UCF Picked First in C-USA East Division by Tulsa World's Media Poll

July 28, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - A total of 24 media voters, with each school being represented by two members, picked UCF to win the Conference USA East Division in Tulsa World's preseason poll which was released Thursday. The Knights earned 20-of-24 first-place votes with Southern Miss locking up the other four to rank second in the East.

C-USA does not conduct an official preseason poll.

UCF grabbed 139 total points, followed by Southern Miss (122), East Carolina (93), Marshall (65), UAB (61) and Memphis (24).

Over in the West Division, Houston locked up 12 first-place votes for a total of 127 points, with Tulsa (117), SMU (116), Rice (60), Tulane (42) and UTEP (42) ranking behind the Cougars.

The Knights are the reigning C-USA champions, topping SMU in the title game, 17-7, last year in Orlando for their second crown (2007, 2010) since joining the league in 2005. That secured a berth in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl where the Black and Gold picked up their first bowl victory with a 10-6 win over Georgia.

UCF will be returning 2010 C-USA Freshman of the Year Jeff Godfrey after he led all freshman quarterbacks in the entire country with a 66.8 completion percentage, and also set a C-USA Championship Game record with a 78.9 completion percentage. A trio of running backs will guide the offense as well in Latavius Murray, Ronnie Weaver and Brynn Harvey, and all five projected starters on the offensive line had at least three starts a year ago. Meanwhile, top targets for Godfrey in the air will be speedy Quincy McDuffie and senior A.J. Guyton.

Opposing quarterbacks will have trouble with yet another talented UCF defense. Secondary members Josh Robinson and Kemal Ishmael were on the 2010 All-C-USA First Team, middle linebacker Josh Linam racked up 78 tackles, and Darius Nall (8.5 sacks), Troy Davis (5.5 sacks) and Victor Gray (7.0 TFLs) anchor the line.

Over on special teams, McDuffie already ranks in the UCF top-10 in career kickoff return yards and touchdowns, and ranked second in the nation last year with a 32.2 average. Taking back punts, Robinson was ninth in the FBS with a 15.2-yard average.

Conference USA poll
(As voted by a panel of media members that cover the league)
C-USA East

1) UCF (20 first-place votes) - 139 points
2) Southern Miss (4) - 122
3) East Carolina - 93
4) Marshall - 65
5) UAB - 61
6) Memphis - 24

C-USA West
1) Houston (12 first-place votes) - 127 points
2) Tulsa (8) - 117
3) SMU (4) - 116
4) Rice - 60
5) Tulane - 42
5) UTEP - 42