Oct. 3, 2011
Read John Denton's Knights Insider |
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The defending Conference USA champions will begin its quest for a repeat when UCF entertains Marshall Saturday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. at Bright House Networks Stadium (originally scheduled for 4 p.m.).
UCF Game Notes
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 7 p.m.
Marshall - 2-3 Overall, 1-0 C-USA
UCF - 2-2 Overall, 0-0 C-USA
Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323)
UCF leads, 6-3
740-AM, UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_FootballSID
Bright House Sports Network
UKNIGHT IN PINK
Saturday's game is presented by Florida Hospital, and will be UCF's UKNIGHT in PINK contest. In support of the Central Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, and the Komen Central Florida Race for the Cure taking place Oct. 16 at Bright House Networks Stadium, the UCF-Marshall football game will help to serve in bringing much-needed awareness to breast cancer research.
Fans are encouraged to wear their UCF pink "PATCH" to the game, and more information is available from the UCF Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000 or visit the UCF campus Barnes & Noble.
Head coach George O'Leary is 6-1 all-time against Marshall, and if he can lock up his seventh victory over the Thundering Herd, it also would be his 100th career coaching win.
LOOKING FOR SIMILAR RESULTS
UCF has opened its season with a 2-2 record for the third-straight year.
In 2010, the 2-2 Knights went on to win nine of their next 10 games, claiming the C-USA title and an AutoZone Liberty Bowl victory over Georgia.
Back in 2009, UCF was 2-2 before finishing with an 8-5 record including a spot in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
Every year in which UCF has started with a 2-2 record or better through its first four games under George O'Leary, it has gone on to have very successful seasons:
Season - Record - Finished - Postseason
2005 - 2-2 - 8-5, 7-1 - Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl
2007 - 3-1 - 10-4, 7-1 - C-USA Champions, AutoZone Liberty Bowl
2009 - 2-2 - 8-5, 6-2 - St. Petersburg Bowl
2010 - 2-2 - 11-3, 7-1 - C-USA Champions, AutoZone Liberty Bowl
THE RIVALRY CONTINUES
This Saturday will be the 10th meeting with Marshall, which would rank as the fifth-longest series in UCF's short football history (dates back to just 1979).
UCF's longest series vs. opponents:
School (Years) - Games - Record
Bethune-Cookman (1981-95) - 15 - 10-5
Georgia Southern (1982-91) - 11 - 1-10
Liberty (1987-02) - 11 - 8-3
Samford (1985-09) - 11 - 8-3
Eastern Kentucky (1982-00) - 10 - 3-7
East Carolina (1991-10) - 10 - 2-8
Marshall (2002-10) - 9 - 6-3
Troy (1987-95) - 9 - 3-6
The two teams met three times as members of the Mid-American Conference from 2002-04 with Marshall winning all three meetings. The two teams have met six times as members of Conference USA from 2005-10 with UCF winning all six games for a 6-3 series lead.
During the current six-game winning streak, UCF has outscored Marshall, 179-96, and has outgained the Thundering Herd in rushing yards, 1,140-567, including holding them to just 11 rushing yards in 2005 and 37 last season.
UCF does not have any student-athletes from the state of West Virginia, however Marshall has 31 players from the Sunshine State.
Marshall secondary coach Mike Cassity followed George O'Leary as Georgia Tech's defensive coordinator after O'Leary left to go to the San Diego Chargers.
High school connections:
-Homestead - Homestead, Fla. - UCF WR RSr. A.J. Guyton. MAR DB Fr. Keith Baxter.
-Miami Central - Miami, Fla. - UCF QB So. Jeff Godfrey, LB Fr. Miles Pace, DB RFr. Jamar McClain, DL RFr. LeBranden Richardson, WR RFr. Josh Reese and DL So. Jose Jose. MAR QB Fr. Rakeem Cato, WR Fr. Tommy Shuler.
-Southridge - Miami, Fla. - UCF OL RSr. Cliff McCray, So. Jordan McCray and So. Justin McCray. MAR DB RFr. Phillip Warren and WR So. Jermaine Kelson.
-Gainesville - Gainesville, Ga. - UCF DL Fr. Thomas Niles. MAR OL Sr. C.J. Wood.
GODFREY TEARING UP THE RECORD BOOK
After collecting two more at BYU, quarterback Jeff Godfrey has eight rushing touchdowns this year.
