UCF Football Game Notes - Charleston Southern Sept. 3

Aug. 29, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Official game notes for UCF's contest against Charleston Southern Saturday at 7 p.m. The 2011 campaign marks the 33rd season of UCF football, and the 16th at the FBS level, while Bright House Networks Stadium enters its fifth year as the home of the Knights.

UCF Notes vs. CSU

Game Details:
Saturday - Orlando, Fla. - 7 p.m.
2010 Records:
Charleston Southern - 3-8 Overall, 1-5 Big South
UCF - 11-3 Overall, 7-1 C-USA
Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323)
First Meeting
Live Coverage:
740-AM, UCFAthletics.com and Twitter.com/UCF_FootballSID
Bright House Sports Network

Team Notes
? The Knights are 20-12 in season-openers, including winning their last five.
? UCF is 24-8 in home openers, as the Knights are 9-2 in their last 11 and 13-3 in their last 16.
? Dating back to last year, UCF has won nine of its last 10 games overall.

? AutoZone Liberty Bowl champions after defeating Georgia, 10-6, for UCF's first bowl victory.
? C-USA champions for the second time since joining the league in 2005 (2007 and 2010), and C-USA East Division champions for the third time (2005, 2007, 2010).
? Program-record 11 victories (finished 11-3).
? Earned first national ranking in school history at No. 25/23 during the year, and capped off the season at No. 21/20 in the final rankings.
? 2010 C-USA Coach of the Year George O'Leary.
? 2010 C-USA Freshman of the Year Jeff Godfrey.
? Quincy McDuffie ranked second in the nation in kickoff returns, and Josh Robinson was ninth in punt returns.
? UCF ranked in the top-20 nationally in kickoff returns (first), rushing defense (eighth), scoring defense (eighth), punt returns (12th), total defense (15th), pass efficiency defense (18th) and passing efficiency (18th).

? Although C-USA does not conduct an official poll, Tulsa World administered a C-USA preseason poll with 24 media members (two representing each school) and they picked UCF to win the East Division.
C-USA East
1) UCF (20 first-place votes) - 139
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
2) Tulsa (8) - 117
3) SMU (4) - 116
4) Rice - 60
5) Tulane - 42
5) UTEP - 42

? Knights on the C-USA Preseason Team:
-Sr. OL Nick Pieschel
-Sr. TE Adam Nissley
-Jr. DB Josh Robinson
-Jr. DB Kemal Ishmael
-Jr. KR Quincy McDuffie
? Knights on preseason watch lists:
-So. Jeff Godfrey - Davey O' Brien Award (Top QB)
-So. Jeff Godfrey - CFPA Quarterback Trophy
-Jr. Quincy McDuffie - CFPA Kick Returner Trophy
-Sr. Darius Nall - CFPA Defensive Lineman Trophy
-Jr. Josh Robinson - Thorpe Award (Top DB)
-Jr. Josh Robinson - Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Top Defensive Player)
-Jr. Josh Robinson - CFPA Defensive Back Trophy
-Jr. Josh Robinson - CFPA Punt Returner Trophy
-Jr. Josh Robinson - Paul Hornung Award

Offense Notes
? All seven players who posted at least 50 rushing yards are back for 2011, including five Knights who racked up more than 100 yards on the ground.
? UCF produced 36 rushing touchdowns in 2010, ranking 10th in the FBS. The school record is 41 set in 2007.
? The Knights and the Wisconsin Badgers were the only teams with three players who had at least 10 rushing touchdowns, and all three Knights are suiting up again for 2011.
? Ronnie Weaver and Latavius Murray tied for the team-lead with 11 TDs, while quarterback Jeff Godfrey amassed 10.
? Every school would crave to have that kind of attack in the backfield, but UCF even has one more option in Brynn Harvey. The junior earned a medical redshirt last year after he scampered for 1,109 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2009.

? UCF is the only FBS school in the country which returns four players who have posted at least 500 rushing yards in a single-season.
Jeff Godfrey - 566 in 2010
Brynn Harvey - 519 in 2008 and 1,109 in 2009
Latavius Murray - 637 in 2010
Ronnie Weaver - 890 in 2010
? BYU, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Houston, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and TCU all have three returning players with 500-yard seasons.
? The Knights also are the only FBS team returning four student-athletes who have recorded 10 rushing touchdowns or more in a single-season.
Jeff Godfrey - 10 in 2010
Brynn Harvey - 14 in 2009
Latavius Murray - 11 in 2010
Ronnie Weaver - 11 in 2010

? 2006: Steven Moffett (215 attempts) and Kyle Israel (166 attempts) shared the workload under center.
? 2007: Israel came in as the only quarterback with game experience and went on to guide UCF to a C-USA title.
? 2008: From the UCF season preview, "The Knights will enter the fall with four scholarship signal callers on the roster, but no definite starter among the group." Rob Calabrese (165 attempts) and Michael Greco (107 attempts) eventually split time.
? 2009: Calabrese was at the top of the depth chart to begin the preseason, before senior transfer Brett Hodges lifted the Knights to a spot in the St. Petersburg Bowl.
? 2010: After losing Hodges, the Knights were left wondering who would step up. That question was answered early in the season when true freshman Jeff Godfrey carried the Black and Gold to a C-USA crown and an AutoZone Liberty Bowl victory.
? 2011: After a dominant season by the C-USA Freshman of the Year, UCF does not have to worry this year about who will be calling plays in the huddle.

