Oct. 26, 2009
UCF Football Game Notes in PDF Format
ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF will be back under the lights of Bright House Networks Stadium when it hosts Marshall in a Sunday night contest on ESPN at 8:15 p.m. The Knights enter the game on the heels of its most lopsided road win in school history (49-7 at Rice). Tickets for Sunday's game can be purchased at UCFAthletics.com or by calling 407-823-1000.
THE OPENING DRIVE
The Knights are looking to improve to 5-3 for the third time in five years.
UCF is 6-4 in its last 10 games.
The Knights lead C-USA and rank 11th in the nation in rushing defense. UCF also led C-USA in rushing defense in 2008.
UCF was 0-3 vs. Marshall as members of the MAC and is 4-0 vs. Marshall as members of C-USA.
The Knights are 11-5 in November since 2005 and 2-0 vs. Marshall in the calendar's penultimate month.
UCF has six scoring drives of 80 yards or longer in its last four games. UCF had four such drives all of last season.
The Knights have recorded double digits in TFLs three times in the last four games.
UCF is one of three schools to ever draw at least 40,000 fans for a Sunday night ESPN game other than Labor Day weekend.
The Knights' Jarvis Geathers leads C-USA in both sacks and TFLs.
UCF has four different players who average more than one TFL per game.
The Knights had three different players throw a touchdown pass in the win over Rice.
UCF welcomes back Marshall head coach Mark Snyder who was a graduate asst. coach for the then-Golden Knights in 1989-90.
The Knights are second in the nation in kickoff return coverage and ninth in punt return coverage.
HISTORIC ROUT AT RICE
UCF's 49-7 win at Rice marked the most lopsided road win in school history and the biggest win overall since a 2001 torching of the Liberty Flames.
KNIGHTS ARE 4-3 THROUGH SEVEN
For the second time in three years and the third time in five years, UCF stands with a 4-3 record through seven games. UCF won its eighth game both previous times to improve to 5-3 and eventually take the C-USA East Division crown and advance to a bowl game.
RESILIENT KNIGHTS SHOW THEIR HEART
No mountain has seemed too steep for the Knights in 2009 as the team is 4-3 despite never leading at the half in the first six games. Even both of UCF's C-USA losses nearly saw the Knights rally to win as both games dramatically got down to onside-kick situations. The Knights have outscored opponents 110-63 after intermission this year.
29 WAS FINE
UCF scored 29 second-half points to secure its C-USA win over Memphis. It was the most points that UCF had scored in the second half of a game since scoring 31 at Buffalo on Nov. 9, 2002.
THAT'S SO 2008
With 1,385 passing yards and 172 points already this year, UCF is on the verge of eclipsing its 2008 season totals of 1395 and 199, respectively.
THE BIG PLAY IS BACK
UCF promised to get more dynamic on offense this year and thus far has delivered. The Knights have 19 passing plays of at least 20 yards. In all of 2008, UCF had a total of just 12 completions of 20 yards or more. Six different Knights have a catch of at least 20 yards this year while only four did all of last year.
KNIGHTS ABLE TO PUT LONG DRIVES TOGETHER
A clear sign of UCF's improved offense in 2009 is its ability to sustain long drives. UCF has had five scoring marches of at least 11 plays through its first seven games this year after having just five in 12 games a year ago. UCF had scoring drives of over 8:30 against both Southern Miss and Buffalo, a feat it had not accomplished since 2007.
- Against the Bulls, UCF had two separate 14-play scoring drives. It was the first time that UCF had two scoring drives of at least 14 plays in the same game since the 1993 NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs at Youngstown State.
- UCF has six scoring drives of at least 80 yards in its last four games.
- Against Memphis, UCF secured the victory with a 92-yard fourth quarter touchdown drive, its longest march since a 99-yard drive against Marshall in 2007 and tying for the second-longest of the six-year George O'Leary era.
- It all adds up to first downs. UCF's 28 vs. Memphis were its most in a game since ECU on Oct. 6, 2007.
HE'S THE GUY-TON
Wide receiver A.J. Guyton missed the entire 2008 season with an injury but showed that he was back to his old self at East Carolina, hauling in a career-high nine passes for 119 yards. The nine receptions tied for the most by a Knight since current Jacksonville Jaguar Mike Sims-Walker caught 13 passes against Rice on Oct. 21, 2006. He had 103 yards at Rice and also threw a touchdown pass in that game.
NO RUNNING ALLOWED
UCF tops C-USA in rushing defense, and ranks 11th nationally, yielding just 92.29 yards per game. UCF also led C-USA in rushing defense. In league history, only TCU (2002-03) has led C-USA in rushing defense in consecutive seasons. UCF also leads the league in scoring defense (19.14 ppg) and is third in total defense (335.29 ypg).