Godfrey's game-by-game rushing TDs in 2011:
Opponent - Rushing TDs
Charleston Southern - 3 (tied UCF QB record)
Boston College - 2
at FIU - 1
at BYU - 2
FBS quarterbacks in 2011:
Quarterback - Rushing TDs - Avg. Per GP
1) Jeff Godfrey, UCF - 8 - 2.0
2) Trent Steelman, Army - 9 - 1.8
3) Kriss Proctor, Navy - 7 - 1.75
4) Taylor Martinez, Nebraska - 8 - 1.6
5) Denard Robinson, Michigan - 6 - 1.5
C-USA leaders in rushing touchdowns in 2011:
Player - Rushing TDs - Avg. Per GP
1) RB Zach Line, SMU - 11 - 2.2
2) QB Jeff Godfrey, UCF - 8 - 2.0
3) RB Michael Hayes, Houston - 5 - 1.0
3) RB Leilyon Myers, UTEP - 5 - 1.0
3) RB Bryce Beall, Houston - 5 - 1.0
There are only two quarterbacks in UCF history which rank in the all-time top-10 in rushing touchdowns: Daunte Culpepper and Godfrey.
The sophomore has 18 rushing touchdowns in just 18 total games with the Knights, while Culpepper had 24 in 44-career games.
Quarterback - Rushing TDs - Career Games
1) Daunte Culpepper - 24 - 44
2) Jeff Godfrey - 18 - 18
UCF's career top-10 in rushing touchdowns:
Player - Rushing TDs - Years
1) Kevin Smith - 45 - 2005-07
2) Willie English - 38 - 1989-91, `93
3) Alex Haynes - 27 - 2001-04
4) Daunte Culpepper - 24 - 1995-98
5) Mark Giacone - 22 - 1987, `89-90
6) Mike Grant - 20 - 1995-98
7) Elgin Davis - 19 - 1983-86
7) Marquette Smith - 19 - 1994-95
7) Gerod Davis - 19 - 1992-95
10) Jeff Godfrey - 18 - 2010-pres.
(Latavius Murray trails Godfrey with 17)
Godfrey is on pace to have 24 rushing touchdowns during the 2011 12-game regular season, which would rank second in single-season history (Kevin Smith holds the record with 29 in 14 games in 2007).
And if Godfrey can keep up this pace for his career while playing in 50 games (not including any postseason games UCF may play in), he would rack up 50 touchdowns on the ground. Smith holds that record as well with 45 in three years from 2005-07.
THAT'S BEING EFFICIENT
The lone school which has two quarterbacks in the C-USA top 10 for passing efficiency, UCF's Blake Bortles (186.4) ranks first and starter Jeff Godfrey (138.1) sits in fifth.
Godfrey has completed at least 60.0 percent of his passes in all four games this year, while Bortles hit on 80.0 percent vs. Charleston Southern (8-for-10) and again at BYU (4-for-5).
SENIOR BLOWS UP AT BYU
UCF amassed 318 passing yards at BYU Sept. 23, which were its most yards in the air since it had 342 vs. Marshall Nov. 1, 2009.
A total of 51.3 percent of those yards went to senior A.J. Guyton as he finished with a career-high 163 yards on nine receptions.
The 163 receiving yards were the most since Mike Sims-Walker vs. Rice Oct. 21, 2006, when he had 169 on 13 receptions.
Guyton's performance ranked tied for 22nd in UCF single-game history.
A PRIMARY TARGET
Junior Quincy McDuffie totaled a combined 21 receptions for 270 yards in his first two seasons with the Knights.
But this year alone, the Orlando native has a team-high 18 receptions with 175 yards.
2011 Opponent - REC - YDS
CSU - 2 - 14
B.C. - 5 - 41
at FIU - 6 - 70
at BYU - 5 - 50
Totals - 18 - 175
First-Two Seasons - 21 - 270
Career - 39 - 445
The Knights are averaging 232.5 passing yards per game, which is the most since 2006 when they completed that season with 233.8 yards a game.
Year-by-year passing numbers under head coach George O'Leary:
Season - Comp. % - PASS YPG
2011 - 69.9 - 232.5
2010 - 64.5 - 186.4
2009 - 58.8 - 210.3
2008 - 42.9 - 116.2
2007 - 57.2 - 176.9
2006 - 59.6 - 233.8
2005 - 59.1 - 234.2
2004 - 58.3 - 167.6
While the passing game may be racking up the yards, UCF's offense overall is having a very busy season as well.
Year-by-year total offense under head coach George O'Leary:
Season - Total YDS - YPG
2011 - 1,681 - 420.2
2010 - 5,236 - 374.0
2009 - 4,431 - 340.8
2008 - 2,754 - 229.5
2007 - 5,763 - 411.6
2006 - 4,478 - 373.2
2005 - 5,217 - 401.3
2004 - 2,671 - 267.1
* - Single-season record for total offense per game is 487.7 in 1998. The current 420.2 YPG in 2011 would rank sixth.
