Sept. 12, 2011
Read John Denton's Knights Insider |
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After protecting its house to open the 2011 season, UCF (2-0) hits the road to clash with FIU (2-0) in the two programs' first meeting Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN3. Head coach George O'Leary will be looking for career-win No. 100.
UCF Game Notes
Saturday - Miami, Fla. - 6 p.m.
FIU - 2-0 Overall, 1-0 Sun Belt
UCF - 2-0 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
FIU Stadium (18,000)
740-AM, UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_FootballSID
ANOTHER HUGE TEST
The contest at FIU will be the first time since 1995 that UCF and its opponent both carry perfect records after at least two games played (UCF was 2-0 when it faced 3-0 Florida State).
A victory would give UCF a 3-0 record for the first time since 1988 when it opened the year 5-0.
Best starts to open a season:
1) 1988 - 5-0
2) 1979 - 4-0
3) 1986 - 3-0
AN IMPRESSIVE RUN
UCF has won six-straight games dating back to last year, and 11 of its last 12 contests.
During the six-game winning streak, UCF has outscored its opponents 217-47. That includes victories over Georgia, Boston College and SMU (C-USA Championship Game).
A YOUNG MATCHUP
UCF's first season at the FBS level was in 1996 (first year overall in 1979), while FIU's inaugural year of football was in 2002.
The Black and Gold is 2-0 for the first time since 1998, and FIU has never been 2-0 until this year.
MOVIN' ON UP
The Knights have been receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Top 25 polls throughout the year. This week, UCF jumped from No. 40 to No. 30 in the AP poll, while it climbed from No. 34 to No. 27 in the USA Today rankings.
STARTING TO MAKE A STATEMENT
Entering last year's AutoZone Liberty Bowl vs. Georgia, UCF had won only two games vs. schools from automatically-qualifying BCS conferences in its history (2000 at Alabama and 2007 at NC State).
But after topping the Bulldogs, the Knights pummeled Boston College, 30-3, for two-straight victories against the "big conferences."
The 30 points against the Eagles were the most vs. a BCS AQ school since the Knights fell to Texas, 35-32, in 2007.
UCF's most points against a BCS AQ school:
1) UCF 40, @Alabama 38 - Oct. 28, 2000
2) Syracuse 38, @UCF 35 - Nov. 2, 2002
3) Texas 35, @UCF 32 - Sept. 15, 2007
4) @South Carolina 33, UCF 31 - Sept. 6, 1997
5) @UCF 30, Boston College 3 - Sept. 10, 2011
UCF's fewest points allowed vs. a BCS AQ school. Note that three of the top five are from 2010-11:
1) @UCF 30, Boston College 3 - Sept. 10, 2011
2) UCF 10, Georgia 6 (Liberty Bowl) - Dec. 31, 2010
T3) Miss. St. 10, UCF 3 (Liberty Bowl) - Dec. 29, 2007
T3) @Auburn 10, UCF 6 - Nov. 7, 1998
5) @Kansas St. 17, UCF 13 - Sept. 25, 2010
AIRING IT OUT
While the Knights are turning heads with a NCAA-high 11 rushing touchdowns, sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey went to work in the passing game in the 30-3 win over Boston College.
Godfrey set a career-high with 20 completions as he went 20-for-25 for 187 yards and no interceptions. He has thrown for at least 100 yards in 12-consecutive games.
The signal-caller hooked up with nine-different teammates on at least one pass completion vs. the Eagles.
The Knights' last game in which they had at least 20 completions was in a 34-27 win over UAB Nov. 28, 2009 (Brett Hodges was 24-for-38).
Jeff Godfrey paces Conference USA with five rushing touchdowns, including tying a UCF quarterback record with three vs. Charleston Southern.
Godfrey now has 15 rushing touchdowns in just 16 games with the Knights, while UCF great Daunte Culpepper had 24 in 44-career games.
1) Daunte Culpepper - 24 rush TDS in 44 games
2) Jeff Godfrey - 15 rush TDS in 16 games
In the 30-3 victory over the Eagles, Godfrey had 13 carries for 69 yards. He rushed for a first down on four of those attempts, while reaching the endzone on two more.
THERE'S NO QUESTION THIS TEAM CAN SCORE
UCF ranks 14th in the nation by averaging 46 points in its first two games.
The Knights also rank first in C-USA with 92 points. The top scoring offenses in the league:
1) UCF - 92 points
2) Houston - 86
3) Tulane - 50
FRESH LEGS EVERYWHERE!
In UCF's first game, six Knights amassed four rushing attempts or more. One week later vs. B.C., four Knights finished with at least nine rushes.
Ronnie Weaver and Brynn Harvey led the way in yards vs. Charleston Southern, while Latavius Murray and Jeff Godfrey paced the Knights vs. the Eagles.
The Knights' top rushers by game:
- Week One vs. CSU
RB Ronnie Weaver - 8-107-1
RB Brynn Harvey - 14-62-0
QB Jeff Godfrey - 7-46-3
RB Latavius Murray - 6-36-2
RB Kerlon Williams - 8-25-2
- Week Two vs. B.C.
