Eight UCF Alumni To Play on Thanksgiving in NFL

Nov. 26, 2009

By Leigh Torbin

Watching football has become as much of a part of the American Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and stuffing. Knight fans will have a chance to see a total of eight UCF alumni play in the NFL today as the Knights are represented on five of the six teams in action this Thanksgiving.

The day's NFL action begins at 12:30 p.m. on FOX when the Green Bay Packers head to Ford Field to face the Detroit Lions in their traditional Thanksgiving Day home contest. With Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford listed as doubtful for the game, UCF's own Daunte Culpepper should step in and start in what is annually one of America's most watched regular season games. Behind Culpepper, as usual, is Kevin Smith. The Detroit tailback had 104 receiving yards and a touchdown in last week's thrilling last second 38-37 win over Cleveland.

Opposing the Lions is a Packers team with two Knights in its starting lineup. Josh Sitton has become a fixture at right guard in Green Bay while Atari Bigby will be the starting strong safety today for the sixth time this year.

At 4:15 p.m. on CBS, America's eyes will move south to watch the Dallas Cowboys face an Oakland Raider team whose starting right tackle for the past three years, Cornell Green, is a former UCF player and now a 10-year NFL veteran.

Under the lights at 8:20 p.m. tonight on NFL Network, the New York Giants head to Denver to face the Broncos. Two of Denver's top players are former Knights in Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall and decorated place kicker Matt Prater. Meanwhile, for Big Blue, UCF alumnus Darcy Johnson has played in all 10 games so far this season as a tight end and on special teams.