UCF Football Game Notes - ECU Oct. 4

GO KNIGHTS Fans attending the UCF-ECU game Thursday can help support breast cancer research.
Fans attending the UCF-ECU game Thursday can help support breast cancer research.

Sept. 30, 2012

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF's final quest through Conference USA begins Thursday night as it hosts East Carolina at 8 p.m. in a contest that will be presented by Florida Hospital. It will be the C-USA opener for the Knights, while the Pirates are 2-0 in league play.

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Game Details:
Thursday - Orlando, Fla. - 8 p.m.
2012 Records:
East Carolina - 3-2 Overall, 2-0 C-USA
UCF - 2-2 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323)
ECU leads, 9-2
Live Coverage:
740-AM - Orlando
540-AM - Maitland
1350-AM - Clearwater
1340-AM - Daytona Beach
770-AM - Fort Myers
UCF Gameday
CBS Sports Network

Team Notes
• The Knights (2-2) are looking to finish their last season in C-USA by becoming the first team to win three C-USA Championship Games, but the road to the title begins Thursday vs. the Pirates (3-2, 2-0).
• In 2011 at ECU, the game was tied 17-17 at halftime and 31-31 late in the fourth, but the Pirates' Torrance Hunt had a 56-yard run with 2:10 left for a 38-31 win to take a 9-2 lead in the series.
• This will be the second Thursday game of the year as UCF opened 2012 with a 56-14 victory at Akron Aug. 30. The Knights are 3-3 all-time on Thursdays.
• Six of the last eight meetings between the Knights and the Pirates have produced at least four-combined turnovers.
• With a 2-0 record in C-USA, the East Division leading Pirates (3-2) have wins over Appalachian State, Southern Miss and UTEP.
• In their most-recent win, a 28-18 decision vs. UTEP, quarterback Shane Carden was 28-for-40 and tossed three picks, but threw one touchdown and ran for two more. He is completing 60.9 percent of his passes this year, while Rio Johnson is 46-for-72 in 2012. The duo both have four interceptions.
• Ten different players have one sack apiece, while Adonis Armstron has one interception and nine break-ups.
• ECU's offensive line gave up seven sacks Sept. 22 at North Carolina, then zero vs. UTEP Sept. 29.

• UCFAA, in cooperation with game sponsor Florida Hospital, selected Oct. 4 to increase awareness and support for breast cancer research.
• Also involved is the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This year's Race for the Cure will take place Oct. 21 at UCF, and signing up will give runners the chance to purchase tickets for the ECU game for just $20. Two dollars of each ticket purchased is donated to a local breast cancer research organization or charity.
• Breast cancer information:
- A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes, and one will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the U.S. (Komen stat).
-Cancer is one of four areas of focus for researchers at UCF's Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences.
-UCF professor Karl X. Chai is studying proteins that could inhibit growth in prostate and breast cancer, preventing them from spreading.
-Chemistry professor Kevin Belfield uses near infrared light and fluorescent dye to take pictures of cells and tumors deep within tissue.
-Belfield and a Sanford-Burnham Institute scientist are pursuing a non-invasive technique that someday may replace biopsies.
-By carrying drugs instead of a dye, the technique also may eventually be used to help treat breast cancer and other forms of cancer.

• All UCF faculty and staff qualify for this promotion, which consists of a 20% discount off the single-game price. A pregame tailgate party for faculty and staff who purchase the discounted ticket or are season ticket holders is hosted at IOA Plaza beginning three hours prior to kickoff.
• Classes will end at noon Thursday, and single-game admission for all UCF students is free with a valid ID.

• The Knights have a 4-3 record in C-USA openers, including posting victories in their last two.
• This will be the sixth time in eight seasons since joining the league in 2005 in which UCF hosts its C-USA opener.

• UCF was whistled for just one penalty (five yards) vs. Missouri. The last time it had just one penalty in a non-conference game was against Texas in 2009.
• In three of the Knights' last five contests, they were called for two penalties or less (one vs. UTEP in 2011, two at Akron and one vs. MU in 2012).
• The Black and Gold ranks third in the country by averaging only 3.5 penalties per game in 2012. Its opponent this week, East Carolina, stands at fifth with a 3.8 average. The national leader is Kansas State (2.0).

• UCF is averaging just over 38,000 fans per home game this season, which is good for second in Conference USA, trailing only East Carolina.

