Knights Notebook: Miami 27, UCF 7

Oct. 17, 2009

Recap | Final Stats | Quotes | Photo Gallery 1 | Photo Gallery 2

UCF vs. Miami
Oct. 17, 2009
Live from Bright House
Networks Stadium
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Miami 7 3 10 7 27
UCF 0 0 7 0 7

Quote of the Knight
Junior wide receiver Jamar Newsome
"It was nice playing in front of the crowd. Everyone was loud and we definitely need that. I hope our fans stay with us the rest of the year because we are going to keep going and keep getting better. We are going to keep working hard with our execution and pushing ourselves every day."

Sack Attack
A formidable Knight defense again played well Saturday night and was able to get pressure in the backfield. UCF entered the contest as one of the top teams in the nation in both tackles for a loss and sacks. The Knights had another strong performance in both categories against Miami, tallying 10 tackles for a loss and six sacks.

An impressive stat signaling the balance of the Knights' defense, the five UCF sacks against Miami quarterback Jacory Harris were collected by five different players. Senior Jarvis Geathers and junior Bruce Miller both got to Harris and continue to share the team lead in sacks with 5.5 on the season. Both players entered Saturday ranked in the top-20 nationally in the category and first in C-USA.

Senior Cory Hogue tallied a pair of sacks in the game, his first two of the season, and 3.5 of his eight tackles were for a loss. He now has 6.5 sacks in his five-year UCF career. David Williams and Darius Nall also registered their first sacks of the season Saturday.

"I am not sure how many times we got to [Harris], but I know we were trying to put good pressure on him," Hogue said. "We were just keeping it basic - blitz when we were suppose to and run our base defense when we were supposed to. Our d-line and our linebackers did a great job of getting pressure on him. I think we fought really hard and fought until the end of the game."

Record Crowd
A Bright House Networks Stadium record 48,453 people watched Saturday's game against Miami. The attendance mark exceeded the previous record of 46,805 fans which watched the Knights play USF on Sept. 6, 2008.

The attendance mark also replaced the USF game as the third-largest home crowd in the program's history, behind only two contests in the Citrus Bowl.

"You look up into the stands and it is like Texas A&M playing Zombie Nation with everyone jumping up and down," said Miami head coach Randy Shannon. "It is a great stadium and a great atmosphere."

Of the 10 largest crowds in UCF history, seven have been in the past two-plus years at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Gains in Chunks
On the Knights' opening drive of the game, Brett Hodges and Kamar Aiken connected on a 35-yard pass play into Miami territory. Junior Jamar Newsome then had a 41-yard catch from Hodges in the third quarter that set up a Rocky Ross touchdown for UCF. The catch was the longest of the season for Newsome.

Showing a proclivity to rack up big chunks of yardage on single plays, UCF now has 16 pass plays of 20-plus yards in six games this season. In 2008, the Knights had only 12 such plays in 12 games.

Sharing the Wealth
Senior quarterback Brett Hodges spread the ball around for the Knights. The UCF signal caller completed 12-of-27 passes for 163 yards during the game, with the 12 completions going to seven different UCF receivers. Rob Calabrese completed a pass to an eighth Knight receiver, hitting freshman Brandon Kelly for a 13-yard catch.

Slowing the Rush
Miami carried the ball 46 times Saturday night, but were only able to muster 70 yards on the ground for an average of only 1.5 yards per rush. Javarris James, one of the top-10 all-time Miami rushers, had 17 carries for 65 yards, but the Knights held the running back to an average under four yards per rush.

"My hat goes off to UCF. They played a good game and they have a lot of talent on defense. It goes to tell you how much talent is in this state," said James.

Junior Justin Boddie was a major cog for the defense, tallying a career-high 10 tackles in the game. Four other Knights tallied eight tackles for the night, including Lawrence Young, Josh Robinson, Derrick Hallman and Hogue.

Special Recognition
Head coach George O'Leary selects players each week to serve as the team's game captains. For tonight's game against Miami, the captains were all from the defensive side of the ball as seniors T.J. Harnden, Jarvis Geathers and Travis Timmons earned the honor. Coach O'Leary also tabs three members of the scout team as the players of the week. D.J. Brown (offense), Chris Martin (defense) and Nick Giovanetti (special teams) earned the distinction this week.

Other Notes
Tonight's game was the second all-time meeting between the two in-state schools...Freshman Kemal Ishmael had a career-high seven tackles in the game, including three solo tackles...Miller now has 19.5 sacks in his UCF career. He is two and a half sacks from cracking the program's top-five list...Newsome had team highs with three receptions and 56 yards...With his third-quarter touchdown, Rocky Ross now has two TD grabs on the season and seven in his UCF career.