Oct. 18, 2005
ORLANDO - UCF (3-3, 2-1 C-USA) returns home to the Citrus Bowl Saturday as the Golden Knights host Tulane (2-3, 1-2 C-USA). UCF had its three-game winning streak come to an end last week at Southern Miss, losing 52-31 to the Golden Eagles. The Golden Knights turned the ball over five times in Hattiesburg.
Tulane lost 45-21 to UTEP last Friday night in Ruston, La. in front of a national television audience on ESPN.
The UCF ISP Sports Network begins pregame coverage at 4 p.m. with kickoff set for 6 p.m. The voice of the Golden Knights, Marc Daniels, will handle the play-by-play duties while Gary Parris provides color commentary and Jerry O'Neill patrols the sidelines. The radio broadcast is also available at ucfathletics.com.
The game will be televised on the CSTV All-Access package (Internet, DISH Network pay-per-view). Bright House Network digital cable subscribers in Orlando can purchase the game on pay-per-view.
UCF leads the all-time series, 1-0, after winning 36-29 at the Superdome in 2001. Redshirt freshman tailback Alex Haynes rushed for a school-record four touchdowns in the victory over the Green Wave in the only meeting between the two schools.
Two former UCF assistant coaches are on the coaching staff at Tulane. Assistant head coach Bill D'Ottavio and defensive line coach Lorenzo Costantini were on former head coach Mike Kruczek's staff and finished their tenure at UCF in 2003.
UCF has three Louisiana natives on its roster, including one player from New Orleans. Sophomore WR Javid James hails from New Orleans while sophomore DT Emeka Okammor and redshirt freshman CB Johnell Neal are both from Baton Rouge.
One of Only Three in NCAA History
Only three teams in NCAA history have won three straight games after going 0-11 the previous season. UCF, South Carolina and Boston College are the only schools to record a winning streak of three or more games just one season after going 0-11.
The Gamecocks won four in a row in 2000 to start the season and added a three-game winning streak later that same year. Boston College tallied three straight victories in 1979 after going 0-11 in 1978.
Who would have known?
In preseason polls, UCF was ranked as high as fourth in the Eastern Division of Conference USA, including being picked tied for last in the division in the C-USA preseason poll. Entering this weekend, UCF is one of four teams tied for first place in C-USA's Eastern Division with a 2-1 mark.
Ready for Primetime
Junior WR Mike Walker is developing into one of Conference USA's best receivers. The Orlando native ranks second in C-USA in receptions per game (7.17) and third in league play in receiving yards per game (93.5).
For the season, Walker has 43 receptions for 561 yards and four touchdowns.
He has three 100-yard games on the season, including in the last two weeks vs. Memphis and Southern Miss.
The last UCF wide receiver to record three consecutive 100-yard games was Jimmy Fryzel in 2002. Fryzel recorded four straight 100-yard games during the 2002 campaign, including 150 vs. Syracuse (11/2/02), 122 at Buffalo (11/9/02), 126 vs. Kent State (11/16/02) and 174 at Miami of Ohio (11/23/02).
Making a Name for Himself
True freshman TB Kevin Smith has shown Conference USA what most of his teammates already know - the young guy can run the football. Facing the nation's leading rusher in Memphis' DeAngelo Williams, Smith led all players with a career-high 164 yards in UCF's 38-17 victory over the Tigers.
Smith set career-highs in rushing yards and attempts (31) in the victory.
Tough Against the Run
The Golden Knights have recorded two of the top 10 defensive performances in Division I school history against the run this season. The Golden Knights limited South Carolina to 32 rushing yards in the season opener, then the seventh-best total in UCF single-game Division I history. The Gamecocks rushed 28 times for 32 yards, an average of 1.1 yards per attempt.
Against Marshall, the Thundering Herd were held to just 11 yards on the ground, the third-best total in the UCF record books. Marshall rushed 16 times for an average of 0.7 yards per rush.
Hit the Ground Running
UCF's 261 yards rushing vs. Memphis were the third-highest total in Division I history for the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights carried the ball 57 times for 261 yards vs. the Tigers - an average of 4.6 yards per carry.
UCF rushed for 323 yards at Middle Tennessee in 1999 and for 298 yards vs. Buffalo to rank first and second in the school's Division I-A history.
Nine for Number 9
Steven Moffett has thrown at least one touchdown pass in nine consecutive games. For the season, Moffett is 109-of-175 passing for 1,400 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has completed 62.3 percent of his passes in 2005.
UCF wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Mike Walker have been one of C-USA's most potent wide receiver duos. The two players average a combined 171.5 yards per game, tops in Conference USA.
Walker is second in C-USA and 29th nationally in receiving yards per game (93.5), while Marshall is sixth in the conference and 43rd nationally (78.0).
Both players established career-highs in receiving yards in the Memphis win. Walker caught a career-high 10 passes for 157 yards, including one touchdown while Marshall totaled four receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Both players were forced to spend part of the 2004 season on the defensive side of the ball for the Golden Knights due to injuries in the UCF secondary.
Walker led the team with three interceptions while Marshall ranked first on the club with 51 tackles.
Number One for Barr
Freshman MLB Travis Barr recorded his first career interception in the third quarter. The Golden Knights have at least one interception in four consecutive games.
Welcome Back Kyle
Sophomore QB Kyle Israel made his season debut for the Golden Knights in the fourth quarter. He scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard run. Israel carried the football four times for 24 yards on the 80-yard scoring drive.
He led UCF to a field goal on his second drive. He later picked up his first career touchdown pass when he hit Darcy Johnson for a 15-yard scoring strike with five seconds remaining.
The Tulane Green Wave bring an overall record of 2-3 into Saturday's game, including a 1-2 mark in Conference USA. Tulane has played all of its games away from home this season due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The Green Wave have been playing their home games at several locations, including Ruston, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, La. The Green Wave are temporarily located at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La.
Tulane features on of C-USA's top passing offenses. The Green Wave rank 37th nationally and sixth in the conference in passing offense with 248.8 yards per game. Tulane is 85th in the nation in total offense (334.2 ypg) and 112th in rushing offense (85.4 ypg).
On defense, Tulane has the conference's top unit, yielding just 305.6 yards per game. The Green Wave are 21st nationally in total defense and 19th in pass defense (182.0 ypg).
Tulane is 87th in the NCAA in scoring offense (21.6 ppg) and 67th in scoring defense (26.4 ppg).
On special teams, Tulane's kickoff return unit is the third-ranked unit in C-USA and 34th nationally with an average return of 23.3 yards.
Tulane Head Coach Chris Scelfo
In his seventh season at the helm of the Tulane football program, Chris Scelfo has already made his mark as one of the most successful coaches in the 111-year history of Green Wave football. In six years as the head coach at his home state school, Scelfo:
· Is the only coach in Tulane history with two bowl victories after coaching the team to the 1998 Liberty Bowl and 2002 Hawai'i Bowl championships;
· Ranks third all-time at Tulane in games coached with 71 and will take over the No. 2 spot by the end of the 2005 season;
· Entered 2005 tied for fourth on the school's all-time coaching wins list and has won more games than any Green Wave head coach in the last 53 years;
· Has sent eight of his Tulane players to the NFL, including a pair of first-round draft choices in current NFL starting quarterbacks Patrick Ramsey (Redskins) and J.P. Losman (Bills).