Sept. 29, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - Boasting a 3-1 record through a tough non-conference schedule, UCF opens up its inaugural American Athletic Conference slate with a trip to Memphis Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.
UCF Game Notes in PDF Format
Saturday - Memphis, Tenn. - 4:30 p.m. ET
Memphis - 1-2 Overall, 0-0 American
UCF - 3-1 Overall, 0-0 American
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (61,000)
UCF leads 8-1
740-AM - Orlando
The Knights also traveled to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium last year as members of Conference USA. This will be the first time since Georgia Tech in 1999-00 that they visit the same stadium in consecutive seasons.
UCF and Memphis battled eight times in C-USA, with the Knights pulling out the victory on each occasion.
Since the first meeting in 1990, the Knights have scored at least 26 points in every outing vs. the Tigers, including posting 32 points or more in the last four contests.
UCF's defense has not allowed more than 24 points in any game during its eight-game streak against Memphis.
The Black and Gold has a 16-4 record vs. teams from Tennessee.
Memphis opened up with losses to Duke and Middle Tennessee, but notched a 31-7 win vs. Arkansas State for a 1-2 record in 2013.
The Tigers did not play the first week of the college football season, and had another bye last week as well.
On the ground, Memphis is averaging 199.3 yards per game while the defense is yielding just 102.3 per outing.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Paxton Lynch has a 64.9 completion percentage with two TDs and a pair of interceptions.
Junior defensive end Martin Ifedi leads the nation with 1.8 sacks per game (five total), and as a team the Tigers lead the FBS with 4.33 sacks per outing (13 overall).
LONGEST WINNING STREAKS VS. OPPONENTS
The Knights currently boast an eight-game winning streak against Memphis, which is tied for the longest over a single opponent in UCF history.
Opponent - Streak - Years
Memphis - 8 games - 2005-active
Marshall - 8 games - 2005-active
Bethune-Cookman - 6 games - 1990-active
Several Knights from the central Florida area have played key roles so far in 2013:
Player - Hometown - Notes
DB Brandon Alexander - Orlando - 20 tackles
QB Blake Bortles - Oviedo - 9 TD passes
DT E.J. Dunston - Eatonville - 3.0 TFLs
LB Michael Easton - Winter Haven - 1 forced fumble
C Joey Grant - Apopka - Starting center
DE Deion Green - Orlando - 2.0 sacks
DB Sean Maag - Orlando - 2.0 TFLs, 1 INT
PK Shawn Moffitt - Orlando - 5-5 in field goals
DB Jordan Ozerities - Mount Dora - 1.5 TFLs
THE PENALTY GAME
The Knights are 24th in the nation and first in the league by averaging just 4.5 penalties per game.
Since head coach George O'Leary took over the program in 2004, the Knights have ranked in the top 25 in fewest penalties in seven of 10 seasons.
Fewest penalties per game in the FBS:
Season - FBS Rank - Average - Team Record
2013 - 24th - 4.5 - 3-1
2012 - 13th - 4.3 - 10-4
2011 - 51st - 5.7 - 5-7
2010 - 23rd - 5.1 - 11-3
2009 - 3rd - 4.0 - 8-5
2008 - 56th - 5.7 - 4-8
2007 - 18th - 5.3 - 10-4
2006 - 14th - 4.6 - 4-8
2005 - 83rd - 7.5 - 8-5
2004 - 18th - 5.5 - 0-11
AN INCREDIBLE DAY AT BRIGHT HOUSE
UCF witnessed the second-largest crowd in Bright House Networks Stadium history flood the stands when 47,605 came out to watch the Knights battle No. 12/13 South Carolina.
It was the fourth-largest home crowd in history (UCF played at the Florida Citrus Bowl prior to 2007).
The Knights have now hosted at least one school from a BCS automatically-qualifying conference every year since the 2006 season, and nine of 10 seasons under head coach George O'Leary.
Having South Carolina and Penn State on this year's schedule, UCF has played at least two schools from AQ conferences in 17 of 18 seasons since moving up to the FBS in 1996.
LIVING UP TO THE HYPE
When UCF was busy in preseason camp, one area that received plenty of attention was the wide receivers as it had five of its six top wideouts back.
Through four games, the Knights have not disappointed. With Blake Bortles picking up where he left off, the receivers are averaging 297.5 yards per game, the highest mark since 2002 (319.8).
