Oct. 8, 2012
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF's longest homestand since 1999 comes to a close Saturday, Oct. 13, when the Knights host Southern Miss at 8 p.m. Dating back to Sept. 8 at Ohio State, the Black and Gold has been home for four-straight games.
UCF Game Notes
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 8 p.m.
Southern Miss - 0-5 Overall, 0-1 C-USA
UCF - 3-2 Overall, 1-0 C-USA
Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323)
USM leads, 6-1
740-AM - Orlando
540-AM - Maitland
1350-AM - Clearwater
1340-AM - Daytona Beach
770-AM - Fort Myers
CBS Sports Network
The Knights (3-2, 1-0) are riding a come-from-behind 40-20 victory over East Carolina Oct. 4, while the Golden Eagles (0-5, 0-1) are searching for their first victory of 2012.
Saturday will be Hispanic Heritage Day and will be a true UCF fiesta with salsa dancers, traditional Hispanic food, raffle prizes and giveaways. Estrella TV and Rumba radio will be on-site for all of the festivities.
In 2011 vs. the Golden Eagles, UCF scored 20 fourth-quarter points including a 25-yard touchdown from Blake Bortles to J.J. Worton with no time left, but the two-point conversion failed and No. 25/23 USM won, 30-29.
UCF has lost four-consecutive games with Southern Miss, and trails in the series, 6-1. The Knights' lone win came in a 34-17 decision in 2007 in Hattiesburg.
The winner of every game in the series has won the turnover battle. USM currently has a plus-8 advantage in turnovers vs. UCF.
Traveling to Orlando with a 0-5 record including a C-USA loss to ECU, Southern Miss is coming off a 40-14 defeat to Boise State.
The Golden Eagles have not scored more than 20 points in a game in 2012, while quarterbacks Anthony Alford (41), Ricky Lloyd (37) and Chris Campbell (37) all have at least 37 pass attempts in 2012. As a team, USM is averaging 135.4 passing yards a game.
Senior RB Desmond Johnson holds a 75.0 average per game.
Southern Miss is minus-7 in the turnover department, as the defense has one fumble recovery and three interceptions.
Senior DL Jamie Collins leads the defense with 45 tackles, 8.0 TFLs, 3.0 sacks and three break-ups.
LOCAL PLAYERS CONTRIBUTING FOR UCF
UCF may have loads of talent from across the state of Florida, but several Knights committed to their hometown school and are now having impressive seasons in a Black and Gold uniform.
Player - High School - Note
CB Brandon Alexander - Evans - 1 INT, 4 BRUP
QB Blake Bortles - Oviedo - 10 TD passes
FB Billy Giovanetti - Bishop Moore - 2 TD REC
DL Victor Gray - Dr. Phillips - 4.5 TFL
DL Deion Green - Edgewater - 2.0 Sacks
DB Sean Maag - Cypress Creek - 6 Spec. Team Tackles
WR Quincy McDuffie - Edgewater - KR TD vs. ECU
PK Shawn Moffitt - Dr. Phillips - 4-for-4 vs. ECU
LS Scott Teal - Lake Brantley - Starting LS
DOWN 14? NO SWEAT
UCF fell behind to East Carolina 14-0 early in the first quarter before countering with 20-unanswered points in a 40-20 victory.
It was the Knights' first come-from-behind win when they trailed by at least 10 points since Nov. 14, 2009, when they topped No. 13/12 Houston 37-32 after falling behind 17-3.
That 2009 season witnessed UCF come from behind by at least 10 points three times to notch a win (trailed Rice 21-9 and won 31-28, trailed Marshall 17-7 and earned a 21-20 victory).
UCF is averaging just over 36,000 fans per home game this season, which is good for second in Conference USA, trailing only East Carolina.
UCF-SOUTHERN MISS CONNECTIONS
Southern Miss' defensive line coach Lorenzo Costantini was UCF's D-line coach from 2000-03.
Costantini was at UAB from 2007-11 as the Blazers' defensive line coach, the same time span when current UCF linebackers coach Tyson Summers was at UAB as its linebackers (2007-10) and safeties/co-special teams coordinator (2011).
