ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Coming off an impressive freshman season, sophomore running back Brynn Harvey (Largo, Fla.) is looking to help lead the Knights' offensive rushing attack this year. Last year, Harvey led all UCF rushers in rushing attempts (125), rushing yards (519) and rushing average per game (51.9). All numbers were good enough to help Harvey garner postseason honors, as he was voted on to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team.
UCF opened the season over the weekend with a 28-24 win over Samford. Harvey led the UCF rushing attack on Saturday evening as he rushed 31 times for 111 yards. He also added two rushing touchdowns and a successful two-point conversion reception. Harvey's 111 rushing yards marked just the second time that a Knight has ran for over 100 yards in the season opener since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1996, joining the 217 that Kevin Smith had at NC State in 2007. It was the second 100-yard rushing game of Harvey's young UCF career.
As UCF prepares to open Conference USA play against Southern Miss this Saturday, at 7 p.m., UCFAthletics.com recently caught up with Harvey to get his thoughts on the Knights' offense and the beginning conference play.
The student section came out in full force Saturday. How did they help the team pull out the game?
"The student section helped to give us that momentum we needed. We can hear them when we're waiting in the locker room before the game, and they help to give us that extra energy and spark that we need."
Talk about your performance in the Samford game. How would you rate your performance?
"I felt I did I pretty well. I think I could have made a few extra plays to help out the offense a bit, but I definitely helped out as much as I could."
You were handed the ball 31 times last Saturday. Do you enjoy getting that many carries?
"Well it doesn't really matter to me if I get 11 carries, 40 carries, or no carries, I just want to go out there and help my team get points on the board."
You had some important, tough yards late in the game. Did you feel like you were able to wear the defense down a little bit throughout the course of the game?
"That was our point of attack, to wear their defense down and to run the clock down. Especially towards the end when we were up and that was my job was to just get to the defense and help to wear those guys up front down."
There are some new guys on your offensive line. Talk about how they played Saturday and how they are coming together as a unit.
"I think the offensive line is getting better and better everyday. I certainly think they are coming together as a unit and I get to help them a lot when we get into pass blocking. So I feel that together they are going to get it done this year."
How do you feel you will compare being on the road than at home as you travel to Southern Miss for the first road game of the year?
"For me, I honestly think that I play better when we're on the road. I enjoy playing in front of the opposing crowds, having that target on our backs. It definitely gets me pretty pumped up especially when we start doing well."
What have you seen so far on tape from the Southern Miss defense? Which key players will you be trying to run past?
"I think they have a pretty fast defense and overall they're going to be pretty pumped after coming off a huge win last Saturday. They have a pretty quick and big defensive line and linebacker unit."
UCF lost to Southern Miss last year and only scored six points. What do you think will help the offense have more success this time around?
"It's going to be pretty important to start off the game to come out on the first drive to set the tone. I think we're going to have to get a good push up front and help give protection so we can get a lot more big plays. We're definitely going to do a lot better this year on the offensive side in getting more points on the board."
How important is it to get off to a good start in the C-USA season?
"It's very important to start the season towards the top of the conference and to set ourselves up for success down the road. We definitely don't want to be towards the bottom and have to fight our way back up to reach our goal of that C-USA Championship at the end of the year."
UCF will return home to face Buffalo on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Season tickets and single-game tickets for the Buffalo game are currently available. To order season tickets, or to learn more about attending games at Bright House Networks Stadium, call 407-UCF-1000.