Knights Ready to Square off with Kansas States Wildcats.

Sept. 21, 2010

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By Claire Supplice

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF will meet Kansas State for the first time this Saturday in Kansas at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. UCF will be looking to improve its record 3-1 for the first time since the Conference USA championship season of 2007.

The Knights have outscored their opponents 35-0 in the fourth quarter this year, marking the first time in the FBS era (since 1996) that they have not allowed a fourth quarter point in the last three games. One of UCF'S key defensive stops in the fourth quarter versus Buffalo came when senior defensive end David Williams halted the run on a fourth-and-one play to end the Bulls drive.

The Knights are 0-3 all time versus Big 12 programs falling at Nebraska in 1997 and suffering two losses to Texas in 2007 and 2009. Could this be the year when the Knights defeat a Big 12 opponent?

We talked with Williams Tuesday morning about some of the challenges facing Kansas State and how the Knights defense plans to use their growth to their advantage.

What are the challenges that the team will face playing at Kansas State in front of 50,000 screaming fans?
Its' going to be a hostile environment and that's tough. They're coming into the game 3-0 so they're a good football team. Their running back (Daniel Thomas) is one of the best running backs we've played against and one of the best running backs in the country by far. He's averaging almost 200 yards rushing, so we've really got to stop the run. That's a big challenge; they're big up front so we're going to have to really step it up on the defensive line. Those are the main challenges that we face going into this game.

Does playing on the road, in a hostile environment, bring the team together?
I think it does. It really shows what kind of team we are regardless of anything that happens. I think the way we face adversity and whatever will happen in the game will determine what kind of team we are. Playing this game on the road in that hostile environment with a huge stadium, lots of fans, and a good football team--it's really going to show what we can do and how we come together.

Are there any difficulties in playing back-to-back road games?
I don't see the difficulty in that. It's obviously easier playing on your field because you have that home field advantage, the fans and you're in an environment that you know. But for the most part I think that we did just fine last week. We were looking forward to a change of scenery, so I don't see any challenges with playing away twice in a row. Do you think that the defense has been getting strong as the season has progressed?
Yes, I do. Our passing game has really improved a lot. Our running game is improving. We're not where we need to be in our run defense but we're getting that corrected and I definitely think that's going to be a lot better. I definitely think we're stronger.

The defense entered the Buffalo game with no forced turnovers, but had a bunch in the win. How good was it to force some turnovers and help the offense out?
It was something that we definitely needed, obviously with offense not really getting a strong start in the game. I think the defense coming out and helping put some points on the board was a big momentum change for us and that really helped us in the second half.

The Knights will play four more home contests in 2010 against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, East Carolina Pirates, UAB Blazers and Rice Owls.

Tickets for the next key C-USA matchup and first-ever mid-week game versus UAB on October 6 at Bright House Networks Stadium can still be purchased at UCFAthletics.com.

Affordable mini-plans for the remainder of UCF's 2010 football campaign at Bright House Networks Stadium are currently available by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at 407-UCF-1000 or logging on to UCFAthletics.com.