Sept. 11, 2007
ORLANDO - After months of planning, constructing and anticipation, the Texas week has arrived for the UCF football team. Along with hosting the No. 6 Longhorns on ESPN2 Saturday at 3:30 p.m., the Knights begin a new tradition: playing home games on campus.
UCF finished 28 seasons of playing at the Florida Citrus Bowl in downtown Orlando last year. But this year brings a whole new experience for students, fans and alumni. The inaugural game at Bright House Networks Stadium will allow the entire community to experience the East Orlando campus in a completely different way. And it will do so by watching UCF take on one of the most prestigious programs in college football.
Both programs bring in undefeated records as the Knights defeated NC State on the road, 25-23, Sept. 1 before taking last weekend off. Texas, meanwhile, is 2-0 thanks to a 21-13 win over Arkansas State in week one and a 34-13 trouncing of No. 22 TCU Sept. 8.
UCF Quick Hits
- With this Saturday's game vs. Texas officially sold out, UCF is expecting to have one of the largest crowds to ever watch a Knight home game. The record is 51,978 at the Citrus Bowl when UCF hosted Tulsa for the C-USA Championship in 2005, but a crowd of exactly 45,323 (Bright House Networks Stadium's capacity) against the Longhorns would rank as the fourth-largest attendance in Knight history.
- Sept. 15 will mark the first time that UCF and Texas will tangle on the gridiron. The Longhorns also will be the first Big 12 opponent to play the Knights in Orlando.
A Look Back
- The only other time UCF faced a school from the Big 12 was when it traveled to No. 6 Nebraska during the 1997 season. The Knights held a 17-14 lead on the Cornhuskers early in the third quarter before eventually falling, 38-24.
Taking on Ranked Teams
- The clash with No. 6 Texas is the 17th time the Knights have squared off against a ranked opponent. The Longhorns will be the fifth-ranked opponent to visit Orlando to play UCF. Even though the Knights were winless in their 16 previous tries against ranked schools, the team nearly sprung upsets at No. 11 Georgia (24-23 loss) in 1999 and at No. 24 Penn State (27-24 loss) in 2002. Texas will be the highest-ranked opponent and fourth overall George O'Leary has faced during his tenure at UCF.
Already Racking Up the Yards
- Following his career high 217-yard effort at NC State, junior RB Kevin Smith brought his career rushing total to 2,329 yards. His total through 23 games places him fourth on the UCF career charts and 13th among active rushers in the NCAA Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The 217-yard total was the third best single-game effort by a Knight and his 80-yard TD run on the game's opening play from scrimmage was the longest rush in school history.
True freshman A.J. Guyton caught five passes for 21 yards in his debut at UCF. The five catches were the most by a UCF freshman in a single game since the Knights moved to the NCAA Bowl Subdivision in 1996. Former UCF standout Mike Walker had the previous mark with four catches against FAU in 2003. Walker holds the yardage mark for a freshman with 104 in that contest against the Owls.
A Look Back at Week One
- UCF opened its 2007 season with a 25-23 win at NC State, marking the first time in school history the Knights defeated an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference. It was the second-consecutive season-opening win (Villanova, 35-16 in 2006) and the first on the road since 1998 (Louisiana Tech, 64-30).