Oct. 23, 2007
ORLANDO - In a rare Sunday battle, the UCF football team looks to stay in the Conference USA title race with a crucial road game at Southern Miss. It will be the first Sunday game for the Knights since the 2003 season-opener vs. Virginia Tech. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on ESPN.
The Knights and the Golden Eagles each own a 2-1 C-USA record, and they trail only East Carolina (3-1) in the East Division. This weekend's tilt will be the only football game, college or professional, to take place Sunday night.
UCF is riding a lot of momentum after defeating Tulsa last weekend, 44-23, in front of a sold-out Bright House Networks Stadium. Junior running back Kevin Smith tallied 170 yards on the ground and had four touchdowns, including one receiving. Senior quarterback was 21-of-29 for 224 yards and no interceptions, hooking up with Smith for a 15-yard scoring play in the second quarter.
The Knights will have a tough time against the Southern Miss defense, which is giving up an average of 24.7 points per game, the lowest in the league. Meanwhile, the rush defense is No. 2, giving up 142.7 yards on the ground.
We'll Take Six
- In 12 games last season, UCF totaled 27 touchdowns. In just seven games in 2007, the Knights have already registered 30 touchdowns. At this point in the 2006 campaign, the Knights had just 15 touchdowns and were averaging 17.9 ppg. So far in 2007, the Knights are fourth in C-USA, averaging 34.9 ppg.
The Knights vs. the State of Mississippi
- UCF returns to the Magnolia State for the fourth time in Knight history. The team traveled to the state twice in 1997, their second season as a Division I-A member, dropping contests to Ole Miss and Mississippi State. The Knights other contest was in their inaugural season in C-USA, a 52-31 loss to USM.
Big Target Has Career Day
- Senior wideout Sergio Joachim, who is the Knights' tallest receiver at 6-foot-5, had a career day in the win over Tulsa on Oct. 20, pacing UCF with nine catches for 98 yards. Entering the game, Joachim had 10 catches for 90 yards in his career with the Knights. He has played in all seven of the Knights' games this season and has 14 receptions for 172 yards. Last season, he saw action in 10 contests, but did not record a catch. In 2005 as a redshirt sophomore, Joachim saw his first playing time for the Knights. In 10 appearances, he made five catches for 16 yards.
- The UCF defense snapped a four-game dry spell that spanned 18 quarters with no turnovers vs. Tulsa Oct. 20, as four different Knights intercepted passes in the contest. The four interceptions were the most by a C-USA team in a league game this season.
Hogue Makes His Presence Felt
- Junior linebacker Cory Hogue missed the Knights' first two games this year with an injury. However, since returning to the lineup on Sept. 22 against Memphis, Hogue has shined for the Knights. He is fifth on the squad with 30 total tackles and has three tackles-for-loss in 2007.