UCF Football Game Notes - FIU Sept. 15


GO KNIGHTS E.J. Dunston set a career-high with six tackles against Ohio State.
GO KNIGHTS
E.J. Dunston set a career-high with six tackles against Ohio State.
GO KNIGHTS

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By Brian Ormiston
UCFAthletics.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF finally gets its home schedule underway when it welcomes FIU to town Saturday at 4 p.m. The game is presented by Florida Blue, and is a part of the Knights' annual Family Weekend on campus.

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Game Details:
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 4 p.m.
2012 Records:
FIU - 1-1 Overall, 0-0 Sun Belt
UCF - 1-1 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Stadium:
Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323)
Series:
FIU leads, 1-0
Live Coverage:
740-AM - Orlando
540-AM - Maitland
1350-AM - Clearwater
1340-AM - Daytona Beach
770-AM - Fort Myers
UCF Gameday
Twitter.com/UCF_Football
Television:
CSS/Bright House Sports Network

Team Notes
THE MATCH-UP
• Last year marked the first meeting between UCF and FIU, with the Panthers walking away with a 17-10 win in front of a then-FIU stadium record 20,205 fans in Miami.
• In 2011, UCF was poised to take a 7-0 lead into halftime until FIU ran back a fumble 51 yards with six seconds left to make it 7-7. The Panthers then scored 10 points in the third quarter for the win.
• UCF outgained FIU in total yards, 300-238, but FIU had six sacks.
• The Knights are 14-16 against schools from the Sunshine State.
• UCF carries a 16-12 record vs. teams from the Sun Belt Conference. Its biggest rival in the league is Troy as the two teams met every year from 1987-95 as members of the FCS.
• Coming off a 41-38 overtime win over Akron, FIU stands at 1-1 on the season. It opened the year with a 46-26 loss at Duke.
• The Panthers are giving up 42.0 points per game, but are averaging 477.0 yards of total offense. They have yet to throw an interception, and have lost four of eight fumbles.
• Opponents have only converted on 29% of their third downs.
• FIU has only scored on 63% of its trips into the red zone.
• So. QB Jake Medlock has a 61.3 completion percentage with 557 yards, three touchdowns and 160 rushing yards. Kedrick Rhodes (177 yards, 1 TD) and Darian Mallary (93 yards, 3 TD) split time at RB, while Wayne Times and Rhodes combine for 295 rec. yards.

GOOD TO BE HOME
• This marks the latest home opener since 2007 when the Knights debuted Bright House Networks Stadium to a national audience vs. No. 6 Texas, also on Sept. 15.
• Bright House Networks Stadium is entering its sixth year as the home of the Black and Gold.
• UCF boasts a 25-8 all-time record in home openers, while it stands at 10-2 in its last 12 and 14-3 in its last 17.
• The Knights went 5-1 at home in 2011, 5-2 in 2010 and 6-1 in 2009.
• Overall, the Black and Gold is 24-9 at Bright House Networks Stadium, and 7-4 vs. non-conference opponents.
• UCF is kicking off a four-game homestand, which is the first time since 1999 the Knights had four-straight home games on the schedule.

HOLDING A 1-1 RECORD
• The last time UCF started a season 1-1 was in 2010. That year, the Knights proceeded to win the Conference USA title as well as the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
• UCF also was 1-1 in 2007 when it claimed the C-USA crown and a trip to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, as well as in 2009 when it traveled to the St. Petersburg Bowl.

FOCUS ON THE ROAD AHEAD
• The Black and Gold is coming off a 31-16 road loss to No. 14 Ohio State. Recently, the Knights have had positive results after losing on the road to a ranked non-conference school.
• In 2009, it fell at No. 2 Texas before winning the next three games en route to the St. Petersburg Bowl.
• Back in 2007, the Knights lost at No. 5 South Florida only to follow up with seven-straight victories, highlighted by a C-USA title and an invite to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

AN INTERESTING TREND
• Dating back to 2009, UCF has received the opening kickoff in 35 of the last 41 games.
• Breaking down the coin toss since 2009 based on who wins and then elects to receive or defer:
Season - UCF Wins: REC/DEF - OPP Wins: REC/DEF
2009 - 8/3 - 0/2
2010 - 8/1 - 1/4
2011 - 8/0 - 1/3
2012 - 0/0 - 0/2

Offense Notes
AIRING IT OUT
• Sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles set career-highs with 25 completions, 41 attempts and 249 passing yards at Ohio State. It was the first time since Brett Hodges (23-for-45) vs. Marshall in 2009 in which a quarterback had at least 40 pass attempts.
• As a team, UCF has now attempted 40 passes or more in a game 10 times since 2004 (a span of 103 games).

