Knights Notebook: UCF 42, UAB 7

Oct. 6, 2010

Recap | Final Stats | Quotes | Photo Gallery

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By Pat Salvas

Oct. 6, 2010
From Bright House Networks Stadium
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
UAB 0 0 7 0 7
UCF 7 14 7 14 42

Student Section

The Knights' Wednesday night nationally-televised matchup with UAB featured numerous pregame festivities for fans on IOA Plaza. A live concert, hot wing eating contest, live radio broadcast, and plenty of vendor-sponsored giveaway tents were open to fans streaming into Bright House Networks Stadium.

The UCF men's basketball team and head coach Donnie Jones also unveiled its new NIKE designed jerseys.

During the event, IOA Plaza was lined with cheerleaders and band members welcoming the football team to cheers from the Black and Gold faithful.

"I've been here for three years and I can say every day the students have this spirit. It's great to see all the students coming together, pumped for kickoff and here to support the Knights," senior Kiomi Williams of Clewiston, Fla., said.

The UCF campus was closed at 12:30 p.m. to allow for students and fans to enjoy all the pregame events. Free admission was extended to college students and staff from UCF and the surrounding area universities.

"Today there is something special going on and you can feel it in the atmosphere," said sophomore Isaac Lapidus of Boca Raton, Fla. "A nationally televised game, packed tailgating and people everywhere. Hopefully we can get out there and get the win against UAB."

The Knights did not disappoint the 40,281 in attendance at the end of the night, walking off the field with the 35-point win.

Miller Time
Senior defensive end Bruce Miller's sack in the first half was the 30th of his career. Miller is the nation's active leader in both sacks and tackles for loss (50). His 30 career sacks at UCF tie him with Miami's Kenny Holmes (1993-96) for seventh-most by a player from a Florida school.

Opening Win
The 42-7 win marked the first time that UCF opened its conference schedule with a victory since 2007. The Knights began their 2007 C-USA slate with a 56-20 win over Memphis in the first league game played at Bright House Networks Stadium. UCF would go on to win the C-USA title that season, defeating Tulsa at home in the league championship game.

Newsome's New Number
Senior wide receiver Jamar Newsome set a new career high with 68 yards receiving Wednesday night. The new high came thanks in large part to a 44-yard reception in the first quarter that ended with Newsome being pushed out at the UAB 2-yard line.

Ismael's Assists
Two of the Knights' touchdowns were results of defensive plays from sophomore free safety Kemal Ishmael. Ishmael intercepted UAB quarterback Bryan Ellis' pass on third down of the Blazers' first possession. After a 12-yard return, the Knights' offense took over and capped the short drive with a Ronnie Weaver four-yard touchdown run. Ishmael would go on the force a UAB fumble early in the third quarter that Josh Robinson returned 56 yards for a touchdown.

Long Plays
The 44-yard toss from Jeff Godfrey to Newsome was the longest play of the year from scrimmage for the Knights, but the 56-yard return of a fumble by Robinson was the longest by UCF in eight years. Against Akron on Oct. 26, 2002, Peter Sands picked up a fumble and rumbled 64 yards. It was Robinson's second fumble recovery of the season.

Once is Nice, But Twice is Better
The Knights recorded two interceptions in the game after just three in the first four game s of 2010. Against UAB, the Knights had two as Ishmael and Troy Davis each picked off a pass. Davis' interception resulted in a 29-yard runback for a score with 7:32 remaining in the fourth quarter. The touchdown was the second defensive score of the game after Johnson's fumble return in the opening minutes of the third.

Efficient Passers
The Knights' quarterback combo of Jeff Godfrey and Rob Calabrese combined to go 12-14 passing in the game. Godfrey was 9-for-11, while Calabrese completed all three of his passing attempts, including a four-yard strike to Brian Watters with six seconds remaining in the first half. The two combined for 171 yards through the air and the one score.

QB Rushers
Godfrey and Calabrese ran the ball 14 times for a combined 120 yards on the ground. Godfrey was the leading rusher in the game with 80 yards on nine rushes, while Calabrese ran the ball five times for 40 yards.

Not Afraid of the Spotlight
UCF put 42 points up on the board Wednesday night. That total was the most by the Knights in a nationally-televised game since scoring 44 points against Tulsa in the 2007 Conference USA Championship Game seen on ESPN.

Support of the Students
The 40,281 in attendance saw the Knights pick up their first C-USA win of the season and helped make up a record crowd. The attendance figure was the fifth-highest for a Wednesday night game since 1993. Only four crowds have been bigger than UCF's Wednesday night total and came at Virginia Tech, Louisville and twice at West Virginia.

First Since 2008...
Watters' second quarter touchdown catch was his first since the 2008 season. Not to be outdone, Latavius Murray punched in a nine-yard score midway through the fourth quarter for his first rushing touchdown since Nov. 22, 2008 against Memphis.