UCF Football Summer Preview - Rice

June 8, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - On Oct. 24, halfway through the season, the Knights will travel to Houston to face Rice, the 2008 Conference USA West Division champions. It has been three years since the two teams met in UCF's previous home stadium, the Citrus Bowl. This will be UCF's fourth conference game of the year and third series game versus the Owls.

Rice went 10-3 last season and captured the Texas Bowl against Western Michigan, 38-14. The Owls face a challenging 2009 schedule, playing seven teams who earned bowl eligibility last year. Rice will also not have home field advantage until game four versus Vanderbilt.

Offensive Player to Watch
With James Casey drafted to the NFL the Owls will look to senior tight end Taylor Wardlow for receptions. In 2008 against Houston, Wardlow recorded a career-long 53-yard scoring pass from Chase Clement for his first touchdown and then caught a three-yard jump pass from Casey to help Rice record a 56-42 win. Wardlow had nine receptions and three scores a year ago.

Defensive Player to Watch
Sophomore Chris Jammer recorded 40 tackles at corner in 2008. In the game against Memphis, Jammer had a 69-yard interception return for a score with 11 seconds remaining, giving the Owls a 42-35 win over the Tigers. The interception was nominated as the Pontiac Game Changing Performance for the week. On kickoff returns, Jammer averaged 17.9 yards on 10 returns. His longest return was a 30-yard effort at Memphis.

Back in Time
Rice and UCF both moved into C-USA in 2005. In 2006 at the Citrus Bowl, Rice and UCF battled for the second time with Rice coming out on top 40-29. Starting in only his second college game, Kyle Israel threw for 327 yards with three scores and sophomore tailback Kevin Smith ran for 155 yards. The Knights had 482 total yards of offense, but fell short against the Owls.

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 on to 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 new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.