UCF Knights ready to take on N.C. State Wolfpack

Sept. 7, 2010

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By Claire Supplice

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - This Saturday brings familiar competition for the Knights. Three years ago this time, the Knights were readying to face ACC opponent NC State for their first away game of the season. With several true freshmen starters on the field, the Knights had a lot to prove in order to gain respect and recognition.

The Knights started off the game with an 80-yard touchdown play from running back Kevin Smith, easily falling into UCF football history as one of its most memorable plays. UCF immediately proved it was a force to be reckoned with as they went on to defeat the Wolfpack in a 25-23 victory.

Among the wide-eyed true freshmen starters was linebacker Lawrence Young. It was the first game of Young's collegiate career and he started off with a bang. Now a senior, Young made his first impression with an interception in the first quarter and had nine total stops against the Wolfpack.

We spoke with Young Tuesday morning as he reflected on his first collegiate game and how the Knights plan to focus for this Saturday's game.

What are your memories of the NC State game from 2007?
My main memory was going out there and feeling hype for the game. Making that first interception was a big stop on fourth down.

Were you nervous because it was your first college game?
I mean, of course I was nervous. It's just like any high school game, you go in there with jitters. Coming straight out of high school and playing in college, it's a much bigger stage.

How important is it for the team not to get too excited for this game?
I would say we just have to keep level headed, make sure we're doing the proper things we need to do like reading our keys and doing what we need to in order to see that win.

Were you pleased with the focus that the defense had against South Dakota?
No, none of us were actually. I felt like we let them make more plays than we should have and we weren't as focused as we should've been. We need to just go out there and work harder.

What stands out the most about NC State's offense?
The thing that stands out the most is probably more of their run game. They have some big linemen and they have some big receivers also, but we're focusing on stopping the run through playing good defense.

What are you hoping for in terms of the crowd and atmosphere for Saturday?
I'm hoping for a live atmosphere like any other big home game. Just having the crowd be into it and help us come to a victory.

So how has Lawrence Young grown as a player from 2007 until now?
Well, Lawrence in 2007 was a wide-eyed freshman that didn't know too much and just went out there and played. But now I'm much wiser. I know how to read keys better and I would just say I'm an all-around better player.

The game against N.C. State is set for 7:30 p.m. this Saturday at Bright House Networks Stadium. Season tickets for 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.