Also at UAB during the 2011 season was USM defensive coordinator Tommy West, who was in the same position with the Blazers a year ago.
USM secondary coach Maurice Drayton lettered at The Citadel from 1996-98. UCF offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe was The Citadel's head coach from 1987-96.
The Knights do not have a player on their roster from the Magnolia State.
The Golden Eagles have 10 players who call the Sunshine State home.
OVIEDO'S OWN Blake Bortles
Game-by-game highlights of sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles so far in 2012:
-Akron - In his first-collegiate start, was 13-for-16 for 168 yards and three touchdowns. It was the first time since Kyle Israel vs. UTEP on Nov. 24, 2007, that a UCF QB had three touchdown passes in a game.
-No. 14 OSU - UCF's 16 points was its largest output on the road vs. a ranked non-conference team since 2003 at No. 9 Virginia Tech (lost, 49-28).
-FIU - Went 20-for-30 with 251 yards and two touchdowns.
-Missouri - Was 29-for-43 with 267 yards and connected with 11 different receivers. The last time at least 11 Knights hauled in a reception during a single game was at Akron Oct. 26, 2002. In the first half, completed 12-straight passes, which tied for the second-longest streak in program history.
-ECU - Set a career-high with 269 passing yards on just a 15-for-21 day. Also had a personal-best 62 rushing yards on six carries with one touchdown.
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 - 153.9
2012 - 5-5 - 102-151-5 - 67.5 - 1,204 - 10 - 149.8
Career - 15-5 - 177-261-8 - 67.8 - 2,162 - 16 - 151.5
RACKING UP THE YARDS
The Knights are averaging 400.0 yards of total offense per game in 2012. Last season it finished with a 406.8 average.
The last time UCF had back-to-back seasons in which it amassed at least 400.0 yards of total offense was 2001-02.
GIVING THE QB SOME TIME
In the win over East Carolina, Blake Bortles had plenty of time to operate as his offensive line did not yield a sack all night.
ECU had four tackles for loss in that game, but they went for a total of just four yards. By comparison, the Knights' defense amassed six TFLs for 37 yards, including a pair of sacks for 26 yards.
UCF ranks third in C-USA by giving up just 1.4 sacks per game.
FAMILIARITY ON THE LINE
Not only does UCF have identical twins in RG Jordan and RT Justin McCray anchoring the right side of the line, but the Knights have started the same five players on the offensive line in each of the first five games.
UCF's offensive line in 2012:
Player - Career Starts - Consecutive Starts
LT Torrian Wilson - 9 - 6
LG Theo Goins - 27 - 10
C Jordan Rae - 30 - 22
RG Jordan McCray - 6 - 5
RT Justin McCray - 10 - 5
The last time UCF had the same starting five through the first five games of a season was 2007. That year, it went six games before giving freshman Jah Reid his first start at RT in game seven, and he would go on to be selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft by Baltimore. The Knights also would win the C-USA title during that 2007 season.
J.J. Worton may lead UCF in receptions with 17, but he has gone two games without posting a catch (Akron, ECU).
In those two contests, Worton demonstrated his talent in the punt return game instead. At Akron, he ran back three punts for 73 yards highlighted by a 50-yard effort, while he had 34 yards on two returns vs. the Pirates.
With a 14.45 average, Worton ranks 19th in the nation, and is far away the leader in C-USA:
Player - School - Punt Ret. Average
1) J.J. Worton - UCF - 14.5 (11-159)
2) Mike Edwards - UTEP - 7.8 (11-86)
The UCF record for single-season punt return average is 16.5 by Joe Burnett in 2005.