CONTINUING TO BRING THE PRESSURE
UCF ranks sixth in the nation in TFLs with 8.57 per game, continuing its 2008 pace where UCF was third nationally. UCF is also seventh nationally with 3.29 sacks per game. Both stats lead C-USA. A total of 19 different Knights have at least half of a TFL. UCF has four players (Jarvis Geathers, Cory Hogue, Bruce Miller and Lawrence Young) who average more than one TFL per game. UCF has double digit TFLs in three of its last four games. Its six sacks vs. Miami tied for the most yielded by UM since the 2005 FSU game.
HALLMAN STOPPING EVERYONE IN HIS PATH
Linebacker Derrick Hallman, who switched back to OLB from his safety position for the Miami game, led UCF in tackles in back-to-back games vs. Buffalo and at ECU and leads the team lead with 55 tackles in 2009. Meanwhile, he notched UCF's first interception of 2009 when Buffalo was trying to take the lead with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter. One week later vs. the Pirates, he racked up 13 tackles. Only Cory Hogue had collected 13 tackles (13 vs. UTEP No. 24, 2007) or more dating back to Jason Venson's 14 against ECU on Nov. 4, 2006.
JARVIS GATHERS SACKS
Jarvis Geathers played a huge role in UCF's come-from-behind win over Buffalo, recording three second half sacks, forcing fumbles on two of those which were recovered by the Knights. One of the fumbles set up the game-tying field goal and the other effectively ended the game with 0:26 to play. He ranks eighth in the nation with seven sacks and first in Conference USA. He also leads C-USA in TFLs with 9.5
BRUCE IS LOOSE
C-USA's sack leader, Bruce Miller had 3.5 TFLs, including 2.5 sacks, in UCF's win over Memphis. For the year he has 8.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks, tying him for 37th and 18th nationally in those categories.
SERIES NOTES (UCF LEADS 4-3)
UCF VS. MARSHALL
UCF leads an unusually streaky series 4-3 against Marshall. 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 four times as members of Conference USA from 2005-08 with UCF winning all four meetings. UCF leads the series 2-1 in Orlando and won the only previous meeting at Bright House Networks Stadium, 47-13, on Nov. 3, 2007.
Marshall head coach Mark Snyder served as a graduate assistant at UCF from 1989-90 working with the team's defensive backs. UCF was a combined 17-7 those two years, with teams that featured current UCF assistant coach Sean Beckton at wide receiver...UCF has no players from West Virginia...Many of Marshall's Floridians are from central Florida: Antawn Booker (Auburndale), Donald Brown (Frostproof), Jacquori Chandler (Orlando), Courtney Edmonson (Titusville), Howard King (Daytona Beach), Albert McClellan (Lakeland) and D.J. Wingate (Daytona Beach)...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...UCF defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable coached linebackers under Cassity at East Carolina (1990-91) and Georgia Tech (1992-93).
The Knights are 11-5 overall in November since joining Conference USA. Two of those 11 wins have come against Marshall (2007 and 2008). November is UCF's winningest month in the C-USA era, edging the school's 10 October wins since 2005.
EIGHT GAMES = LOTS OF HISTORY?
With Sunday marking the eighth meeting between the sides, Marshall stands as the eighth-longest series in UCF's short football history, which dates back to just 1979. The Marshall series is the most frequently played of any opponent that UCF had never faced prior to joining what was then known as Division I-A in 1996. Marshall ranks second to East Carolina in terms of the most frequently faced opponent by UCF amongst its current Conference USA brethren. The Thundering Herd's only series against a C-USA school which is longer than UCF is East Carolina.
SUNDAY NIGHT'S ALL RIGHT
Despite the unusual school-night game date, UCF still expects to draw one of the largest crowds the nation has seen under these circumstances. UCF is one of three schools that has ever drawn at least 40,000 fans for an ESPN Sunday night college football game (excluding bowl games and Labor Day weekend).
Attn. - Game (Date)
42,422 - Connecticut at South Florida (11/23/08)
41,077 - Connecticut at Rutgers (10/29/06)
40,202 - East Carolina at UCF (11/2/08)
30,394 - Nevada at Boise State (10/14/07)
30,239 - New Mexico State at Boise State (10/7/07)
30,000 - UCF at Tulsa (10/26/08)
28,103 - Southern Miss at Memphis (11/5/06)
27,234 - Southern Miss at Marshall (10/21/07)
27,103 - UCF at Southern Miss (10/28/07)
22,774 - Houston at SMU (11/4/07)
16,872 - Boise State at New Mexico State (10/15/06)
15,889 - USF at Cincinnati (10/22/06)
15,119 - Southern Miss at Houston (11/13/05)
12,197 - Northern Illinois at Miami (Ohio) (10/8/06)