? It was not a shock that Jeff Godfrey was selected to the 2011 Davey O'Brien Award Watch List for the nation's top quarterback. Forget what he accomplished as a freshman in 2010? How about a cozy rundown:
-C-USA Freshman of the Year
-Phil Steele Freshman All-America Second Team
-UCF single-season QB record with 566 rush yds
-Led all FBS freshmen with a 66.8 comp. pct.
-Became the first true freshman quarterback in FBS history to guide his team to a victory in a conference title game
-159-238, 8 INT, 13 TD, 2,159 YDS, 154.31 EFF
? Godfrey threw for 1,039 yards and six touchdowns in true road games, while he finished 2010 with 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns on the grass of Bright House Networks Stadium.

? UCF's top three wideouts from 2010, Brian Watters, Jamar Newsome and Kamar Aiken, have departed.
? A.J. Guyton (28 receptions, 353 yards and three touchdowns) and Quincy McDuffie (13-144-2) are in line to be the next go-to-guys for quarterback Jeff Godfrey, while C-USA Preseason Team tight end Adam Nissley (6-59-1) worked in the offseason to improve his route-running abilities.
? Also look for Dontravius Floyd, J.J. Worton and Rannell Hall to be targets of Godfrey after they all produced during preseason camp.

? There is a lot of experience on the offensive line to help keep Godfrey safe. Although the Knights lost right tackle Jah Reid and left tackle Abre Leggins, the returning O-line has a combined 86-career starts.
? The only Knight who could start in 2011 and has not received a start in his UCF career is sophomore right guard Justin McCray, however he was on the 2010 C-USA All-Freshman Team.

Defense Notes
? Several national media outlets did not spend time looking closely at what UCF really returns on defense, as they only saw how the Knights have four primary starters back for 2011.
? One player who did not receive a start in 2010 was Darius Nall. Yet the senior still tied Bruce Miller for the team-lead with 8.5 sacks and was credited with 14 quarterback hurries.
? Miller along with David Williams and Wes Tunuufi Sauvao have since departed the Knights, but DE Troy Davis, LT Victor Gray and RT E.J. Dunston all made at least three starts in 2010.

? Through the first six games of 2010, Troy Davis had just one tackle for a loss. However, he posted at least half a tackle for a loss in seven of the last eight outings, including 2.5 against Rice.
? Davis finished with 8.0 TFLs a year ago with 5.5 sacks, and started three games (Southern Miss, Tulane and Memphis).
? He also registered five sacks in UCF's Spring Game.

? UCF, Ohio State, TCU and Alabama are the only school ranked to the FBS top 10 in rushing defense each of the last two seasons.
? The defense did not allow Memphis (23), SMU (97) and Georgia (82) to record at least 100 rushing yards in the final three games last year.
? It surrendered just nine rushing touchdowns in 2010, tying the school record (1981 and 1989).
? UCF's second opponent of 2011, Boston College, led the nation in rushing defense in 2010.

Possible Starting Linebackers:
OLB Jonathan Davis - UCF's starting RB in 2010
MLB Josh Linam - 78 tackles in 2010
OLB Leilon Willingham - True Freshman
? Outside linebackers Derrick Hallman and Lawrence Young combined for 149 tackles and 18.0 tackles for loss during their senior seasons a year ago.
? Replacing Hallman and Young could be two very different stories. UCF's starting running back to begin 2010 has made the transition to linebacker as Jonathan Davis was the 2008 Georgia 4A Defensive Player of the Year out of Tucker High School.
? On the other side may stand true freshman Leilon Willingham, who was the 2010 All-Colorado Defensive Player of the Year. The J.K. Mullen graduate was one of UCF's top recruits on Signing Day.
? Anchoring the middle is Josh Linam, who went from posting only 21 total tackles from 2008-09 to a whopping 78 as a 14-game starter last year.

? Junior free safety Kemal Ishmael has a team-high 23-straight starts, while junior cornerback Josh Robinson has made 24-career starts.
? Combined, Ishmael and Robinson have 27 break-ups and 11 interceptions.
? Junior cornerback A.J. Bouye, meanwhile, began to earn some valuable experience in 2010, collecting seven break-ups and one INT in 12 games and two starts.
? Slated to enter the secondary this year is strong safety Clayton Geathers, who saw time in UCF's 2010 season-opener before earning a redshirt.

Special Teams Notes
? Preseason All-American Quincy McDuffie continued to set UCF up with great field position last year.
? As a sophomore, the kick returner boosted his average from 24.2 to 32.2 in 2010, and already sits in UCF's top five in career returns, yards and touchdowns.
? Among active players in the FBS, McDuffie ranks tied for fourth with three-career kick return touchdowns, and 13th with 67.1 return yards per game.

? A member of the CFPA Punt Return Trophy Watch List, cornerback Josh Robinson sparkled in his first year as UCF's primary punt returner in 2010, racking up 304 yards and a 15.2 average.
? Senior A.J. Guyton also has experience with 21-career returns and a 10.9 average.

? UCF's special teams were so dominant last year that the longest punt return by any opposing player was 18 yards (Georgia's A.J. Green).