Dec. 1, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - A lot is on the line this week as No. 15/17 UCF travels to SMU Saturday for a noon showdown (11 a.m. CT) on ESPN to wrap up the regular season.
UCF Game Notes in PDF Format
Saturday - Dallas, Texas - 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT
SMU - 5-6 Overall, 4-3 American
No. 15/17 UCF - 10-1 Overall, 7-0 American
Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000)
740-AM - Orlando
The game marks the latest regular-season game for the Knights. They have played 12 contests in December overall, but all were in the postseason.
Saturday's contest marks the fourth straight year UCF and SMU will clash on the gridiron, as the Knights hold a 4-1 all-time lead but are 1-1 in Dallas.
All five previous meetings occurred when the Knights and Mustangs were members of Conference USA, highlighted by a Knights' C-USA Championship Game victory in 2010 in Orlando.
Last year at Bright House, UCF racked up 241 rushing yards in a 42-17 win.
Looking to become bowl eligible in the final game of the year, SMU stands at 5-6 overall and 4-3 in The American.
The Mustangs are coming off a 34-0 loss at Houston where they turned it over four times.
The offense averages 446.3 yards per game as senior quarterback Garrett Gilbert records 352.8 passing yards each outing. However he missed the Houston game due to an injury.
Senior Jeremy Johnson has 1,082 receiving yards on 108 catches.
The defense is led by linebacker Jonathan Yenga (6.0 sacks) and defensive end Beau Barnes (5.0 sacks), while corner Kenneth Acker has 13 break-ups and three interceptions.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
UCF has clinched at least a share of the American Athletic Conference title. It is all alone at the top of the standings, up one game on Louisville and Cincinnati who are both 6-1 and tangle in Ohio on Thursday.
If Louisville defeats Cincinnati or UCF beats SMU, then the Knights lock up the league's BCS berth.
If Cincinnati and UCF end up with the same conference record, the BCS berth goes to the team ranked higher in the final BCS standings.
Third conference championship (first year in a league was 2002).
First year in program history UCF posted at least 10 regular-season victories.
Double-digit wins for the second year in a row, for the third time in the last four years and for the fifth time overall.
Tied a school record (2007) by winning seven straight games.
Every recruiting class under head coach George O'Leary (first year was in 2004) has won at least one conference title (the Knights have won league crowns in 2007, 2010 and 2013).
The 2013 senior class already stands as the winningest senior class in school history with 36 victories, surpassing the 2012 class which had 34.
First win over a Big Ten and a top-10 team.
Highest ranking in school history (AP No. 15).
47,605 attended UCF's game vs. No. 12/13 South Carolina, marking the second-largest crowd in Bright House Networks Stadium history.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week following the victory at Louisville.
Bowl eligible for the sixth time in the last nine years, and fourth time in the last five campaigns.
If UCF can get a win at SMU, it will be the first time in school history it will have gone undefeated on the road in the regular season.
The 2010 and 2013 teams currently own the mark with five regular-season road victories.
Including neutral-site affairs, the 2010 team posted a school-record six wins away from home.
UCF is one of 12 teams in the FBS with one or fewer losses this year.
UCF is one of seven undefeated teams on the road this season.
Five FBS teams have eight conference wins so far, and UCF is going for its eighth this Saturday.
A win Saturday also will put UCF with Ohio State, Michigan State, Florida State and NIU as the only schools to go undefeated in conference play.
UCF has 36 victories since the 2010 season, which ranks tied for the 17th most in the FBS.
Average home attendance for 2013 was 42,084, marking the second highest average in school history behind only 2007 (44,018) when Bright House opened.
The Knights are 6-1 this year in games decided by seven points or less. Two years ago, they lost six games by seven points or less.
This year is the first where UCF posted at least six wins by seven points or less.
Deficits overcome in 2013:
Opponent - Trailed - Result
at Memphis - 17-10 late 4th quarter - W, 24-17
at Louisville - 28-7 3rd quarter - W, 38-35
Houston - 7-6 3rd quarter - W, 19-14
at Temple - 36-29 late 4th quarter - W, 39-36
South Florida - 20-16 4th quarter - W, 23-20
Largest come-from-behind wins in school history:
Opponent, Year - Deficit - Trailed - Won
at Louisville, 2013 - 21 points - 28-7 - 38-35
Illinois State, 1984 - 21 points - 21-0 - 28-24
POUNDING HEARTS PART II
UCF, Auburn and San Diego State are the only three schools in the country this year to win six games by one possession (eight points).
The Knights and SDSU are the only two to post six victories by seven points or less.
There have been several late-game heroics by the Knights, so here are key fourth-quarter plays by the offense in 2013:
at Penn State
-After PSU closed to a 34-31 deficit with 2:51 remaining, Blake Bortles hit J.J. Worton for 13 yards and a first down as UCF would run out the clock.
-Trailing 17-10 and facing 4th-and-10 with 3:11 showing, Bortles connected with Breshad Perriman for 16 yards and two plays later UCF tied it up.
-Trailing 35-31, Bortles converted on 3rd-and-goal from the 2-yard line as he found Jeff Godfrey in the corner with 23 seconds left.
-William Stanback's 38-yard run put UCF up 19-7 with 10:23 showing en route to the win.
-J.J. Worton's highlight-reel catch with 1:06 remaining tied it at 36-36, then Bortles went to Rannell Hall for 64 yards to set up the game-winning field goal with no time left.