THE ONE AND ONLY
UCF stands as the only team in the country which has yet to yield a passing touchdown. Navy and Maryland have allowed one, while Texas has surrendered two this year.
A breakdown of UCF's starting secondary:
Junior Cornerback Josh Robinson
5-10/192 - Sunrise, Fla./Plantation
2010 All-C-USA First Team
-Quarterbacks have shied away from Robinson ever since he amassed six interceptions as a true freshman in 2009.
-In 2011, has nine tackles, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and six break-ups.
-For his career, he ranks fifth all-time at UCF with 10 interceptions (record is 16 by Joe Burnett) and seventh with 27 pass break-ups (record is 38 by Asante Samuel).
Junior Cornerback A.J. Bouye
6-0/179 - Tucker, Ga./Tucker
-Bouye also began his career as a true freshman in 2009, but finally got his first start in 2010 where he finished with 26 tackles, seven break-ups and one pick.
-Through four games in 2011, boasts nine tackles, 1.5 TFLs, one interception and two break-ups.
Junior Free Safety Kemal Ishmael
5-11/211 - Miami, Fla./North Miami Beach
2010 All-C-USA First Team
-The third member of the secondary who broke out as a true freshman, Ishmael is one of, if not the best tackler on the team.
-He piled up 163 tackles through his first two seasons, including a team-high 93 in 2010.
-Paced the Knights with 10 tackles at BYU, and has 24 this year.
-Has picked off three passes while notching six break-ups in three seasons.
Redshirt Freshman Strong Safety Clayton Geathers
6-3/200 - Hemingway, S.C./Carvers Bay
-Although he redshirted after playing in just one game as a true freshman in 2010, Geathers was the immediate choice to replace Reggie Weams as the UCF strong safety for 2011.
-Was an all-state defensive back in 2009 for Carvers Bay High School.
-In his first full season as a Knight, has totaled 13 tackles with a break-up.
A C-USA COMPARISON
UCF is first in Conference USA in four of the top five defensive categories (third in rushing).
In terms of scoring, total and passing defense, the Knights are far and away the league leaders.
C-USA School - Scoring Defense
1) UCF - 11.0 PPG
2) Southern Miss - 19.4 PPG
3) SMU - 20.6 PPG
4) Houston - 26.6 PPG
C-USA School - Total Defense
1) UCF - 189.5 YPG
2) SMU - 296.6 YPG
3) Southern Miss - 302.0 YPG
4) East Carolina - 384.8 YPG
C-USA School - Passing Defense
1) UCF - 103.5 YPG
2) East Carolina - 183.8 YPG
3) SMU - 211.2 YPG
4) Tulane - 217.8 YPG
LEADING THE NATION AS WELL
UCF also sits pretty high in the entire country in the five major statistical categories.
FBS School - Passing Defense
1) UCF - 103.50 YPG
2) Michigan State - 109.40 YPG
3) South Carolina - 150.80 YPG
FBS School - Passing Efficiency Defense
1) UCF - 73.36 Rating
2) Alabama - 83.34 Rating
3) Michigan State - 83.40 Rating
FBS School - Total Defense
1) Michigan State - 173.40 YPG
2) UCF - 189.50 YPG
3) Alabama - 191.60 YPG
FBS School - Scoring Defense
1) Alabama - 8.40 PPG
2) Michigan State - 10.20 PPG
2) Wisconsin - 10.20 PPG
4) Michigan - 10.25 PPG
5) UCF - 11.00 PPG
FBS School - Rushing Defense
1) Alabama - 39.60 YPG
14) SMU - 85.40 YPG
15) UCF - 86.00 YPG
AN INTERESTING MATCHUP
Ranking 16th in the nation with just three rushing touchdowns allowed, UCF's defense will be matched up against a Marshall team which has yet to record a rushing TD.
The Thundering Herd rank 110th in the nation in rushing and is the only the school without a rushing touchdown.
Special Teams Notes
STEADY AS HE GOES
After a 52-yarder vs. Boston College, senior punter David Bohner set his career-long for the second-straight weekend when he booted a personal-best 63-yard punt at FIU Sept. 17.
For the season, the Matthews, N.C., native has booted 13 punts for 559 yards, with four traveling at least 50 yards and six landing inside the 20. Bohner has just two touchbacks while forcing punt returners to signal for a fair catch three times.
Bohner was stuck behind Blake Clingan in 2010 after transferring from Navy, and had just eight punts a year ago. Yet as a senior he has a 43.0 average and that would rank fifth in UCF single-season history if 2011 ended today.