UCF stands 12th in the FBS with 15.26 yards per reception.
The UCF receivers (Jeff Godfrey is the lone senior):
Player - REC - YDS - TD - AVG/REC - AVG/G
Rannell Hall - 19 - 354 - 3 - 18.6 - 88.5
J.J. Worton - 13 - 177 - 3 - 13.6 - 44.2
Breshad Perriman - 11 - 290 - 1 - 26.4 - 72.5
Jeff Godfrey - 10 - 92 - 0 - 9.2 - 23.0
Josh Reese - 7 - 115 - 1 - 16.4 - 28.8
REACHING THE 100-YARD MARK
UCF's 100-yard receiving games this year:
Player - Opponent - Yards
Breshad Perriman - Akron - 3-113/1 TD
Rannell Hall - at FIU - 4-127/0 TD
J.J. Worton - at PSU - 7-101/1 TD
Rannell Hall - SC - 8-142/2 TD
Breshad Perriman - SC - 3-109/0 TD
The last time the Knights posted at least five 100-yard receiving games in a season was 2006 when it had seven.
Hall and Perriman had not recorded 100 yards in a game until 2013. The duo became the first since Rocky Ross and Mike Sims-Walker vs. Memphis Nov. 11, 2006, to post at least 100 yards in the same game.
The performance against South Carolina marked the 20th time in UCF history that two Knights racked up triple-figures in receiving yards in a game.
The last time UCF had four straight games with a 100-yard receiver was in 2005 (Brandon Marshall and Sims-Walker).
South Carolina tied a season-low with just two sacks against the UCF offensive line.
The line also limited standout defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to only two assisted tackles and one quarterback hurry.
MAKING ITS PRESENCE KNOWN
In its last 10 games dating back to 2012, UCF has scored a touchdown on its first drive of the game seven times.
THE STORM SHOW
With one more against South Carolina, Storm Johnson ranks sixth in the FBS, and first in The American, with seven rushing touchdowns.
He posted his first career touchdown reception at Penn State, and had his longest rush of his UCF career with a 58-yard touchdown run as well.
Johnson's first two seasons compared to 2013:
Seasons - GP - Attempts - Yards - TDs
2010*, 2012 - 23 - 122 - 626 - 5
2013 - 4 - 71 - 369 - 7
* - At Miami (Fla.)
Throwing for 1,174 yards through four games, Blake Bortles is on pace to finish with 3,522 yards in a 12-game season. That would rank as the third-most yards by a UCF quarterback in school history, ranking only behind Ryan Schneider (3,770 in 2002) and Daunte Culpepper (3,690 in 1998).
This year marked the first time the Oviedo native posted a 300-yard passing game, and he has done so twice already (314 vs. Akron and 358 vs. South Carolina). His 358 yards vs. the Gamecocks were the 25th most in a single game in UCF history.
Bortles' 288 passing yards at PSU were the most by a UCF QB against a BCS school dating back to Ryan Schneider's 440-yard effort vs. Syracuse in 2002.
Thanks to his outing against South Carolina, Bortles became the sixth Knight in school history to go over 5,000 yards passing with 5,191.
Bortles has thrown a touchdown pass in 12 straight games. Consecutive games with a TD pass:
Player - Dates - Games
1) Ryan Schneider - 9/22/01-11/1/03 - 28
2) Daunte Culpepper - 11/2/96-10/31/98 - 22
3) Darin Hinshaw - 11/2/91-11/14/92 - 12
Darin Hinshaw - 11/6/93-10/29/94 - 12
Vic Penn - 9/25/99-9/30/00 - 12
Steven Moffett - 11/6/04-11/5/05 - 12
Blake Bortles - 10/20/12-current - 12
Bortles earned American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for his work at Penn State (20-27, 288 yards, 3 TD).
Bortles' FBS rankings:
Category - FBS - American - Stat
Passing Efficiency - 7th - 2nd - 186.1
Yards Per Completion - 9th - 1st - 15.65
Completion Percentage - 12th - 2nd - 70.8%
Passing Yards - 21st - 3rd - 1,174
Passing Touchdowns - 23rd - 3rd - 9
Total Offense - 23rd - 3rd - 302.0
GET THE BALL OUT
Opponents have lost six of seven fumbles this year, as UCF ranks seventh in the country and first in the league in fumbles recovered.
