UCF Returns Home for C-USA Showdown

Oct. 7, 2005

ORLANDO- UCF returns home on Saturday to face Memphis for a Conference USA contest at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The game will mark the Golden Knights first game at home since their historic victory over Marshall two weeks ago. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

UCF (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) enters the contest riding a two-game winning streak after beating Louisiana-Lafayette last week on a game-winning field goal by senior place kicker John Brown.

The game will be broadcast as part of CSTV's "All-Access" package. Dish Network subscribers can view the game via pay-per-view. Digital cable subscribers can call 888-SPORTS-IN or contact their local cable operator.

"All-Access" coverage is also available on www.UCFathletics.com. Additionally, the game will be broadcast live over the air in Memphis. Greg Gaston will have the call and Rob Fisher will handle the color commentary.

The UCF ISP Network and its flagship station 740- The Team AM (WQTM) will broadcast live from Orlando. Marc Daniels will once again have the call with Gary Parris. Jerry O'Neill will handle the sideline duties. Network affiliates in include WMMV-1350 in Cocoa, WDCF-1350 Dade City, WROD-1340 in Daytona Beach and WMMB-1240 Melbourne.

Fans looking for a more extensive preview and UCF head coach George O'Leary's thoughts on Memphis this week, should tune into "The George O'Leary Show," which will air Friday at 5:30 p.m. on Sun Sports and again Saturday at 1 p.m. on WESH-2.

Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased the Florida Citrus Bowl. Prior to the game, UCF officials will be on hand at each gate, collecting donations in honor of Mario Jenkins. Jenkins, a UCF police officer, lost his life while in the line of duty on Sept. 24. All proceeds will be deposited into the Mario Jenkins Memorial Trust Fund at SunTrust Bank.

About Memphis

Memphis (2-2, 1-1) beat UTEP 27-20 last week to earn its first league win of the year. The Tigers are led by tailback DeAngelo Williams, the nation's leading rusher and a Heisman Trophy candidate. Williams is averaging 187.2 yards per game and is looking for his fourth straight 200-plus yard showing. For the year, Williams has run for 749 yards and scored eight touchdowns.

"There are good running backs and there are special running backs; and he (Williams) is special," said O'Leary. "He is a kid that can do everything - run, catch; he's taking direct snaps now as a quarterback."

Leg injuries to starting quarterback Patrick Byrne and backup Will Hudgens have forced the Tigers to turn to true freshmen Billy Barefield to lead the offense. Against UTEP, Barefield was 12-for-19 for 79 yards.

On the defensive side of the football, Memphis is led by defensive back Wesley Smith, who paces the team with 25 tackles, to go along with one interception on the year. Defensive end Marcus West leads the defensive frontline with three sacks on the year. As a unit, the Tigers are giving up 244.2 yards per game through the air and 138.2 yards a contest on the ground.

About UCF

UCF's win last week was the first road victory for the Golden Knights in 15 tries. The Golden Knights found success through the air and on the ground against the Ragin' Cajuns in their 24-21 victory. Quarterback Steven Moffett was 15-for-25 passing for 232 yards and three touchdowns. So far this season, Moffett has completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 958 yards and six touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Brandon Marshall had a career game with five catches for a career-high 107 yards and two touchdowns. Marshall now has over 300 receiving yards for the season to go along with four touchdowns.

Freshman tailback Kevin Smith had the best game of his young career, rushing 25 times for 110 yards. On UCF's final drive, Smith carried the ball on every play, leading up to the game winning 28-yard field goal by Brown.

O'Leary was pleased with Smith's performance and feels as if the tailback has just scratched the surface as a football player.

"Kevin Smith is a guy that I think has tremendous potential," said O'Leary. "As we get better on block assignments, he will get better. He also has made the offensive line better with some of the cuts he has made, so I've been pleased with him."

Defensively, UCF was able to hold ULL to just seven points in the first half. Defensive Back Jason Venson led the Golden Knights with 12 total tackles, while freshman Joe Burnett had another stellar game with seven total tackles. After giving up just 11 rushing yards to Marshall two weeks ago, UCF gave up 181 to ULL.

The Golden Knights pass defense held the hosts to just 128 yards though the air. Linebacker James Cook recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter to hold off a late ULL rally.