Sept. 28, 2009
ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - Family weekend is approaching as UCF will host Memphis in its Conference USA home opener Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting UCFAthletics.com or by calling the UCF Ticket Office at 407-823-1000.
THE OPENING DRIVE
? UCF looks to build off of its best passing performance since 2007 with 266 yards at East Carolina.
? Last week, A.J. Guyton had nine receptions which tied for the most by a Knight since 2006.
? UCF has had four scoring drives of 11 plays or longer already this year after having just five such marches all of last year.
? Knights rank second in the nation in both punt return coverage and kickoff return coverage.
? UCF has outscored opponents 53-32 in the second half of games this year but has been outscored 54-31 in the opening half.
? Knights rank 10th in the nation in tackles for loss with 32 in four games. A total of 13 different Knights have contributed to a TFL.
? UCF boasts the Conference USA leader in both sacks (Jarvis Geathers, 4.0) and tackles for loss (Lawrence Young, 6.0).
? Knights stand amongst the nation's best in preventing red-zone touchdowns, allowing just four in 12 red-zone situations.
? Knights return home to face Memphis, and they are a perfect 4-0 against the Tigers since joining C-USA.
? UCF is 2-0 in C-USA home openers since moving into Bright House Networks Stadium.
? Tigers will be the first East Division team to play twice at Bright House Networks Stadium.
? Derrick Hallman amassed 13 tackles at ECU. Only Cory Hogue (13 vs. UTEP in 2007) had posted at least 13 dating back to Jason Venson's 14 against the Pirates in 2006.
SECOND HALF THE STRONGER ONE
? The Knights have been outscored 54-31 in the first half this year and outscored opponents 53-32 after intermission. Both of UCF's wins saw the team rally from second-half deficits, while UCF's two losses nearly saw the Knights do the same as both dramatically got down to an onside-kick situations.
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
? UCF trailed defending MAC Champion Buffalo 17-7 at the half on Sept. 19 but scored 16 unanswered second-half points to win the game 23-17. It marked the first time the Knights rallied back from a double-digit deficit to win since Nov. 19, 2005. UCF trailed Rice by 12, 21-9, at the half in Houston before rallying to win 31-28.
UCF MOVES BALL ALL NIGHT VS. SAMFORD
? On opening night against Samford, UCF moved the ball better than it had since 2007, gaining 571 yards of combined total offense and special teams yardage. It was UCF's best total since the 2007 regular season finale vs. UTEP and the fourth best sum for the Knights ever at Bright House Networks Stadium. It was over 100 yards better than UCF's best effort in 2008 (468 yards vs. USF in overtime).
ALL-TIME MOST TOTAL OFFENSE+SPECIAL TEAMS YARDAGE BY UCF AT BHNS
1. 711 yards vs. Memphis, 9/22/07
2. 621 yards vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 9/29/07
3. 576 yards vs. UTEP, 11/24/07
4. 571 yards vs. Samford, 9/5/09
HE'S THE GUY-TON
? Wide receiver A.J. Guyton missed the entire 2008 season with an injury but showed that he was back to his old self at East Carolina, hauling in a career-high nine passes for 119 yards. The nine receptions tied for the most by a Knight since current Jacksonville Jaguar Mike Walker caught 13 passes against Rice on Oct. 21, 2006.
LONG DRIVES THIS YEAR
? A sign of UCF's improved offense in 2009 is its ability to sustain long drives. UCF has had four scoring marches of at least 11 plays through its first four games this year after having just five in 12 games a year ago. UCF had scoring drives of over 8:30 against both Southern Miss and Buffalo, a feat it had not accomplished since 2007.
Against the Bulls, UCF had two separate 14-play scoring drives. It was the first time that UCF had two scoring drives of at least 14 plays in the same game since the 1993 NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs at Youngstown State.
BRETT PLAYING LIKE A VET
? Senior Brett Hodges assumed the role of starting quarterback with his steady play in the first two games. He did not disappoint in his first start against Buffalo, completing 15-of-20 passes and piling up 212 yards of total offense (71 rushing, 141 passing) in the win. His 266 passing yards at East Carolina were the most by a Knight since Kyle Israel had 313 on Oct. 6, 2007, also at East Carolina. Behind Hodges, UCF is fifth in C-USA in passing efficiency a year after ranking 12th in the league. To earn the starting nod, Hodges had come off of the bench behind Rob Calabrese in the first two games and went 25-for-43 for 287 yards with three touchdowns and one INT.
