Sept. 2, 2012
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) -After collecting a 56-14 win at Akron Aug. 30, UCF (1-0) makes another trip to the Buckeye State to face No. 14 Ohio State (1-0) Saturday, Sept. 8, on ESPN2.
UCF Game Notes
Saturday - Columbus, Ohio - 12 p.m.
No. 14 Ohio State - 1-0 Overall, 0-0 Big Ten
UCF - 1-0 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Ohio Stadium (102,329)
740-AM - Orlando
540-AM - Maitland
1350-AM - Clearwater
1340-AM - Daytona Beach
770-AM - Fort Myers
The Black and Gold has never battled Ohio State on the gridiron. UCF has faced four other Big Ten programs in its history - Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin - and is 0-6 in those games.
This is not the first time UCF will make back-to-back trips to the Buckeye State in consecutive weeks. The Knights faced the Ohio Bobcats Oct. 11, 2003, before traveling to Akron seven days later.
UCF holds a 13-14 all-time record vs. schools from Ohio.
This marks the fifth time UCF opens the season by playing its first two games on the road (the last time was in 2005).
OSU last hosted a team from Florida in 2010 (def. Miami, 36-24), and from C-USA in 2010 as well (def. Marshall, 45-7).
UCF faces another school with a new head coach as Urban Meyer has the controls at Ohio State in 2012. Meyer, who won a pair of national titles at Florida, is 1-0 all-time against the Knights (2006).
Opening the season, the Buckeyes posted a similar result to UCF's win at Akron as they topped visiting Miami (Ohio), 56-10.
Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller was 14-for-24 with 207 yards and two touchdowns, while he also rushed for 161 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries. He was sacked twice.
The Buckeyes' defense was credited with holding Miami to -1 rushing yards on 20 overall attempts. It kept the RedHawks to 12 first downs and a 5-for-19 mark on third downs.
BACK TO OHIO
UCF's last game vs. a non-conference ranked school was at No. 2 Texas in 2009. The Knights do not have a win over a non-conference top-25 opponent. Their only win vs. a ranked team was at home vs. No. 13/12 Houston in 2009. The UCF program dates back to only 1979, and its first year at the FBS level was in 1996.
The Knights were receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today top-25 polls for the second-straight week.
With Ohio Stadium's capacity listed at over 100,000, Saturday's contest could be the fourth time in UCF history it will play a game in front of a crowd of at least 100,000 (the record crowd to watch a UCF game is 103,029 at Penn State in 2002).
Exact kickoff time is slated for 12:01 p.m., which would be the earliest start for a UCF game since the 2010 C-USA Championship Game vs. SMU (also 12:01 p.m.).
ON THE ROAD
UCF's victory at Akron was its first road win since the 2010 season (it was 6-1 that year including an AutoZone Liberty Bowl win over Georgia).
If the Knights can grab a win at Ohio State, it will be the first time since 2000 that they will claim two road victories over non-conference opponents in the same season (UCF first joined a conference in 2002 with the MAC).
GETTING THE BALL BACK
At Akron, the Knights recovered three fumbles and notched an interception for four total turnovers.
UCF last forced four turnovers at Tulane Nov. 20, 2010.
The Knights turned the ball over only once vs. the Zips, which was an interception in the third quarter.
A DISCIPLINED GROUP
In the opener at Akron, the Knights committed just two penalties for 16 yards. Dating back to 2011, they have just three penalties in their last two games.
Closing out the 2011 season, UCF had just one penalty for five yards vs. UTEP.
DOMINATING THE CLOCK
To kick off 2012, UCF led Akron in time of possession by controlling the ball for at least 32 minutes.
Going back to the final five games of 2009, the Knights have led in TOP in 27 of their last 32 contests.
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD
By scoring 56 points at Akron, UCF racked up its most points against a non-conference FBS opponent since a 57-17 win over the Zips Nov. 3, 2001, a year before joining the MAC.
It also was the most points scored vs. a non-conference FBS school on the road dating back to a 64-30 triumph at Louisiana Tech to open the 1998 season.
In his first-collegiate start, sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles settled in to the 2012 season quickly vs. the Zips.
Hailing from nearby Oviedo, Bortles was 13-for-16 for 168 yards and three touchdowns. It was the first time since Kyle Israel vs. UTEP on Nov. 24, 2007, that a UCF QB had three touchdown passes in a game.
Bortles already now has half the amount of touchdown passes he had as a redshirt freshman in 2011.
That year he was voted onto the C-USA All-Freshman Team and had a 153.88 efficiency rating, which was good for third on the single-season chart.
GOING TO THE AIR
With Blake Bortles having three touchdown passes at Akron and Tyler Gabbert adding one himself, UCF amassed four total TD passes. The Knights had not accomplished that feat since a win at Rice Oct. 24, 2009.