Offense Notes
• UCF's rushing attack proved to be very dynamic in 2010-11, highlighted by Jeff Godfrey rushing for 19 touchdowns as the quarterback those two seasons.
• Both of those years, the Knights had more rushing than passing touchdowns.
• In 2012, UCF already has 11 TDs through the air (compared to five on the ground), which equals the entire output from 2011.
• The Knights are on pace to rack up 33 passing touchdowns during the regular season, which would eclipse the school record.
• Most passing touchdowns in a season:
Season - Passing TD
1) 2002 - 31
T2) 1987 - 29
T2) 1992 - 29
T2) 1993 - 29
T2) 1998 - 29
* 2012 - On pace for 33 in the reg. season
• Highest average of TD passes per game in UCF history:
Season - TD - Games - Average
1) 1992 - 29 - 10 - 2.90
2) 2012 - 11 - 4 - 2.75
3) 1998 - 29 - 11 - 2.64
4) 2002 - 31 - 12 - 2.58
T5) 2000 - 27 - 11 - 2.45
T5) 1994 - 27 - 11 - 2.45

• UCF President Dr. John C. Hitt recognized senior center Jordan Rae during the State of the University Address Sept. 25. Rae was honored for the successes he has had on and off the football field.
• Rae graduated with a degree in finance, has started 21-straight games and is a candidate for the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the best center in the nation.
• The Weston native is currently working on his master's degree in business. He began his UCF career as a walk-on with the defensive line before switching over to center before the 2010 C-USA title season.

Jeff Godfrey continues to perform in multiple ways in his first season as a wide receiver.
• The Miami product is fourth on the team with 11 receptions for 96 yards, as well as fourth in rushing with 46 yards on six carries.
• Thanks to his passing touchdown against FIU and his first-career receiving touchdown vs. Missouri, Godfrey needs just one rushing score this year to put his name among an elite group.
• If Godfrey, who ranks eighth all-time with 19 rushing touchdowns, can get his first of the 2012 campaign, he would become the fourth player in school history with a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown in the same season.
-QB Darin Hinshaw - 24 passing, 1 REC, 1 RUSH 1992
-WR Mike Dickinson - 2 passing, 4 REC, 1 RUSH 1992
-WR Sean Beckton - 3 passing, 7 REC, 2 RUSH 1990*
*UCF's wide receivers coach, Beckton set an NCAA record with a passing, receiving, rushing and punt return for a touchdown vs. Texas Southern in 1990

• In his first year as the starting quarterback out of Oviedo, sophomore Blake Bortles is closing in on 1,000 passing yards this year. Last season he finished with 958 yards in 10 games off the bench.
• Against Missouri, he set career-highs with 29 completions, 43 attempts and 267 passing yards.
• Comparing Bortles from 2011 to 2012:
Season - GP-GS - C-A-I - PCT - YDS - TD - EFF
2011 - 10-0 - 75-110-3 - 68.2 - 958 - 6 - 153.88
2012 - 4-4 - 87-130-5 - 66.9 - 935 - 9 - 142.49
• Bortles has two games this year in which in had at least 25 completions and 40 attempts. Steven Moffett in 2004 was the last UCF quarterback to post 25 completions or more twice in the same season. Meanwhile, Ryan Schneider was the last Knight to attempt at least 40 passes in two games or more when he did it three times in 2003.

• Facing Missouri Sept. 29, Blake Bortles (29-for-43 with 267 yards) connected with 11 different receivers, led by J.J. Worton and Quincy McDuffie who each had five.
• The last time at least 11 Knights hauled in a reception during a single game was at Akron Oct. 26, 2002. During that 28-17 UCF victory, Ryan Schneider completed passes to 11 different players en route to finishing 22-for-28 with 287 yards at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

• In the first half vs. Missouri, Blake Bortles completed 12-straight passes, which tied for the second-longest streak in program history.
• Consecutive pass completions:
Player - Number - Opponent
1) Daunte Culpepper - 15 - Samford, 10/11/97
T2) Blake Bortles - 12 - Missouri, 9/29/12
T2) Daunte Culpepper - 12 - EKU, 8/31/95
T2) Daunte Culpepper - 12 - UAB, 11/9/96
T2) Ryan Schneider - 12 - Northern Illinois,10/7/00
T2) Brett Hodges - 12 - Houston, 11/14/09

Defense Notes
• Senior defensive back Lyle Dankenbring was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation.
• Dankenbring was the only C-USA student-athlete selected as a semifinalist.
• The native of Palm City received his bachelor's degree in political science in 2011, and has registered four-straight 4.0 semesters while working on his master's degree in social science education.
• Dankenbring has 52 career tackles with two interceptions, including one against Akron in the 2012 season opener. He made his second-career start vs. Missouri Sept. 29.

