Knights to Open C-USA Play at UTEP

GO KNIGHTS Rocky Ross and the Knights will open C-USA play Saturday at UTEP.
Rocky Ross and the Knights will open C-USA play Saturday at UTEP.

Sept. 26, 2008

Knights Football Central
UCF Game Notes

Saturday, Sept. 27 • Sun Bowl Stadium • 8 p.m. Eastern
Television: CBS College Sports (Carter Blackburn, Brian Jones, Rocket Ismail)
Radio: UCF ISP Sports Radio Network • Marc Daniels (play-by-play), Gary Parris (color), Jerry O'Neill (sideline reporter), Scott Adams (reporter)
WQTM 740AM - Orlando, WMMV 1350AM Cocoa, WDCF 1350AM - Dade City, WROD 1340AM - Daytona Beach, WMMB 1240AM - Melbourne, WLVJ 1040AM/WKAT 1360 AM - Miami, Fort Lauderdale, South Palm Beach), WPSL 1590AM - Treasure Coast/North Palm Beach, WZHR 1400AM - Zephyrhills
Internet: Live audio and statistics at

When UCF (1-2, 0-0 C-USA) has the ball
Saturday evening, the Knights travel to UTEP for the first time in school history. Last season, the Knights hosted the Miners and won 36-20. Coming into this game, the Knights are led in rushing by junior quarterback Michael Greco who has gained 162 yards on the year. Greco gained 44 of those yards on one play that set up his one-yard touchdown run against Boston College last week. Although Greco has had success running the ball, the Knights are still looking for their first 100-yard rusher in a game this season. The wide receiving corps will get a boost when sophomore Kamar Aiken returns from injury this week. Aiken led the team last season with five touchdowns receptions while averaging a team-leading 17.7 yards per catch. Sophomore Brian Watters led the team in receptions last week with six for 59 yards, but the team only averages 123 yards passing per game. They will have their chances this week against a Miner defense that gives up 39 points, and 277 yards passing per game. The Miner defense is led by senior linebacker Adam Vincent. Vincent leads the team in total tackles with 22 on the season.



When UTEP (0-3, 0-0 C-USA) has the ball
The Miners have struggled to an 0-3 start to the season, with all of the loses coming to out-of-conference opponents. The offense last week went from a passing team to an option team when sophomore quarterback Trevor Vittatoe suffered an injury early in the game against New Mexico State. Sophomore wide receiver/quarterback James Thomas II took over and led the team with 142 yards rushing, including a 44-yard scamper for a touchdown. Thomas also leads the team in rushing with 191 yards on the season. Sophomore wide receiver Kris Adams leads a Miner passing attack that averages 187 yards per game, with eight catches for 132 yards on the season. The Miners face a tough task when going up against a Knights' defense that totaled three interceptions and had 10 pass break ups in last week's loss to Boston College. The Knights have now caused eight turnovers on the year, which ranks first in Conference USA. The Knights' defense is also third in the conference giving up only 345 yards of total offense per game.

Game changers
With the Knights struggling to run the ball, the offense will need to throw more to open up the running lanes. Senior wide receiver Rocky Ross looks to lead the Knights in receptions for the second-straight season. Greco has shown his faith in Ross by getting him the ball a team-leading 12 times this year. In last season's game against UTEP, Ross led the team with seven catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. With Vittatoe injured, Thomas will lead the Miners' offense. The "run/gun" proved to be dangerous against New Mexico State last weekend, and UTEP head coach Mike Price will call upon Thomas to lead the offense. This will be Thomas' first start at quarterback since high school.

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