Oct. 7, 2010
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By John Denton
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - No matter where UCF's football players went over the past week - to the locker room, to the weight room and even at the team's pregame hotel - there were posted reminders of the Knights' humiliating 15-0 loss to UAB back in 2008.
The Knights' senior class, the largest at UCF under head coach George O'Leary, used the dismal memory of that home defeat to UAB two seasons ago as motivation for Wednesday night's game.
In that game, the Knights played well defensively, allowing just five field goals. But the Knights couldn't generate much offensively at all and were shut out for just the second time in the O'Leary era.
``I remember that game being not too pretty,'' UCF star defensive end Bruce Miller said. ``We had a chip on our shoulder for them. The past two years we haven't played too well against (UAB). We won last year, but defensively they torched us. We've been watching those films to make sure we had those mistakes fixed.''
Those corrections proved evident Wednesday night as UCF raced to a 28-0 lead and rolled in the second half with a dominant 42-7 whipping of UAB.
``In the three years that I've been here we've never blown them out and they had never blown us out and it was always a physical grind for four quarters,'' said senior linebacker Derrick Hallman, who played in the 15-0 loss two seasons ago and had six tackles, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry on Wednesday night. ``The biggest margin was 15-0 and all week we talked about that loss. We talked about jumping on teams early and that's what we tried to do being up 21-0 at halftime. We wanted to keep our foot on the gas the whole game.''
YOUNG AGAIN: Eighteen days after suffering a mild concussion in UCF's win against Buffalo, senior Lawrence Young was back on the field Wednesday night for his 40th game in a Knights uniform.
More so than the pain and lingering effects suffered after the concussion, Young was miserable 10 days ago when he had to stay home and watch UCF's heartbreaking 17-13 loss to Kansas State. Particularly painful for Young was watching K-State drive 67 yards in the final minutes for the game-winning touchdown.
``It was very tough to watch because I saw a few things that maybe I could have done that would have made a difference,'' Young said. ``I had to watch the game alone because I really didn't want to be around anybody else during the game.''
Despite missing the Kansas State game, Young entered Wednesday's game ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 18 stops. He had six more tackles Wednesday night and now has 205 career stops, five sacks and 27 tackles for loss.
NO GUYTON: The Knights were without standout receiver A.J. Guyton on Wednesday night because of lingering knee, ankle and heel injuries. Guyton was bothered by knee trouble two weeks ago and then suffered two more injuries in the K-State loss.
He sprained his ankle following his first catch and later went down in a heap with a heel injury even though he appeared on his way to a long touchdown catch and run.
Guyton had hoped to play Wednesday night, but was unable to practice this past week. UCF coach George O'Leary has a policy that players must practice the three days before games in order to play.
Guyton, a senior, has 16 catches for 201 yards - both team highs for the Knights. He caught a touchdown pass from Rob Calabrese in the season-opening win against South Dakota.
QUICK HITS: An airplane flying over Bright House Networks Stadium before Wednesday night's game was promoting former UCF star quarterback Daunte Culpepper's return to Orlando on Oct. 21 as a member of the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL. Culpepper, who played at UCF from 1995-98, was UCF's first FBS era All-American selection. ... Offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe coached from the sidelines rather than the press box for the first time in his two seasons at UCF. Taaffe moved downstairs so that he could work face-to-face with freshman quarterback Jeff Godfrey. ... With Miller's first-quarter sack Wednesday night, the 30th of his career, he moved into a tie for seventh all-time among all college football players in the state of Florida. Miller is now tied with former Miami Hurricanes defensive Kenny Holmes with 30 career sacks. Miller now has three sacks this season and 49 tackles for a loss in his UCF career. ... UCF freshman quarterback Jeff Godfrey has run for 99 and 80 yards in the past two games. His 283 rushing yards already ranks third all-time in UCF school history for a quarterback and he's on pace to break Daunte Culpepper's 1998 record of 463 rushing yards.
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John Denton's Knights Insider appears on UCFAthletics.com several times a week. E-mail John at email@example.com.