MORE ON THE SIGNAL CALLERS
Blake Bortles tossed six touchdowns on 110 attempts as a freshman in 2011.
• This year, the Oviedo native has five scoring strikes on just 57 attempts.
• Bortles was 13-for-16 for 168 yards and three touchdowns at Akron. 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.
• Combined with Tyler Gabbert who has one, the Knights have six touchdown passes in 2012. The 2003 team was the last to have a combined six TD passes in the first two games of a season.
• Most total passing touchdowns in the first two games of a season:
Season - Passing TDS Through 2 Games
1) 1998 - 8
1) 1992 - 8
1) 1980 - 8
4) 2012 - 6
4) 2003 - 6
4) 1997 - 6
• With Bortles having three touchdown passes at Akron and 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.

OFFENSE WENT TO WORK VS. OSU
• The UCF offense amassed 352 yards of total offense at Ohio State Sept. 8, which came on 103 rushing yards and 249 passing yards.
• The Buckeyes have not given up at least 352 yards very often dating back to 2006. In 80 games from 2006-12, Sept. 8 was just the 14th time an offense produced 352 yards or more of total offense vs. OSU.

DOING SOME DAMAGE
• UCF's 16 points at No. 14 Ohio State was its largest output on the road vs. a ranked non-conference team since 2003 at No. 9 Virginia Tech (lost, 49-28).
• They also were the most against a Big Ten program since a 27-24 loss at No. 24 Penn State on Aug. 31, 2002.

THERE HE IS!
• A year after setting a UCF freshman record with 41 receptions, J.J. Worton opened 2012 without a catch at Akron.
• However that zero was quickly removed at OSU when he caught seven balls for 96 yards against the Buckeyes.
• Worton's top games as a Knight since 2011:
Opponent - Date - Stats
at Southern Miss - Nov. 12, 2011 - 11-114-1 TD
at Ohio State - Sept. 8, 2012 - 7-96-0 TD
Memphis - Oct. 29, 2011 - 5-43-0 TD
at SMU - Oct. 15, 2011 - 5-32-1 TD
Tulsa - Nov. 3, 2011 - 4-87-1 TD

Defense Notes
FORCING TURNOVERS
• In the opener 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.
• One week later at Ohio State, UCF recovered both of OSU's fumbles and also added an interception.
• In all, the Knights have forced five fumbles and recovered them all, while also picking off two passes.
• This year marks the first time in the FBS-era (since UCF joined in 1996) that the Knights forced seven turnovers in the first two games of a season.
• The record for most forced turnovers through two games was set in 1992 when the Knights had seven interceptions and seven fumble recoveries for 14 turns overall.
• Before 2012, UCF had not recovered five fumbles in the first two games of a season since 2002.
• Turnovers forced in the first two games:
Season - INT - FUM REC - TOTAL TURNS
1) 1992 - 7 - 7 - 14
2) 1980 - 7 - 5 - 12
3) 1982 - 1 - 8 - 9
4) 1979 - 5 - 3 - 8
5) 2012 - 2 - 5 - 7
5) 1988 - 4 - 3 - 7
5) 1981 - 4 - 3 - 7
• 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 - 2 - 5

GETTING PICKS
• Dating back to last year, UCF has notched an interception in four-straight games. This year, Lyle Dankenbring had a pick at Akron while A.J. Bouye pulled down an INT at Ohio State.
• UCF had a stretch of nine-consecutive games with an interception from 2010-11, and 16-straight contests from 2007-08.

NOT CHANGING
• Head coach George O'Leary started the same defensive unit for the first two games of 2012.
• The Knights had not began a season with the same starting defensive lineup in the first two games of a season since 2008.

TACKLING FUEL
• A total of four Knights set career-highs in tackles at Ohio State.
• With a previous personal-best seven tackles in a game, sophomore middle linebacker Terrance Plummer eclipsed that in the first quarter alone when he had eight takedowns. He eventually led all players with 15 tackles.
• Senior cornerback A.J. Bouye matched his career-high with seven tackles, senior defensive end Troy Davis added seven as well (previous high was five) and junior defensive tackle E.J. Dunston picked up six tackles (previous high was four).

 

 

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