Bullseye for Cardiac Knights

Nov. 30, 2013

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By Chip Fontanazza

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Luck, skill or whatever you want to call it, but the UCF Knights (10-1, 7-0) defeated the USF Bulls (2-9, 2-5) 23-20 in the final minutes at Bright House Networks Stadium to remain undefeated in the American Athletic Conference and win at least a share of the conference championship.

This isn’t the first time this year the Knights have come from behind to win a game, but Breshad Perriman’s (No. 11) touchdown and Jordan Ozerities’ (No. 38) interception late in the contest certainly added some drama to the “I-4 Corridor Clash”. UCF head coach George O’Leary says even though many of the Knights’ wins have come down to the final minutes or a few points, a win is still a win.

“When you come back and score at the end to win the game what else can you say?” said Coach O’Leary. “We didn’t play very well on offense. I don’t think the quarterback or anybody played well but we still came up with a win. I thought the defense kept us around most of the game.”

The UCF offense turned the ball over five times, which is the most turnovers the team has given up all season. The last time the Knights turn the ball over four times or more and won was back in 2002 against the Liberty Flames. Even though the team knows it has some improving to do, the Knights are happy to get the win and keep their goal of going to a BCS Bowl game alive.*

“It’s an achievement we won another game,” said redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Thomas Niles (No. 69). “It [gets] us closer to our dream.”

The one team standing in the way of UCF claiming sole possession of the American Athletic Conference Championship and a BCS berth are the SMU Mustangs, who with one more win will become bowl eligible. Redshirt sophomore center Joey Grant (No. 55) says the Knights only have the Mustangs on their minds entering the final week of the regular season.

 “Right now we’re looking ahead to SMU and we have to go out and win a game away,” said Grant. “We know it’s going to be hard and we’re going to be ready and we’re going to prepare for it.”

*The Knights are all alone in The American standings, up one game on Louisville and Cincinnati who are both 6-1. Those two teams play Dec. 5 in Cincinnati. If Louisville wins, then UCF locks up the league's automatic berth in the BCS. If Cincinnati wins, then UCF will need to beat SMU Dec. 7 in Dallas to be assured of the BCS berth. If UCF and Cincinnati are tied at the end of the regular season, the BCS bid will go to the team with the highest BCS ranking, since the two schools will not play each other in 2013). 



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