF freshman since the team moved up to the NCAA Bowl Subdivision in 1996. Aiken finished the game with four catches.
• Sophomore Philip Smith rushed 19 times for a career-high 96 yards in the game. He scored his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter.
• Junior free safety Jason Venson led the team in tackles for the third-consecutive game this season and fifth overall dating back to last season. He totaled nine stops.



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