In both 2010 and 2011, the Knights had just six fumble recoveries each season.
The Knights made it a point of emphasis in 2012 to strip the ball more, and the plan has worked. A look at fumbles and fumbles lost in the George O'Leary era (since 2004):
Season - Opp. Fumbles-Lost - UCF Fumbles-Lost
2013 - 7-6 - 6-1
2012 - 26-16 - 13-8
2011 - 13-6 - 17-10
2010 - 19-6 - 21-8
2009 - 31-16 - 15-7
2008 - 15-8 - 26-14
2007 - 16-4 - 29-15
2006 - 12-2 - 19-9
2005 - 21-13 - 21-11
2004 - 21-10 - 27-11
STANDING ITS GROUND
Facing one of the best teams in the country, UCF held No. 12/13 South Carolina scoreless in the first half, marking the first time the Gamecocks did not score in the opening 30 minutes since the Papajohns.com Bowl Jan. 2, 2010.
ON TOP YET AGAIN
Junior middle linebacker Terrance Plummer has led UCF in tackles in all four games this year, highlighted by a 14-tackle performance vs. South Carolina.
The Orange Park native also had a forced fumble and a tackle for loss against the Gamecocks.
Free safety Jason Venson was the last Knight to lead his team in tackles in four straight contests when he accomplished the feat in five consecutive outings in 2006-07 (final two games of 2006 and first three of 2007).
Plummer sits 14th nationally in total tackles by averaging 10.5 per game.
KEEP `EM IN THE BACKFIELD
The defense has amassed 26 tackles for loss, led by Terrance Plummer who has four.
UCF is averaging 6.5 tackles for loss per game, its highest average since a 7.2 mark in 2009.
DEPTH OFF THE BENCH
The starting defensive line of Thomas Niles, Deion Green, E.J. Dunston and Demetris Anderson combined for 12 tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss, a break-up and a fumble recovery (as well as a punt return) vs. South Carolina.
Coming from the sideline though, newcomers Jaryl Mamea, Seyvon Lowry and Blake Keller (two) each had at least one quarterback hurry as they forced incompletions.
Most schools do not hand out QB hurries as an official statistic, but at UCF home games, the Knights have had 10 hurries so far this year.
This Saturday, the third and fourth scoring defenses in The American meet as UCF sits third with a 16.5 average and Memphis holds fourth at 17.3.
In year one with the Knights in 2012, Sean Maag did not appear on the defense, but led special teams with 16 tackles.
As a senior in 2013, Maag received his first start in the contest with South Carolina, and ranks fourth with 20 tackles for the year.
The Orlando product also pulled in his first career interception against the Gamecocks.
Special Teams Notes
GETTING GOOD FIELD POSITION
One thing that no one saw coming this year was a UCF defensive lineman having a standard punt return, but that was what happened when South Carolina had a bad snap, and a 4-yard punt was returned by E.J. Dunston for 13 yards.
Everyday return man J.J. Worton also had a return vs. the Gamecocks, a 35-yard gallop which was his longest since a 50-yard burst at Akron Aug. 30, 2012.
With a team average of 17.8, UCF ranks 13th in the country. Worton (3-58) does not qualify individually as he has not averaged 1.2 returns per game, but if he did, his 19.3 average would be tied for sixth.
COOL, CALM AND COLLECTED
In 2012, Shawn Moffitt opened the year 8-for-8 in field-goal attempts. This year, he has kicked off 2013 by going 5-for-5.
He made both field-goal attempts at Penn State, with his 36-yard try proving to be the difference as it put UCF ahead 34-24 en route to a 34-31 victory.
Highest career field-goal percentage at UCF:
Player - Years - Percentage
1) Michael Torres - 2006-07 - .771 (37-48)
2) Charlie Pierce - 1993-96 - .754 (46-61)
3) Shawn Moffitt - 2011-pres. - .714 (20-28)
4) Fred Waczewski - 1997-98 - .677 (21-31)
Redshirt freshman Caleb Houston got his first taste of college action vs. Akron when he punted four times for a 40.0 average, including one inside the 20.
Since then, Houston's longest boot was 54 yards vs. South Carolina.
Houston is UCF's fourth different punter in the last four years.