RB Latavius Murray - 10-72-1
QB Jeff Godfrey - 13-69-2
RB Brynn Harvey - 9-47-0
RB Ronnie Weaver - 11-19-0
ALSO OPTIONS IN THE AERIAL ATTACK
Josh Reese (four) and J.J. Worton (three) led UCF's receivers in game one, and A.J. Guyton and Quincy McDuffie each had a game-high five catches in game two.
A total of seven different players have two receptions or more this year, with McDuffie charging the pack with seven.
ON PACE FOR A CAREER YEAR
Senior tight end Adam Nissley has already eclipsed his receiving yards from a year ago (59 in 2010, 87 in 2011).
Although early, with five catches in two games Nissley is on pace for 30 receptions during the regular season and 522 receiving yards. His career-highs are 10 receptions and 159 yards both set in 2009.
O-LINE SERVING AS THE DRIVING FORCE
UCF's offensive line has allowed just one sack this year. Only 21 programs which have played two games have surrendered only one sack or less, as the Knights rank tied for 11th overall in sacks allowed per game.
With the O-line paving the way, the Knights rank 12th in the nation with 275.50 rushing yards per game.
Of the five starters up front, Nick Pieschel is the lone senior.
HEY SCOREBOARD OPERATOR! TAKE A REST!
UCF's defense has not allowed a touchdown in 12-straight quarters. That is the longest streak in school history.
The last time an opponent reached the endzone was when SMU scored in the fourth quarter of the C-USA Championship Game Dec. 4, 2010, in the Knights' 17-7 win.
In the previous four games, opponents have scored only 16 points on the Black and Gold.
THE TREND IS CONTINUING
The Knights finished 2010 eighth in the country in scoring defense and 15th in total defense. This year they are first in scoring defense and second in total defense.
FBS scoring defense leaders:
T1) UCF - 1.5 avg. points allowed (3 total points)
T1) Florida - 1.5 (3)
3) Michigan State - 3.0 (6)
FBS total defense leaders:
1) Kansas State - 129.00 avg. yards allowed (129 total in one game)
2) UCF - 130.00 (260)
3) Florida State - 137.50 (275)
UCF, Florida and Michigan State are the only three schools in the country which have played two games and kept opponents to under 10 points.
UCF sits in first in Conference USA in all five of the top defensive categories: rushing, passing, passing efficiency, total and scoring.
C-USA scoring defense leaders:
1) UCF - 3 total points allowed
2) UAB - 39 (one game played)
3) Southern Miss - 43
A DYNAMIC SECONDARY
The Knights surrendered 70 passing yards vs. Charleston Southern and 84 against Boston College (154 yards total) to kick off 2011.
UCF last held opponents to under 100 passing yards in consecutive games when it gave up 38 to Mississippi State in the 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl and 74 vs. South Carolina State to open 2008.
Among schools which have played two games, Michigan State (152) is the lone program to have allowed less passing yards this season.
A look at the UCF defense's last four games when it comes to third-down conversions:
`10 SMU - 5-14 (35.7)
`10 UGA - 3-14 (21.4)
`11 CSU - 4-15 (26.7)
`11 B.C. - 1-12 (8.3)
UCF's defense sits in fifth of all FBS teams as offenses are converting on third down just 18.5 percent of the time vs. the Knights.
The last game in which UCF held an opponent to one third-down conversion was in 2003 vs. West Virginia (1-of-15).
MATCHUP TO WATCH
The Paul Hornung Award announced five head-to-head matchups to watch this weekend, one of which was UCF cornerback Josh Robinson vs. FIU wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
Given to the nation's most versatile player, Robinson and Hilton were both on the preseason Watch List for the award.
Robinson was on the All-C-USA First Team last season and quarterbacks have learned to throw away from him lately. However he does have one interception and two break-ups in 2011.
Hilton was the 2010 Sun Belt Player of the Year, and he has 14 receptions for 333 yards and three touchdowns this season.
RACKING UP THE PICKS
UCF extended its streak to nine-straight games with an interception when Josh Linam and A.J. Bouye both picked off passes vs. Boston College Sept. 10.
The streak began Oct. 30, 2010, vs. East Carolina.
RUN ALL YOU WANT, YOU'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE
The longest rushes UCF has permitted this season - only four have been over 10 yards:
1) Andre Williams (B.C.) - 16 (first quarter)
2) Andre Williams (B.C.) - 12 (first quarter)
3) Teddy Allen (CSU) - 11 (fourth quarter)
4) Andre Williams (B.C.) - 10 (third quarter)
UCF's defense is allowing only 1.9 yards per rushing attempt, which is the 11th-best showing the country.
Special Teams Notes
WHAT A KICKING PERFORMANCE
The senior kickers had a pretty good time vs. Boston College Sept. 10.
Nick Cattoi was a perfect 3-for-3 in field goals which gave the Knights a 9-3 halftime lead, and he connected on all three extra points as well. It was his first game with at least three field goals since he went 4-for-4 vs. Memphis Oct. 3, 2009.
Cattoi earned College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Kicker of the Week accolades for that showing vs. the Eagles.
And David Bohner booted a career-long 52-yard punt at a key moment in the third quarter to put B.C. at its own 14. He also had a 40-yarder and a 27-yarder which was fair caught on the B.C. 8-yard line.