UCF Football Summer Preview - Southern Miss

May 21, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After UCF's first home game against Samford, the Knights will hit the road to play Southern Miss in Hattiesburg. The matchup will serve as UCF's first Conference USA game of the 2009 season and takes place on Sept. 12, at M. M. Roberts Stadium.

Last year, under first-year head coach Larry Fedora, Southern Miss began a rough season at 2-6. The Golden Eagles pushed hard to win the next five-consecutive games, improving to 7-6. In 2008 they made their seventh-straight bowl appearance, defeating Troy in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

Offensive Player to Watch
This season the Golden Eagles will look for leadership and yards from running back Damion Fletcher. As a junior, Fletcher led C-USA in rushing with 1,313 yards - making last year his third-straight season with more than 1,000 yards. He ranks second in career touchdowns for Southern Miss with 36, following Sammy Winder's record of 39. Fletcher is one of eight returning offensive starters.

Defensive Player to Watch
Senior defensive back Eddie Hicks has 172 career tackles under his belt, 64 of which were made during the 2008 season. Hicks also had a team-high four interceptions. As a sophomore, Hicks started all 13 games, finished the year with 84 total tackles, including 56 solo, ranking 25th in the conference.

A Defensive Win
The Knights beat Southern Miss 34-17 during their last visit to M.M. Roberts Stadium in 2007. Kevin Smith led the Knights back into the C-USA East division race with 175 running yards and two touchdowns. UCF's defense intercepted Southern Miss quarterback Stephen Reaves three times and forced a series of turnovers that set up Smith for first-half scores. Michael Torres' nailed consecutive field goals helping to secure the win.

Season tickets for the 2009 UCF campaign at Bright House Networks Stadium are currently available. To order your season tickets today, contact the UCF ticket sales office at (407) UCF-1000 or visit UCFAthletics.com.

For the latest news on the Knights, log onto UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's online apparel store. Also, visit UCFphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for the UCF action sports pictures.