Oct. 25, 2010
Read John Denton's Knights Insider |
Follow us on Twitter |
Get social with the Knights on Facebook
By Leigh Torbin
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For the second time this year UCF junior defensive end Darius Nall (Douglasville, Ga.) was honored by Conference USA today with its Defensive Player of the Week accolade for his performance in UCF's 41-14 Homecoming win over Rice on Saturday. Nall shared this week's award with Houston linebacker Sammy Brown.
Nall now joins Bruce Miller (2009) and Kevin Smith (2007) as the only Knights to be named the Conference USA Player of the Week twice in one season. He won the award outright on Sept. 20 following UCF's win over Buffalo.
On Saturday, Nall led the Knights with six tackles, including 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass pressure to help the team ground the Owls and improve to 5-2 on the year, 3-0 in Conference USA play. Each of Nall's 2.5 sacks came on third downs and forced the Owls to punt. The cancer survivor leads UCF and is third in C-USA with 6.5 sacks on the year, a figure that ranks 15th nationally. He is tied with Miller for the UCF lead with 7.5 TFLs, tying for seventh in the conference.
With Nall's pass-rushing help, UCF's defense stands amongst the nation's elite, ranking in the top 14 in all five major defensive categories (rushing defense, passing defense, passing efficiency defense, scoring defense and total defense). UCF's average ranking of 9.2 in these five categories trails only TCU, Ohio State, Boise State and Utah nationwide.
UCF (5-2, 3-0 in C-USA) is preparing for a showdown on Saturday afternoon in Orlando against East Carolina (5-2, 4-0 C-USA) in a contest with significant league title implications. It is the latest that two teams that are undefeated in C-USA play have faced off since the 2003 season and will pit UCF's elite defense against one of the country's top passing attacks in ECU. Both teams have active C-USA winning streaks of nine games which tie for the fourth-longest league winning streaks in the country behind only Boise State (18 WAC games), TCU (13 Mountain West games) and Troy (13 Sun Belt games).
The Knights have two more exciting home games left in the 2010 regular season, both of which will determine the Conference USA East Division champions. UCF's biggest league rivals come to town beginning Saturday, Oct. 30 with the East Carolina Pirates. The home finale will be Saturday, Nov. 13 against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
An affordable two-game mini-plans for the remaining 2010 home football games at Bright House Networks Stadium are currently available by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at 407-UCF-1000 or logging on to UCFAthletics.com.