HARVEY'S DANGEROUS FOR OPPONENTS
? Sophomore Brynn Harvey ran for 111 yards and two scores in UCF's season-opening win over Samford. It was just the second time in the FBS era (since 1996) that a Knight eclipsed the century mark on opening day. Kevin Smith (who coincidentally attended the Samford game) ran for 217 in a 2007 win at NC State. It was Harvey's second career 100-yard effort, joining his 150 at Marshall last year, and his first career two-TD performance. He narrowly missed having another against Buffalo, ending up with 98. Harvey has five rushing touchdowns through four games. UCF as a team had just eight all of last year.
HALLMAN STOPPING EVERYONE IN HIS PATH
? Safety Derrick Hallman led the defense in back-to-back games vs. Buffalo and at ECU and currently paces all Knights with 33 tackles in 2009. He not only tied for the team lead with eight tackles vs. Buffalo, he also recorded one tackle for a loss, a forced fumble and a QB hurry. Meanwhile, he notched UCF's first interception of 2009 when the Bulls were trying to take the lead with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
JARVIS GATHERS SACKS
? Jarvis Geathers played a huge role in UCF's come-from-behind win over Buffalo, recording three second half sacks, forcing fumbles on two of those which were recovered by the Knights. One of the fumbles set up the game-tying field goal and the other effectively ended the game with 0:26 to play. He ranks 14th in the nation in sacks and first in Conference USA.
HERE'S TO YOU MR. ROBINSON
? True freshman Josh Robinson made his first career start on Sept. 12 at Southern Miss and came away leading the Knights with a total of 10 tackles, all of them solo. He also broke up a pass against the Golden Eagles. After making nine stops, all solos, at East Carolina, he ranks fourth on the team with 25 tackles, including a TFL, and two pass break-ups.
YOUNG IS RESTLESS
? Through four games in 2009 junior linebacker Lawrence Young has six TFLs to tie for 27th nationally and lead C-USA. He also has a sack, interception and fumble recovery to his credit in 2009. Young is second on the team with 31 total tackles.
CONTINUING TO BRING THE PRESSURE
? UCF ranks 10th in the nation, and first in C-USA, in TFLs with 8.00 per game, continuing its 2008 pace where UCF was third nationally at 8.17 TFLs per game. A total of 13 Knights have at least half of a TFL.
BEND BUT DON'T BREAK
? UCF has seen opponents reach the red zone 12 times this year but come away with just four touchdowns (33-percent). Of all teams nationally with at least 12 red zone possessions against, only Virginia Tech (4-for-17, 24-percent) has done better than UCF at keeping teams out of the end zone.
UCF VS. MEMPHIS
? UCF is a perfect 4-0 vs. Memphis since joining Conference USA and 4-1 overall, including a loss back in 1990 in UCF's first FCS (I-AA) season. UCF is 2-0 at home vs. Memphis. The Tigers will be the first C-USA East team to play twice all-time at BHNS. Tulsa played at BHNS twice in 2007, once during the regular season and again that December in the C-USA Championship Game.
KNIGHTS HOPE TO SHINE BRIGHT AT BHNS
? UCF is 10-5 all-time at Bright House Networks Stadium and 2-0 in 2009. UCF has won both of its C-USA home openers at its on-campus home, beating Memphis in 2007 and SMU in 2008. UCF is 6-3 vs. C-USA teams at BHNS, winning its first six and losing its last three.
LONG DISTANCE INFORMATION
? UCF has no players from Memphis, or anywhere in Tennessee...Memphis has 10 Floridians including Clay Lee of Orlando (Dr. Phillips) and Maurice Holloway of Sanford (Lake Highland)...Memphis wide receivers coach Darin Hinshaw was a UCF quarterback from 1991-94 and helped coach the Knights from 1999-2000. Hinshaw still holds several UCF passing records. UCF defensive backs coach Sean Beckton was UCF's offensive graduate assistant for Hinshaw's sophomore and junior seasons...George O'Leary is 4-0 vs. Tommy West at UCF and 6-3 overall. West held a 3-2 edge from 1994-98 when the two were head coaches at Clemson and Georgia Tech. O'Leary's first game as Georgia Tech's interim head coach was a 20-10 loss at Clemson on Nov. 4, 1994.