John Denton's Knights Insider: C-USA Football Awards To be Announced Today and Tomorrow

Dec. 8, 2009

By John Denton

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UCF's team success in Conference USA play - wins in the last six league games - should be recognized in the form of individual honors when the league announces its all-conference teams and top players on Tuesday and Wednesday.

And UCF's record-smashing defense should be well represented when the all-conference teams come out today and the top awards are released on Wednesday.

UCF defensive end Bruce Miller, quarterback Brett Hodges and cornerback Josh Robinson are favorites to win top individual honors.

Miller, a junior, is the heavy favorite to win Conference USA's Defensive Player of the Year award ahead of Marshall's Mario Harvey and SMU's Chase Kennemer. Miller finished tied with Heisman finalist Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) for sixth in the country in sacks with 12. He also had 16 tackles for losses and seven quarterback hurries this season.

Hodges, a senior transfer from Wake Forest, could win the league's Newcomer of the Year award after serving as a savior for the Knights offense this season. He completed 61.1 percent of his throws while passing for 2,263 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Robinson, a four-star recruit for UCF last fall, lived up to his billing for the Knights by leading the nation in interceptions (six) among freshmen. He also ranked third on the team in tackles with 65 and had eight more pass breakups. Robinson is a strong candidate to win C-USA's Freshman of the Year award.

UCF, which finished 8-4 overall and 6-2 in league play, begins preparations for the Dec. 19 St. Petersburg Bowl against Rutgers (8-4) on Thursday. The Knights will practice on campus six times before leaving for St. Pete on Dec. 15.

UCF's national reputation should help the Knights land several players on the all-conference teams. The Knights ranked fourth in the country against the run (82.5 yards per game), trailing only national championship contenders Texas (62.1) and Alabama (77.9) and undefeated TCU (80.5). The Knights also were tied for fifth in the country in sacks (3.08 a game) and ranked 11th in tackles for loss a game (7.58).

Defensive tackle Torrell Troup and middle linebacker Cory Hogue, both UCF team captains along, played a big role in UCF's lofting rankings and are strong possibilities to win all-conference honors.

Hogue was first on the team with 99 tackles and he also added 11.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Troup, who often took on double teams to free up Jarvis Geathers (11 sacks) and Miller, finished with 32 tackles, five stops for losses and two sacks.

Geathers, UCF's pass rush specialist at the other end opposite Miller, finished tied for 10th in the country with his 11 sacks.

Right tackle Jah Reid, arguably UCF's most improved player, is also a strong candidate to make the first-team all-conference squad. The 6-foot-7, 314-pound redshirt junior paved the way for UCF to average 26.3 points and 348 yards a game this season. He also opened holes for Brynn Harvey to run for 1,077 yards and 14 touchdowns.

John Denton's Knights Insider appears on UCFAthletics.com several times a week. E-mail John at jdenton@athletics.ucf.edu.