UCF Conducts First Scrimmage of the Preseason

Aug. 13, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The sideline was packed with UCF fans Saturday as the Knights held their first scrimmage of preseason camp on a perfect summer morning in Orlando. The Black and Gold has just three weeks remaining before it opens the 2011 campaign at home against Charleston Southern Sept. 3 at 7 p.m.

"I was pleased with the first scrimmage. We got 125 plays in, and I thought there were some good things on both sides. The first group got 36, the second group got 34 and pretty much everyone got reps out there which is what we were trying to accomplish," said head coach George O'Leary. "Obviously we've got to continue to work on finishing plays offensively as well as tackling. I thought there were way too many poor angles on tackles. But other than that I thought they executed."

Following individual sessions and work on extra points and field goals to open the day, the Knights went into skeleton drills as well as punt returns. After a break, 80 minutes was put on the clock and the first-team offense clashed with the first-team defense to kick-off the scrimmage.

And the defense held its ground immediately. Through the first five drives, the defense surrendered just one first down, with linebacker Josh Linam being involved on several plays. When starting quarterback Jeff Godfrey made his way out for his third drive, he marched the offense down the field highlighted by a 26-yard run from wideout Quincy McDuffie and a 29-yard reception out of running back Ronnie Weaver. That set up a 23-yard field goal off leg of Nick Cattoi.

On the very next play from scrimmage, Clayton Geathers made a diving interception with redshirt freshman Blake Bortles under center, and eventually UCF reached the 40-minute mark with just three points out of the offense.

That changed in a hurry after a short break. With the first teamers facing the second-team members, Godfrey went 3-for-4 on the second drive (only incompletion was a dropped pass) including a 29-yarder to McDuffie. When the offense had first-and-goal from the 9-yard line, Latavius Murray ran for eight yards and Bortles entered for a quarterback sneak into the endzone.

Bortles then marched his team down the field by going 4-for-6 in the air. He found Josh Reese twice for a total of 41 yards before connecting with tight end Justin Tukes on an 11-yard touchdown reception. Two drives later, a 30-yard run from Murray led to another quarterback sneak by Bortles at the 1-yard line.

UCF mixed in some kickoff return work before getting back to the scrimmage, where the Godfrey-to-McDuffie pairing (11 yards) this time set up Harvey, who scampered 24 yards to the house. And on the final drive of the day, the fourth-teamers added a touchdown on a 7-yard power run by wide receiver Jacques Mackeroy.

Closing out the practice session, it was time for some goal-line situations, and the offense had no trouble early as Godfrey and Murray (twice) rushed through the defense. The tables were then turned when Harvey was stopped twice and Victor Gray kept Weaver out of the endzone on third down.

Top Statistical Performers
Jeff Godfrey - 7-for-12, 88 YDS
Blake Bortles - 14-for-21, 173 YDS, 1 INT, 1 TD
Rob Calabrese - 3-for-9, 19 YDS

Receiving (3 receptions or more)
Ronnie Weaver - 3 REC, 57 YDS
J.J. Worton - 3 REC, 47 YDS
Quincy McDuffie - 3 REC, 42 YDS
Justin Tukes - 3 REC, 30 YDS, TD
Rannell Hall - 3 REC, 18 YDS
A.J. Guyton - 3 REC, 17 YDS

Rushing (Top two players)
Latavius Murray - 13 ATT, 69 YDS
Ronnie Weaver - 10 ATT, 31 YDS

Defense (Top performers)
Deion Green - 1.5 sacks
Barry Snider - 1 sack, 1 QB hurry
Clayton Geathers - 1 INT
Andrew Rice - 1 forced fumble

UCF football season ticket packages can be purchased online at UCFAthletics.com or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000. Should UCF host the C-USA Championship Game for the fourth time in seven years, it would be played on Saturday, Dec. 3, and season ticket holders will receive the first shot at the best seats.