Knights Notebook: NC State 28, UCF 21

Sept. 12, 2010

Recap | Final Stats | Quotes | Photo Gallery

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By Pat Salvas

UCF vs. NC State
Sept. 11, 2010
From Bright House Networks Stadium
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
N.C. State 7 14 7 0 28
UCF 0 7 0 14 21

Return of Michael Lynche

Former UCF defensive tackle and American Idol finalist Michael Lynche returned to his alma mater to sing the national anthem prior to the Knights' game with N.C. State on Friday night. Lynche is the first person to perform the anthem live at Bright House Networks Stadium since it opened for the 2007 season. The former Knight had not been back to the UCF campus in nearly seven years and was impressed with the growth of both the university and the football program during his time away.

"When I was getting recruited, part of the promise and part of the allure was that you were building something and was going to be part of something big," Lynche said. "So, to come back and see the fruition of that is really amazing."

That his performance of the national anthem fell on September 11th was not lost on Lynche.

"It's a big day in the country. When I saw the schedule and saw that my schedule matched up and I could be here, it was a no-brainer. I wanted to be a part of something big and special like this."

More than just to sing, Lynche returned to UCF to take in the atmosphere. He knows that since his playing career (2001-2002), UCF has become a far more recognizable program, making it easier for him to follow.

"I love the Knights. Since I have been away, I always stay in touch and stay up on it," Lynche said. "Florida is a great state for football. UCF is trying to get up there with the big boys. Having the stadium, the new uniforms and having some great players that have made it to the NFL shows how much UCF has grown."

With everything that Lynche saw on Saturday night, it is unlikely that he will go another seven years between trips to UCF.

"I definitely have to be back. Regardless of singing or not, it's nice to come back and know you are welcomed. To see how things have changed, it feels so different now on campus. I want to I talk to some of my old teammates and make sure they come back too. It's important for the young guys to see that. The school spirit on campus is crazy too!"

Rock the Bright House
Quincy McDuffie's 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter had the UCF fans at Bright House Networks Stadium fired up. With the Knights trailing by three scores, McDuffie's return put his team on the scoreboard for the first time in the game. The knickoff return for a touchdown was the second of his career, tying McDuffie for second all-time at UCF and fourth in the Conference USA record books. Ted Wilson (1983-86) and Joe Burnett (2005-08) are the other two players in program history to return two kickoffs for scores. Burnett and Quincy are tied with four other players to accomplish the feat for a Conference USA team.

First and Most Recent
Bruce Miller's first-quarter sack of NC State quarterback Russell Wilson was the first of the season for senior defensive end. Miller now has 28-career sacks, the most any active player in the nation. His first-career sack, a safety, came at NC State in the last meeting between the two schools on Sept. 1, 2007.

It's Been a While Since That Happened
Quarterback Rob Calabrese had his streak of consecutive passing attempts without an interception snapped at 103. That streak dated back to a 2008 game with Southern Miss. NC State's Earl Wolf intercepted the Knights' starting quarterback on a pass deflection with six minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Good Timing
Defensive lineman Troy Davis' first-career sack came at a good time for the Knights. Beating the offensive lineman on the right side, Davis threw NC State's Wilson to the ground on third down to end the Wolfpack drive in the third quarter.

Off to a Great Start
Jeff Godfrey joins Michael Greco as the only UCF quarterback in the last 12 seasons to rush for two touchdowns in a game. Greco accomplished the feat with two rushing scores in the second quarter of a Sept. 22, 2007 game against Memphis. Godfrey's two rushing touchdowns were the first of his career after passing for one last week against South Dakota.

1,500 Yards and Counting
UCF wide receiver Kamar Aiken finished the game with five receptions for 50 yards. His third reception gave him 22 yards in the game and exactly 1,500 for his career.

Total Offense
The Knights' second-half offense produced 200 total yards after 108 in the first. Godfrey passed for 107 and rushed for 53 to make up 80 percent of UCF's second half total.