-Bortles registered another game-winning drive on a 52-yard touchdown pass to Perriman and a 23-20 lead with 4:50 to go.
GET IT DONE AGAINST THE RIVAL
Blake Bortles completed 65.4 percent (17-26) against USF, marking the highest completion percentage by a UCF quarterback in the series with the Bulls.
Storm Johnson had 62 rushing yards, the second-most by a Knight vs. the Bulls (Jason Peters had 98 in 2006).
True freshman running back William Stanback is taking aim at UCF freshmen records this year.
Most rushing touchdowns by a freshman (including quarterbacks and redshirts):
Player - Season - Rushing TDs
1) Gerod Davis - 1992 - 10
1) Jeff Godfrey* - 2010 - 10
3) Kevin Smith - 2005 - 9
3) Alex Haynes+ - 2001 - 9
3) Elgin Davis - 1983 - 9
6) William Stanback - 2013 - 6
Stanback also ranks 11th among all UCF freshmen with 380 rushing yards (record is 1,178 by Kevin Smith in 2005) and 14th with 83 attempts (record is 249 by Smith).
BREAKING DOWN BORTLES
Blake Bortles by quarter this year:
Quarter - C-A-INT - Yards - TD - COMP%
First - 60-86-2 - 747 - 5 - 69.8
Second - 71-107-3 - 882 - 7 - 66.4
Third - 42-56-0 - 673 - 4 - 75.0
Fourth - 42-67-2 - 736 - 6 - 62.7
Bortles did not attempt a pass in the fourth quarter against Akron, FIU and UConn.
UCF has had 64 offensive plays this year of at least 20 yards, including 10 passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.
A total of 15 plays have gone at least 40 yards.
J.J. Worton and Breshad Perriman both have 11 receptions of at least 20 yards, followed by Rannell Hall who has 10.
BRING IT IN
Rannell Hall has notched a reception in 26 straight games to tie for the seventh longest streak in school history.
The school record stands at 42 by current UCF wide receivers coach Sean Beckton from 1987-90.
STEPPING IT UP IN THE SERIES WITH USF
The UCF defense allowed 13 first downs, 83 rushing yards, 211 passing yards, 294 total yards and earned two turnovers Nov. 29 against USF.
It was the first time in the all-time series with the Bulls that USF did not reach 20 first downs, 100 rushing yards or 300 total yards in a game.
Opponents' completion percentage the last five games against the Knights, as UCF has held teams to under 60 percent each time:
Opponent - Completion Percentage
UConn - 43.8
Houston - 52.2
Temple - 57.8
Rutgers - 34.9
USF - 44.1
After the first three games of the year, only Louisville has been able to complete at least 60 percent of its passes in UCF's last eight contests.
OUT OF NOWHERE
Not seeing playing time in the first four games, true freshman outside linebacker Justin McDonald started seeing sporadic action at Memphis Oct. 5.
It was not until Rutgers Nov. 21 when he earned his first start, and in the last two games combined, McDonald has 17 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, a break-up and a fumble recovery.
McDonald had a personal-best 10 tackles in his last outing vs. USF.
BREAKING THROUGH THE LINE
UCF has 72 tackles for loss for an average of 6.5 per game, the highest average since 2009 (7.2).
Terrance Plummer not only leads the team with 90 overall tackles, he paces the Knights with 8.0 TFLs.
Right behind Plummer is Demetris Anderson who has 7.0 tackles for loss.
NOT JUST ONE GUY STEPPING UP
Almost every game there is someone new delivering for the Knights' defense, and it shows in the numbers.
A total of 15 players have posted at least half a sack in 2013, and no one has more than 3.0 sacks.
Seven Knights boast at least one interception, but no one has more than two.
THE TOP HALF
Even with a young defense, the Knights rank in the top four in the conference in:
-Pass Efficiency Defense (second)
-Total Defense (third)
-Rushing Defense (fourth)
-Passing Defense (fourth)
-Scoring Defense (fourth)
Special Teams Notes
A big reason UCF has won close games is that Shawn Moffitt is 19-for-20 in field goals this year.
Highest single-season field-goal percentage at UCF:
Player - Year - Percentage
1) Shawn Moffitt - 2013 - .950 (19-20)
2) Charlie Pierce - 1994 - .875 (14-16)
Highest career field-goal percentage at UCF:
Player - Years - Percentage
1) Shawn Moffitt - 2011-pres. - .791 (34-43)
2) Michael Torres - 2006-07 - .771 (37-48)
3) Charlie Pierce - 1993-96 - .754 (46-61)
Most field goals made in a single season:
Player - Year - Field Goals
1) Michael Torres - 2007 - 20
2) Shawn Moffitt - 2013 - 19
JUST GET POINTS
UCF has posted a field goal in 12 consecutive games.
Consecutive games in which UCF made a field goal:
Season(s) - Games with a FG
1) 2012-13 - 12
2) 2005 - 11
Before USF, Rannell Hall's longest kick return this year was 31 yards. But against the Bulls, all four of his returns went for at least 33 yards including a 69-yard gallop.
Hall finished with 177 yards in kick returns in the win.
For his career at UCF, he ranks sixth with 65 returns and fifth with 1,644 yards.
Hall is also UCF's leading receiver with 49 catches (trails Breshad Perriman in yards, 735-729).