• Miami native Kemal Ishmael is searching for just two more tackles to crack UCF's top-10 all-time.
• The senior safety has 277 for his career, while Cory Hogue produced 279 from 2006-09.
• Ishmael has 33 tackles in 2012, and is on pace for 99 this season. That would give him 343, which would be good for fifth in the all-time record book.
• Safety Jason Venson holds the record for most tackles by a defensive back when he racked up 322 from 2005-08.
• Most career tackles by a UCF defensive back:
Player - Tackles - Seasons
1) FS Jason Venson - 322 - 2005-08
2) SS Atari Bigby - 296 - 2001-04
3) FS Kemal Ishmael - 277 - 2009-12
• Facing Missouri, Ishmael also delivered with his first interception since 2010, and it was his fourth of his career. He also forced a fumble and finished with six tackles.

• After Missouri went just 1-for-11 on third downs, opponents are converting 29.1 percent of its third-down chances in 2012 to help the UCF defense rank 16th in the FBS.
• The low percentage is helped by the fact that teams are typically faced with 3rd-and-long situations compared to 3rd-and-short.
• Breaking down opponents' third-down conversions vs. the UCF defense:
1-4 Yards To Go - 5-9 YTG - 10+ YTG
7-of-15 - 5-of-20 - 4-of-20
• Holding Missouri to just one third-down conversion was not uncommon lately for the Knights' defense. In 2011, Boston College (one), Memphis (two) and Marshall (two) all failed to rack up more than two third-down conversions.
• Meanwhile, teams have gone for it on fourth down against the Knights 12 times and achieved the first down on six occasions.
• Only two other teams' defenses have faced more fourth-down attempts: Northern Illinois 8-of-14 and Penn State 7-of-13.

• Dating back to last year, senior defensive end Troy Davis has 9.0 sacks in the last nine games.
• Davis had 5.0 sacks in 2011, all in the final five games, while this season he already has racked up 4.0 sacks in just four outings. His career-high is 5.5 in 2010.
• He currently ranks tied for 20th in the nation by averaging one sack a game.
• Davis' game-by-game numbers in the last nine contests:
Opponent - Date - TACK - TFL - SACK - FF
Memphis - 10/29/11 - 1-2-3 - 2.0 - 1.0 - 0
Tulsa - 11/3/11 - 2-1-3 - 0.0 - 0.0 - 0
at USM - 11/12/11 - 1-1-2 - 1.5 - 1.0 - 0
at ECU - 11/19/11 - 2-2-4 - 1.0 - 1.0 - 0
UTEP - 11/25/11 - 4-0-4 - 2.0 - 2.0 - 1
at Akron - 8/30/12 - 0-0-0 - 0.0 - 0.0 - 0
at OSU - 9/8/12 - 3-4-7 - 2.0 - 0.5 - 0
FIU - 9/15/12 - 4-3-7 - 2.0 - 2.0 - 2
Missouri - 9/29/12 - 1-4-5 - 1.5 - 1.5 - 0
Totals - 9 Games - 18-17-35 - 12.0 - 9.0 - 3
• The Georgia native tied a school record with two forced fumbles vs. FIU Sept. 15. It was the 10th time since the program's inception in 1979 that a Knight forced two fumbles in a game.

• UCF has forced at least one fumble in eight-consecutive games, a feat it had not accomplished since 2001-02.
• Combined in those two seasons, the Knights forced a fumble in 10-straight outings, including the final eight games of 2001 and the first two of 2002.
• This year the Knights have forced six fumbles in just four games. In the head coach George O'Leary era (since 2004), the most forced fumbles in a season was 17 in 2009.

• Sophomore cornerback Brandon Alexander has received the starting spot the previous two games, and he broke up two passes each against FIU and Missouri. He also had a TFL vs. the Panthers.
• Alexander has racked up two break-ups in each of his last three starts, including a pair vs. UTEP to wrap up 2011.
• The Orlando product has a team-high four break-ups in 2012. As a true freshman, he made five starts in 10 games and broke up five passes, but he is still searching for his first-career interception.