Nov. 22, 2013
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By Brian Ormiston
UCF vs. Rutgers
Nov. 21, 2013
|From Bright House Networks Stadium
Still undefeated in the American Athletic Conference, the No. 17/20 Knights continued to take their national publicity to the next level. The game against Rutgers was UCF's first-ever Thursday-night home game on ESPN.
The Knights have accomplished some outstanding achievements this season. UCF recorded its first victory against a Big Ten team (Penn State) and also conquered a top-10 school (then-No. 8/6 Louisville) leading to a top 15 spot in the AP Top 25. Last Saturday, the Knights defeated Temple 39-36 in an unbelievable final two minutes. The 8-1 record marks the best record through nine games in program history.
By season's end, UCF will have had a total of six games on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 (not including a bowl game). There's no question as to why the second-largest school in the nation has finally gained such credibility. Fans and alumni aren't shy to speak of their pride in the university.
"It's amazing that UCF was on ESPN's Thursday night game," said recent alum Alyssa Ventriglio before the game. "I've never been able to experience the Knights being so recognized since I got here in 2007. I graduated in 2011 and I still follow UCF and attend games often. I have friends and family in other states who are finally getting to know UCF."
Breanne Souza, a senior, explained how beneficial it is for UCF to get such national attention.
"All of this publicity is awesome for the school," she said. "We are a huge university and continuing to grow. It's about time people really know who we are. Choosing to attend this school was the best choice I ever made and I am so proud of UCF. We deserve it."
The magnitude of the Knights' nationwide recognition may continue to grow. The regular season has two games remaining and UCF is still in the driver's seat for an American Athletic Conference title and a shot at a BCS bowl.
By: Brittany Ventriglio
-UCF's best start in school history continued as it improved to 9-1 while Rutgers fell to 5-5.
-The Knights' 6-0 start in The American is tied for the best conference record since joining a league in 2002 (2012 also started 6-0).
-UCF remains all alone in first place with the victory with two games remaining. It can clinch a share of the conference title and the BCS berth if Cincinnati loses to Houston this Saturday and UCF can defeat USF Friday, Nov. 29.
-The six-game winning streak is one shy of matching the school's longest, a seven-game spurt in 2007.
-UCF was playing its first Thursday home game on ESPN in program history, and the first ESPN Thursday game since 2005 at South Carolina.
-The Knights had a 15-play, 63-yard scoring drive (field goal) that lasted 7:44. It was the longest scoring drive in terms of time since a 10:10 drive at Marshall Oct. 27, 2012.
-The time of possession battle ended with UCF leading 38:26-21:34.
-UCF doubled Rutgers in total yards, 452-221.
-UCF was 9-of-13 in third downs, while Rutgers was held to 3-of-14.
-The Knights' defense posted 12 break-ups and one interception.
-Captains for UCF were: seniors Jeff Godfrey, Jordan McCray and Justin McCray. They were voted as the 2013 season captains by their teammates after the UConn game.
-Rannell Hall posted a catch in his 25th straight game, which is the eighth longest streak in UCF history.
-Jeff Godfrey hauled in a pass in his 24th straight game, which is tied for the ninth longest streak at UCF.
-Blake Bortles went 21-for-30 with 335 yards and a touchdown. He also had 32 rushing yards and a score.
-Bortles now ranks fourth all-time in completions with 524 and fifth with 799 attempts.
-Dating back to the Temple game where he completed his final five passes, Bortles had a streak of 12 straight completions which ultimately ended in the second quarter. That tied for the second-longest streak in school history (Daunte Culpepper set the record with 15 in 1997). It was the second time in Bortles' career he had a stretch of 12 consecutive completions (Missouri 2012).
-Breshad Perriman sat out the Temple game but returned Thursday and made his presence known by hauling in a 4-yard touchdown pass on UCF's first drive. It was his second TD of the season. He capped off the night with five receptions for 99 yards, pushing him past the 1,000-yard mark for his career at 1,054.
-Cornerback Jacoby Glenn also sat out the Temple game but was back for the Rutgers contest. He proceeded to tie a school record with five break-ups, a feat only accomplished three other times. Glenn now has 15 break-ups this year which is tied for second on the single-season chart (record is 22).
-Defense end Miles Pace missed the last two contests but returned Thursday.
-Junior strong safety Clayton Geathers was making his 35th career start Thursday, and came away with his first interception as a Knight with a pick in the first quarter.
-Storm Johnson rushed for two touchdowns on 16 carries and 75 yards. Johnson had multiple touchdowns (both rushing and receiving) for the sixth time this season.
-J.J. Worton collected 117 receiving yards, giving him back-to-back games with at least 100.
-Shawn Moffitt was a perfect 2-for-2 in field goals, making him 16-for-17 this year. His 16 field goals made rank tied for sixth on the single season chart. He now is hitting on .775 for his career (31-for-40) which currently ranks first in UCF history.
-Sophomore defensive tackle Demetris Anderson recorded his first career sack in the third quarter.
-Andrew Rice and Rob Sauvao both split on a sack to give UCF two for the game.