UCF Thunders Past Marshall for Historic Win


Sept. 24, 2005

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ORLANDO - The first Conference USA game and first home contest of the year for the UCF led to one very important first - the Golden Knights first victory in 17 games. UCF topped Marshall, 23-13, at the Citrus Bowl Saturday evening to record its first victory since 2003.

UCF improves to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Thundering Herd fall to 1-2 overall and 0-1. Following the historic victory, UCF's students charged onto the field in celebration, tearing down a goal post.

"I am very happy for the kids," said UCF head coach George O'Leary. "You can hear the excitement in there (locker room) and I am just happy for them. It was a great win for UCF and a great win for the team."

Steven Moffett completed 19-of-26 passes for 290 yards and one score for UCF. Making his first career start, Kevin Smith rushed for 60 yards and one touchdown. The Golden Knights defense stifled Marshall all game, limiting the Thundering Herd to just 11 yards on the ground, the third lowest total in UCF history. UCF's defense forced two fumbles and also posted two interceptions.

After a sack and forced fumble by Paul Carrington on its first defensive series, UCF capitalized with a five-yard touchdown pass from Moffett to Brandon Marshall to give the Golden Knights a 7-0 lead with 10:43 left in the first quarter.

A 12-play, 84-yard drive in the second quarter helped set up a one-yard touchdown run by Smith to put the hosts up 14 with 6:50 remaining in the half. Matt Prater nailed a 49-yard field goal towards the end of the half and UCF led, 17-0, at intermission.

Moffett completed passes to six different receivers, most frequently Mike Walker, who had seven catches for 75 yards. Darcy Johnson totaled five catches for 72 yards. UCF amassed 260 yards in the air.

Defensively, Carrington had three tackles for loss, including two sacks for a loss of 14 yards. Sha'reff Rashad and Travonti Johnson each recorded an interception.

Jimmy Skinner threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second half, a 24-yard strike to Hiram Moore and a 12-yard toss to Marcus Fitzgerald, but it was not enough. Prater added two field goals in the second half to put the game out of reach. His third made field goal of the night, a 43-yarder with 5:45 to play, gave UCF a 23-7 edge.

Skinner completed 25-of-45 passes for 296 yards and two scores, but also tossed both interceptions. Moore had seven catches for 110 yards.

UCF returns to action next week at Louisiana-Lafayette for a non-conference game. Kickoff for the contest is set for 8 p.m.