DIFFICULTY ON THIRD DOWNS FOR OPPONENTS
Opponents' game-by-game breakdown of third downs against the Knights:
Opponent - Third Downs - Percentage
at Akron - 6-of-19 - 31.6
at OSU - 6-of-12 - 50.0
FIU - 3-of-13 - 23.1
Mizzou - 1-of-11 - 9.1
ECU - 4-of-14 - 28.6
Season - 20-of-69 - 29.0
FBS national rankings in third-down defense:
School - Third Downs - Percentage
1) Oregon State - 10-of-49 - 20.4
2) TCU - 15-of-70 - 21.4
3) Florida State - 22-of-94 - 23.4
4) Florida - 19-of-75 - 25.3
5) NC State - 22-of-84 - 26.2
6) BYU - 24-of-90 - 26.7
7) Illinois - 20-of-73 - 27.4
8) Michigan State - 23-of-83 - 27.7
9) UCF - 20-of-69 - 29.0
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
8-of-20 (40.0%) - 7-of-24 (29.2%) - 5-of-25 (20.0%)
FACING A LOT OF FOURTH-DOWN ATTEMPTS
Defenses which have faced the most fourth-down attempts this season:
School - Fourth Downs - Percentage
1) Louisiana Tech - 8-of-16 - 50.0
1) Northern Illinois - 9-of-16 - 56.3
3) Stanford - 9-of-15 - 60.0
4) UCF - 7-of-14 - 50.0
4) Three others - 14
THE FRESHMEN UP FRONT
After sitting out 2011, redshirt freshmen Deion Green and Thomas Niles have quickly turned heads in their first full collegiate season on the gridiron.
Niles has started the previous two games in the middle, and has accumulated 15 tackles while ranking second on the squad with 3.0 sacks. The Georgia native posted three quarterback hurries vs. ECU.
A defensive end at Edgewater High School in Orlando, Green notched a sack at Akron and against East Carolina, and has seven tackles on the year.
UCF ranks second in C-USA in rushing defense, limiting schools to a 126.0 average per game.
AN ELITE GROUP
With nine vs. East Carolina, senior safety Kemal Ishmael climbed into UCF's all-time top 10 in tackles with 286.
The Miami native trails ninth-place Bill Stewart by just eight tackles, and eighth-place Atari Bigby by 10.
Ishmael has 42 tackles in 2012, and is on pace for 101 this season. That would give him 345, 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 - 286 -2009-12
Sophomore cornerback Brandon Alexander has received the starting spot the previous three games, and he broke up two passes each against FIU and Missouri. He also had a TFL vs. the Panthers.
The Orlando native then recorded his first-career interception with a pick vs. ECU.
Alexander is tied for sixth in C-USA in passes defended with a 1.00 average on four break-ups and an interception, as they all have come in the last three contests.
Special Teams Notes
With the help of some perfect blocking, senior Quincy McDuffie ran back a 99-yard kickoff to the house vs. East Carolina, which came right after the Pirates took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
McDuffie tied Todd Cleveland for the UCF career record with his fourth kickoff return for a touchdown.
McDuffie's kickoff returns for touchdowns:
Opponent - Date - Yards
Samford - Sept. 5, 2009 - 95
NC State - Sept. 11, 2010 - 93
at Tulane - Nov. 20, 2010 - 95
East Carolina - Oct. 4, 2012 - 99
The Orlando native needs just 41 yards to match Ted Wilson's all-time UCF record with 2,141 kickoff return yards. McDuffie has just 77 returns compared to Wilson's 89 from 1983-86.
UCF and Kansas State are the only two teams in the nation to have a kickoff return for a touchdown every year since 2007.
WHAT A DAY
Orlando's Shawn Moffitt contributed in a big way during UCF's comeback victory over ECU. The sophomore put the Knights up for good with a 22-yard field goal to make it 17-14, and went on to convert three more attempts for a 4-for-4 day.
Moffitt hit on field goals of 22, 23 and 36 yards before booting a career-long 49-yarder.
Kickers who are perfect with at least 7 FG attempts:
Player - School - Field Goals
Chandler Catanzaro - Clemson - 11-for-11
Jeff Budzien - Northwestern - 11-for-11
Austin Lopez - San Jose State - 9-for-9
Nate Freese - Boston College - 9-for-9
Shawn Moffitt - UCF - 7-for-7
Three others - 7-for-7