Nov. 20, 2011
Read John Denton's Knights Insider |
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF wraps up the 2011 season at home Friday against UTEP at 7 p.m. The Knights stand at 4-7 on the year with a 2-5 mark in C-USA, while the Miners are 5-6 and 2-5 in league play. A total of 15 Knights will be celebrating Senior Day in what will be their final game at Bright House Networks Stadium.
UCF Game Notes
Friday - Orlando, Fla. - 7 p.m. ET
UTEP - 5-6 Overall, 2-5 C-USA
UCF - 4-7 Overall, 2-5 C-USA
Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323)
740-AM, UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_FootballSID
CBS Sports Network
The Knights have faced the Miners just two times (series tied, 1-1), fewer than any other C-USA opponent.
In the teams' first meeting in 2007, Kevin Smith rushed for 219 yards and Kyle Israel threw for three touchdowns in a 36-20 win in Orlando. Joe Burnett and Sha'reff Rashad each had an interception.
In El Paso one year later, the Knights turned the ball over six times in a 58-13 loss. Rob Calabrese posted 86 rushing yards, and Kamar Aiken had a receiving TD.
Owning a 5-6 record with a 2-5 mark in Conference USA, UTEP needs a victory vs. UCF in order to become bowl eligible.
Coming off a 57-28 home loss to Tulsa Nov. 19, the Miners are averaging 253.8 passing yards and 186.0 rushing yards a game.
Carson Meger was 20-for-34 with 204 yards vs. Tulsa, and is 66-for-103 on the year with five interceptions and two TDs.
Joe Banyard has 781 rushing yards with five touchdowns.
Travaun Nixon leads the defense with four interceptions, while the Miners have 22 sacks compared to giving up 31.
Player - Hometown
#6 David Bohner, P - Matthews, N.C.
#16 Nick Cattoi, PK - Tampa, Fla.
#3 A.J. Guyton, WR - Homestead, Fla.
#60 Charley Hughlett, LS - Tampa, Fla.
#50 Josh Linam, LB - Tavares, Fla.
#55 Vinny Mazzurco, LB - Ocala, Fla.
#65 Cliff McCray, G - Miami, Fla.
#53 Darius Nall, DE - Douglasville, Ga.
#88 Adam Nissley, TE - Cumming, Ga.
#77 Nick Pieschel, OT - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
#89 James Rose, WR - Winter Park, Fla.
#92 Barry Snider, DT - Tucson, Ariz.
#35 Ronnie Weaver, RB - Wabasso, Fla.
#31 Kerlon Williams, RB - Crescent City, Fla.
#82 Khymest Williams, WR - Lutcher, La.
A total of seven seniors were with the Knights when Bright House Networks Stadium opened in 2007: Guyton, McCray, Nall, Nissley, Pieschel, Weaver and Khymest Williams. That season witnessed UCF capture its first Conference USA title.
TOUGH TO TAKE
Of UCF's seven losses in 2011, six of them have come by seven points or less as it was outscored by just a 159-128 margin in those contests.
The Knights have the most losses by eight points or less this year, followed by Navy, Louisville and Miami which each have five.
In all, the Knights have only been outscored by a total of 50 points in their seven losses for a 7.14 average margin of defeat.
UCF carries a 23-9 record at Bright House Networks Stadium. The only season it lost back-to-back games at the complex was in 2008 as the Knights are 15-4 on their home field from 2009-11.
The Black and Gold has outscored opponents 996-534 at Bright House.
CLOSING OUT THE SCHEDULE
The Knights are 5-1 in their previous six regular-season finales, including a 36-20 win over UTEP in 2007.
UCF'S ALL-TIME TIGHT ENDS
With 21 in 2011, senior Adam Nissley ranks tied for fourth all-time among UCF tight ends in single-season receptions.
Nissley also ranks fifth with 235 receiving yards.
UCF's all-time top tight ends - single-season receptions:
1) Don Grayson - 1987 - 50
2) John Osborne - 1988 - 31
3) Mike Williams - 1979 - 26
4) Adam Nissley - 2011 - 21
LOOKING TO BREAK A RECORD
With a big day on the ground vs. UTEP, sophomore quarterback Jeff Godfrey could overtake UCF great Daunte Culpepper for most-career rushing yards by a Knights quarterback.
Godfrey enters Friday with 972 rushing yards in just two seasons, while Culpepper amassed 1,020 yards from 1995-98.