Dating back to UCF's first year at the FBS level in 1996, the Knights have thrown at least four touchdown passes in a game 16 times (in 191 games).
Most total passing touchdowns since 1996:
Opponent - Date - Passing TDS
at Buffalo - Nov. 9, 2002 - 5
Liberty - Oct. 13, 2001 - 5
Louisiana-Monroe - Oct. 21, 2000 - 5
William & Mary - Sept. 23, 2000 - 5
at NE Louisiana - Nov. 1, 1997 - 5
at Akron - Aug. 30, 2012 - 4
10 Other Times - 4
A REALLY GOOD SIGN
UCF did not have two touchdown passes in a game last year until the sixth contest of the season (SMU), while no receiver had two TD receptions in a game.
In the 2012 opener, sophomore Rannell Hall hauled in a pair of TD catches at Akron, becoming the first Knight since Jamar Newsome at Memphis Nov. 27, 2010, to do so.
Hall finished his career night with four receptions and 94 yards. As a true freshman, he had four catches for the entire 2011 season.
QBS LEAVING THEIR MARK...AS WIDE RECEIVERS
Converted quarterbacks Rob Calabrese and Jeff Godfrey played their first games as wide receivers at Akron and both contributed in big ways.
Calabrese was a starting quarterback from 2008-10, missed the final eight games of 2010 due to an injury, then suffered the same injury in the summer of 2011 when he moved to WR. Finally healthy, Calabrese pulled in a highlight-reel 12-yard TD pass from Tyler Gabbert for his first-career reception.
UCF's starting signal-caller from 2010-11, Godfrey brought in two receptions for 13 yards, posted an 8-yard rush and also appeared on the kickoff return and kickoff cover units.
NOT A SURPRISE HERE
One of the big focal points for UCF in the preseason was its ground game, and it did not disappoint at Akron as it accumulated 206 yards and four TDs.
Since UCF's first year in the FBS (1996), it has rushed for at least four touchdowns in a game 21 times (in 191 games).
Most rushing touchdowns since 1996:
Opponent - Date - Rushing TDS
Charleston Southern - Sept. 3, 2011 - 8
Memphis - Sept. 22, 2007 - 7
East Carolina - Oct. 30, 2010 - 5
at UAB - Nov. 10, 2007 - 5
at Akron - Aug. 30, 2012 - 4
16 Other Times - 4
The effort at Akron was the first time since 2001, also vs. Akron, that UCF posted four rushing touchdowns in a game vs. a FBS non-conference opponent.
In his UCF debut after sitting out last year due to transferring from Miami (Fla.), Storm Johnson posted two of the Knights' touchdowns, while Latavius Murray and Cedric Thompson (first of his career) each had one.
McCRAY TWINS START TOGETHER
Even though they are now juniors, twin brothers Jordan McCray and Justin McCray had yet to start a game together on the offensive line. That changed at Akron when Jordan was the right guard and Justin served as the right tackle.
In 2011, both Jordan and Justin started one game each alongside older brother Cliff McCray.
PUT THE PRESSURE ON
The Knights amassed three sacks at Akron Aug. 30. Two of those sacks came by Deion Green and Thomas Niles, as they were the first sacks of their careers.
It was the first season-opener since 2007 at NC State (four) that UCF delivered at least three sacks.
THE GROUND GAME PART I
Consistently one of the best rushing defenses in the country, UCF held Akron to just 69 yards on 27 carries Aug. 30.
In both 2010 and 2011, the Black and Gold kept opponents under 100 rushing yards six times, while nine schools could not reach the century mark vs. the Knights in 2009.
THE GROUND GAME PART II
Schools Ranked in the FBS Top 20 in Rushing Defense Each Year from 2009-11
The defense did not allow Memphis (23), SMU (97) and Georgia (82) to record at least 100 rushing yards in the final three games in 2010.
Charleston Southern (49), Boston College (57), Marshall (43), SMU (82), Memphis (33) and UTEP 66) then also failed to reach the 100-yard mark in 2011.
ONE OF THREE
UCF was one of just three schools in 2011 to rank in the top 10 in the country in total, scoring and passing efficiency defense, joining Alabama and LSU.
Schools Ranked in the FBS Top 10 in Scoring, Total and Passing Efficiency Defense in 2011
ADDRESSING THE ISSUE
UCF was minus-3 in turnover ratio in 2011 (18 to 15), including just six fumble recoveries.
Facing Akron, the Knights recovered all three fumbles committed by the Zips and also picked off a pass.
Fumble recoveries since 2003:
Season - Games - Fumbles Recovered
2003 - 12 - 7
2004 - 11 - 9
2005 - 13 - 13
2006 - 12 - 2
2007 - 14 - 4
2008 - 12 - 8
2009 - 13 - 16
2010 - 14 - 6
2011 - 12 - 6
2012 - 1 - 3