Summer Football Preview - UCF at Tulsa

July 14, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - In a rematch of last year's Conference USA title game, UCF will travel to H.A. Chapman Stadium to take on Tulsa on Oct. 26.

This will mark the fourth meeting between these two C-USA rivals. The Knights hosted and won both competitions last year, including the C-USA Championship game.

In the first meeting, the Knights won by forcing All-C-USA quarterback Paul Smith to throw four interceptions. UCF running back Kevin Smith ran for 170 yards on 33 carries with three touchdowns, while quarterback Kyle Israel had one of his best outings of the season when he completed 21-of-29 passes for 224 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions.

The second meeting between UCF and Tulsa last season was almost exactly reminiscent of the first, but had added meaning as the winner was crowned C-USA champions. While the first game's final score was 44-23, the title game was decided with a score of 44-25. UCF played its style of football, forced three interceptions and Smith recorded 284 yards on 39 carries with four touchdowns as the Knights claimed the schools first C-USA championship.

Tulsa's record-breaking offense returns nine starters from last year, but has to replace its all-conference quarterback Smith. In 2007, Tulsa established 29 school records, 15 C-USA records and four NCAA marks. Smith finished second nationally in total passing yards (5,065), third in passing yards per game (361.8) and first in points responsible for (26.14).

Senior quarterback David Johnson was expected to take over the starting role, but redshirt freshman Clark Harrell and junior-college transfer Jacob Bower both played past their expected potential during the spring game. The coaches have yet to name a starter and will hold off on doing so until training camp begins.

After gaining experience from going up against a no-huddle offense for most of the spring workouts, the Golden Hurricane's defensive lack of experience and returning starters shouldn't be a problem heading into training camp. After the departure of the three top tacklers from 2007, the defense needed players to step up into those roles. Freshman Curnelius Arnick and sophomore Kenny R. Sims played well throughout spring workouts and earned starting linebacker jobs. Sims shared the starting role during the 2007 campaign and achieved 52 total tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.

In 2007, UCF went 10-4, claimed the C-USA Championship and participated in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

Season tickets for the 2008 UCF football campaign are currently available. To order season tickets, or to learn more abut attending games at Bright House Networks Stadium, call 407-UCF-1000. The Knights are scheduled to play six home contests this year.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log onto www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also visit www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.