In the air, Godfrey already stands as the all-time leader in completion percentage with a mark of 67.7. Culpepper is in second at 63.9.
WHAT A DUO - PART ONE
Jeff Godfrey currently holds a 68.6 completion percentage in 226 attempts, while Blake Bortles stands at 67.3 in 98 attempts.
Bortles needs two more passes to qualify for UCF's single-season top-10, as Godfrey's 68.6 would rank third and Bortles' 67.3 would place him in fourth. Both marks are higher than Godfrey's 66.8 percent in 2010.
All-time best completion percentages for a single-season at UCF (minimum 100 attempts):
1) Daunte Culpepper - 1998 - 73.6
2) Ryan Schneider - 2003 - 69.0
3) Jeff Godfrey - 2011 - 68.6
4) Jeff Godfrey - 2010 - 66.8
--- Blake Bortles - 2011 - 67.3
UCF has never had a year where two quarterbacks both finished by ranking in the school's single-season top-10 for completion percentage.
Godfrey enters Friday's game ranked 10th in the nation in completion percentage this year.
WHAT A DUO - PART TWO
Quarterbacks Jeff Godfrey (1,845) and Blake Bortles (800) are just the fourth duo in UCF history with at least 800 passing yards in the same season.
2011 - Jeff Godfrey, 1,845 - Blake Bortles, 800
2006 - Kyle Israel, 1,420 - Steven Moffett, 1,385
1991 - Ron Johnson, 1,056 - Darin Hinshaw, 1,049
1985 - Tony Lanham, 1,268 - Darin Slack, 1,159
AMONG THE BEST
FBS active quarterbacks - career completion percentage:
1) Case Keenum - Houston - 69.71
2) Brandon Weeden - Okla. State - 69.63
3) Kellen Moore - Boise State - 69.39
4) Casey Pachall - TCU - 67.77
5) Jeff Godfrey - UCF - 67.67
6) Seth Doege - Texas Tech - 67.29
7) Robert Griffin III - Baylor - 66.96
8) E.J. Manuel - Florida State - 66.74
9) Nick Foles - Arizona - 66.57
10) Andrew Luck - Stanford - 66.40
A NIFTY OPTION IN THE GROUND GAME
While UCF has a quartet of backs racking up the rushing yards, wide receiver Quincy McDuffie has gotten into the mix as well.
McDuffie currently has 132 rushing yards on just 12 carries for an 11.0 average and one touchdown.
The junior is the first wide receiver in UCF history to post at least 100 rushing yards in a single-season.
Along with piling up some rushing yards, McDuffie is coming off a game at East Carolina where he recorded career-highs with nine receptions and 93 receiving yards.
THE WORTON AND REESE SHOW
UCF's all-time top freshmen wide receivers:
Player - Season - Receptions
1) Sean Beckton - 1987 - 40
2) J.J. Worton* - 2011 - 38
T3) Kamar Aiken - 2007 - 33
T3) Mike Dickinson* - 1989 - 33
5) Josh Reese* - 2011 - 29
Player - Season - Yards
1) Kamar Aiken - 2007 - 584
2) J.J. Worton* - 2011 - 483
3) Sean Beckton - 1987 - 421
4) Josh Reese* - 2011 - 418
* - Redshirt Freshman
Opponents are successful on just 29.05 percent of its third-down conversions.
Lowest FBS third-down conversion percentages:
1) Alabama - 25.48
2) Georgia - 28.29
3) UCF - 29.05
Charleston Southern, Boston College, Marshall, SMU, Memphis, Southern Miss and East Carolina all managed three or less third-down conversions.
Opponent - Third Downs - Percentage
CSU - 4-15 - 26.7
B.C. - 1-12 - 8.3
at FIU - 4-13 - 30.8
at BYU - 6-16 - 37.5
Marshall - 2-14 - 14.3
at SMU - 3-9 - 33.3
at UAB - 9-15 - 60.0
Memphis - 2-13 - 15.4
Tulsa - 6-13 - 46.2
at USM - 3-14 - 21.4
at ECU - 3-14 - 21.4
UCF's current single-season record for third-down defense stands at 30.9 set in 1985.
MISSION: STOP THE RUN
The Knights are 19th in the country and first in C-USA by allowing just 112.7 rushing yards a game.
The top-three rushing defenses in UCF history have all occurred in each of the last three seasons.
UCF's top rushing defenses:
1) 2009 - 82.8
2) 2010 - 108.4
3) 2011 - 112.7
4) 1999 - 118.7
KEEPING PASSING YARDS AT A MINIMUM AS WELL
Through 11 games, UCF is giving up only 189.5 passing yards a contest to lead C-USA. That is the lowest in the George O'Leary era (since 2004), and the third-lowest since the Knights moved to the FBS in 1996.
GETTING IN THE WAY
With two more at East Carolina Nov. 19, junior cornerback Josh Robinson has 33-career pass break-ups to rank fourth all-time at UCF.
Current Philadelphia Eagle Asante Samuel holds the record with 38 from 1999-02.
Robinson also ranks first in Conference USA this year with 14 passes defended thanks to 12 break-ups and two interceptions.
ON HIS WAY TO THE TOP-10
Boasting 238-career tackles since his true-freshman season, junior safety Kemal Ishmael is on pace to enter UCF's top-10 next year for total tackles.
Cory Hogue (2006-09) claims 10th with 279 tackles.
Ishmael has finished each season with at least 70 tackles (70 in 2009, 93 in 2010 and currently has 75 in 2011). He averages just over six tackles per game.
Combined total tackles by class:
Class - Total Tackles
Seniors - 102
Juniors - 300
Sophomores - 63
Freshmen - 179
ONE OF FIVE
UCF is one of just five schools which sit in the top-20 in the country in rushing, passing, passing efficiency, total and scoring defense.
Joining the Knights are Alabama, LSU, Michigan State and Georgia.
Special Teams Notes
UCF CLAIMS THE TOP SPOT YET AGAIN
From 2008-10, UCF finished the season ranked in the top-13 in the country in kickoff returns, including first last year. In 2011, the Knights are at it again.
The Black and Gold was as low as 113th in the FBS after week four, and 100th after week seven.
UCF quickly jumped the chart and finally grabbed first once again after the East Carolina game Nov. 19.
UCF's 2011 week-by-week ranking:
After Week... - FBS Ranking - Average
One (CSU) - 102nd - 13.00
Two (B.C.) - 110th - 16.67
Three (FIU) - T-105th - 18.17
Four (BYU) - 113th - 17.86
Five (Bye) - 112nd - 17.86
Six (Marshall) - 104th - 19.30
Seven (SMU) - 100th - 19.57
Eight (UAB) - 32nd - 23.63
Nine (Memphis) - 29th - 23.75
10 (Tulsa) - 17th - 24.88
11 (USM) - 4th - 26.74
12 (ECU) - 1st - 27.53
"SPEEDY" TAKES OVER
True freshman Rannell Hall currently averages 31.55 yards on 22 kickoff returns, with his first return coming in UCF's sixth game of the year at SMU.
FBS leaders in kickoff returns:
1) Tyler Lockett - Kansas State - 35.19
2) Jeremy Deering - Rutgers - 33.13
3) Rannell Hall - UCF - 31.55
4) Luther Ambrose - ULM - 31.48
5) John Evans - WKU - 30.93
UCF's single-season chart for average yards per kickoff return:
1) Quincy McDuffie - 32.2 (869/27) - 2010
2) Rannell Hall - 31.6 (694/22) - 2011
3) Paul Miranda - 30.7 (644/21) - 1998
4) Ted Wilson - 29.3 (732/25) - 1983
UCF's single-season chart for kickoff return yards:
1) Ted Wilson - 952/40 - 1984
2) Quincy McDuffie - 944/39 - 2009
3) Quincy McDuffie - 869/27 - 2010
4) Joe Burnett - 745/26 - 2008
5) Ted Wilson - 732/25 - 1983
6) Rannell Hall - 694/22 - 2011
MAKING THE MOST OF IT
Entering his final game as a Knight, senior David Bohner has been the only punter for the Black and Gold in 2011, and his 41.3 average ranks ninth on UCF's single-season chart.
UCF's single-season chart for punting average:
1) Matt Prater - 47.9 - 2003
2) Charlie Pierce - 44.1 - 1996
3) Marek Butcher - 43.9 - 1997
4) Javier Beorlegui - 43.5 - 2001
5) Aaron Horne - 42.2 - 2005
T6) Ryan Flinn - 41.8 - 2002
T6) Blake Clingan - 41.8 - 2010
8) Glenn McCombs - 41.6 - 1983
9) David Bohner - 41.3 - 2011